About Credit Hours
ACC bachelors candidates complete the usual 120 credit hours required for a bachelor’s degree in three years. Classes are scheduled for 80 minute periods and consist of an appropriate balance between instruction (lecture), open dialog with the teacher and fellow students to develop critical thinking, small group discussions and student presentations, all of which contribute to achieving the desired student learning outcomes.
Degree completion in three years is possible in large measure due to the isolation of the campus, little competition for student time and attention (like movies, dating, football games, weekend trips home, etc.). Students are required to enroll in six courses each semester and two courses during their winter break (June-July).
Conducted during the the long winter break (June-July) for most African institutions, mid-mesters consist of two-week, very intensive, courses. They are taught as three, 80 minute lectures per day, 5 days a week, with out-of-class readings, papers and/or group projects typically assigned for completion and grading every day or two. Study lights in the student housing as well as the faculty flats burn well into the night during these intense periods.
A “mid-term exam” at the end of week one and a “Final Exam” at the end of week two provides the student with a complete 3-credit hour course. These are very demanding courses for both students and faculty and are typically taught by very experienced faculty who have previously developed and taught intensive courses.
Only two such courses for each class year are possible (a total of 6 or less mid-mester teaching opportunities, depending on the appropriateness of combining junior and senior classes). Many of the required courses are repetitively taught each year by experienced faculty from major Christian universities. Depending on the area of specialization of a part-time faculty member interested in teaching for only a two-week mid-mester, there may be openings available, but two-week intensive opportunities are very limited.
In order to expose our students’ minds to the broadest possible Christian intellectual stimulation and challenge, many of ACC’s part-time faculty choose to present their courses as nine-week modules. This allows for a more measured pace of learning, mind-change and growth while accommodating the needs of part-time faculty to return home in a little over two months.
In these modules, the three-credit hour course is taught in classes held four days/week across the 8.5 week period. Assignment and grading of papers and exams is more frequent, of course, but this often leads to an improved learning experience, especially for those students who find that juggling too many intellectual balls in the air at once is a challenge.
Where schedules permit, our part-time faculty find that compared to the mid-mester, teaching a Module is a much more spiritually rewarding experience. It provides greater opportunity to engage the students out of class, participate in many more examples of collegiate activity, experience more of the wonders of God’s creation and animals in southern Africa, participate in worship with recent church plantings by students, faculty and neighbors and join in various non-academic benevolent service projects like our twice weekly feeding of AIDS orphans.
In order to mesh with the courses being taught in full-semester fashion, modules begin at the beginning of each semester and following the mid-term break week. Typically, this is
- mid-January to the last week of March;
- First week of April to the first of June;
- last week of July to end of September; and
- Second week of October to the end of November.
Graduation– always a joyous occasion and an opportunity to see graduates rejoice in their success– occurs at the end of the first week of December.
This is the typical semester period in which most part-time faculty choose to teach two courses, each presented in classes per week for each course. Class sizes typically range from 10 to 25 students.
Teaching two courses provides an opportunity to become involved in the lives of essentially every student on campus, enjoy interactive with the children of campus personnel and student families, and have a true African Christian higher education experience.
If candidates can – in anyway and by any means – arrange their schedules to accommodate a full semester, this is the highlight opportunity for part-time faculty!
Teaching a full semester also provides the greatest benefit to the students as they learn from your examples of servant leadership. It is the greatest value to African Christian College as it fulfills our vision of becoming an outstanding Christian college providing a broad-based educational experience that will give Africa’s future Christian Leaders a strong foundation to minister in many roles to a rapidly changing Africa.