At the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), 1 credit hour normally equates to 50 minutes of instruction time; accordingly, a 2 credit course normally involves 100 minutes of instruction, and a 3 credit course normally involves 150 minutes of instruction. Additionally, it is generally expected that a work load outside of class would involve approximately 2-3 hours of study per credit hour, for each week of the semester; the semesters at CIM last for 15 weeks of instruction, in addition to exam and performance jury periods.
There are variances in this general principle, based on certain emphases within programs. Some examples of these variances can be seen as follows:
- in the undergraduate degree program (BM), primary lessons carry 3 credits each semester for the first 2 years; in the junior and senior year, primary lessons carry 4 credits each semester. The junior and senior recital requirement carries with it the expectation of a higher level of work on the part of the student outside of the teaching portion of the class, in the form of recitals and juries. In our performance diploma programs (Artist Certificate, Professional Studies, and Artist Diploma), primary lessons carry 6 credits, based on the expectation that not only is the performance level at a significantly higher level, but the work outside of the teaching time should be greater, given the higher-level performance requirements for these programs.
- An independent study may be assigned a credit load of 1 or 2 credits, based on the nature of the independent study proposal. The assignment of credit for an independent study is made by the Dean of the Conservatory, in consultation with the Registrar and the faculty member overseeing the proposal.
- In the eurhythmics sequence, the first two semesters of study meets twice a week for two 50-minute sessions for 1 credit; subsequent to this first year of study, courses meet once a week for one 50-minute session for 1 credit.
- In the undergraduate theory sequence, the first 4 semesters of coursework carry 4 credits per semester, meeting 5 times per week for 50 minutes, equating to 62.5 minutes of instruction per credit hour; after the 4th semester, class credit is 3 credits, meeting 3 times a week for 50 minutes, equating to 50 minutes of instruction per credit hour.
Curricular requirements are housed in the Office of the Registrar. Changes in any curricular requirements to degree or diploma programs are considered by the Faculty Senate, following submission of a course proposal form to the Office of the Dean, who consults with the Head of Faculty Senate to bring this proposal to the Senate for consideration. Motions passed by the Senate must be ratified by the Office of the President or returned to the Senate for further discussion. In issues of curricular proposals, or new course proposals, the Senate will typically examine the merits of the proposal and discuss the appropriate credit-hour assignment, consistent with existing policies at the Institute.
Prior to a course proposal going to the Faculty Senate for review, the faculty member discusses the course proposal with the Registrar and/or the Dean of the Conservatory; the purpose of this dialogue is to ensure that a consistent approach to the application of the Institute's credit hour policies and procedures occurs, and to ensure the viability of the proposal from a number of perspectives including, but not limited to educational relevancy, curricular and facility impact and fiscal considerations.