Credit Hour Policy


The Credit Hour Policy is intended to reflect Reach University’s commitment to best practices in higher education and demonstrate consistency with credit hour requirements dictated by federal law (600.2 and 600.4), updated July 1, 2020, to shift responsibility for compliance to the accreditation agency and/or state. This updated policy is in compliance with WSCUC guidelines (implementation date of June 2021) and the Reach Institute for School Leadership Credit Hour Policy originating in 2016.



The purpose of this policy is to define the amount of instruction and candidate work equivalent to a credit hour or one unit of class. This policy also establishes a mechanism for periodic review of credit hour assignments to courses to ensure accuracy and consistency as well as adherence to standard higher education practices.

Reach University is pioneering a new era in higher education where a job leads to a degree instead of the other way around. Through job-embedded learning, Reach’s unique undergraduate and graduate degree programs leverage candidates’ workplaces as learning spaces, allowing employers to grow their own talent pipelines and working adults to earn a degree and/or a credential. Our approach and definition of Academic Instruction, Academic Preparation and Applied Practica reflect our approach to job-embedded degree and credential attainment.  



  • Academic Instruction (class time): Defined course activities related to the academic subject that may include but are not limited to: submitting an academic assignment, engaging in or listening to class seminars or discussions (synchronous or asynchronous), taking an exam, participating in interactive Oxford Tutorials, contributing to academic online discussions, or similar academic activity.
  • Academic Preparation (out-of-class preparation): Course activities related to preparation for academic instruction including but are not limited to: subject-matter research, reading, conducting research, reviewing course content, and completing practice-based assignments and projects.
  • Applied Practica (job-embedded learning): Practica assignments are course activities that are embedded in the candidate’s actual work responsibilities. Practica are designed to integrate with the candidate’s regular teaching, leadership or other ‘on-the-job’ related tasks and assignments. Residency hours, applied assignments, participation in coaching and formative assessment, peer collaboration, observation of work practices, and performance assessments are examples of job-embedded course activities. 


Credit Hour: WSCUC defines a credit hour as an amount of work represented in stated learning outcomes and verified by evidence of candidate achievement. Reach University defines a credit hour as follows:

  • 1 Credit Hour = 45 hours of combined Academic Instruction (class time), Academic Preparation (out-of-class preparation), and Applied Practica (job-embedded)

Transfer Credit Policies

Prior credit from accredited institutions and certain forms of prior experience may meet some course requirements, in whole or in part. Transfer of credit toward credentials or degrees is not guaranteed and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Transferring Credit into Any Reach CTC-Approved Credential Program

Reach recognizes that candidates may have prior experience or coursework that satisfies elements of the content or practice required by Reach to earn California Preliminary Teaching, Clear Teaching, Preliminary Administrative Services or Clear Administrative Services credentials. When applying to a Reach credential program, the candidate may request a review of prior experience, and equivalency may be granted for Reach courses, assignments, or particular sessions based on the analysis of the Program Director. Reach accepts most credits and/or work from other CTC-accredited credential programs, however, the Graduate Institute at Reach does not hold an articulation or transfer agreement with any college or university.

For enrollment in Reach Graduate Institute credential programs, the applicant will indicate in the space provided on the application form that s/he is applying for the transfer of prior units and/or experience. Candidates may submit transcripts and course syllabi (or official course catalog descriptions) to Candidate Services for review. Any transfer credit must be approved by the Associate Director in consultation with the Program Coordinator for the Reach program to which the candidate is applying no later than August 1 of the candidate’s first year in the Reach Program. Transfer credit may meet all or part of the requirements of any given Reach course.


Transferring Credit into Any Reach Master’s Program

Graduate coursework taken at a regionally-accredited institution may be considered for transfer credit. A maximum of nine semester units of graduate coursework, with an earned grade of B or higher, may be applied as transfer credit toward a Reach Master of Education degree program.

In considering awarding transfer credit, Reach will consider such factors as the degree to which the course content or field of study has changed significantly in recent years.

Applicants may petition to transfer credit by completing and filing a Request for Graduate Transfer Credit form. All requests must be approved by August 1 of the candidate’s first year in the Reach program.


Recognized Prior Experience

Reach recognizes that candidates may have prior experience or coursework that satisfies elements of the content or practice required by the Reach Master of Education degree programs. When applying to a Reach Master of Education degree program, the candidate may request a review of prior experience and equivalency may be recommended for Reach courses, and/or assignments, and/or particular topics based on the analysis of the supervising Program Director.


Specialized Study

Candidates who complete modified versions of Reach courses, either due to transferred coursework or prior experiences that meet part but not all of a course requirement, will participate in individualized courses of Specialized Study. Specialized Study courses must be developed by a supervising professor and approved by the Program Director prior to commencing. Specialized Study courses may include participation in elements of existing Reach courses, independent study, one-on-one instruction, specially-designed practicum experiences, or other learning experiences and assessments that ensure candidates obtain the required elements necessary for earning a credential or degree. Approved courses of Specialized Study are outlined in writing to the candidate, and a copy kept on file with Reach. Candidates may have up to nine units of Specialized Study for Master of Education degree programs.

Combined transfer and Specialized Study units may not exceed 12 units.


The transferability of credits you earn at the Graduate Institute at Reach is at the sole discretion of the institution to which you may seek to transfer. Acceptance of the credits, credential, certificate or degree you wish to earn in the educational program is also at the complete discretion of the institution to which you may seek to transfer. If the credits, credential, certificate, or degree that you earn at this institute are not accepted at the institution to which you seek to transfer, you may be required to repeat some or all of your coursework at that institution. For this reason you should make certain that your attendance at this institution will meet your educational goals. This may include contacting an institution to which you may seek to transfer after attending Reach to determine if your credits, credential, certificate, or degree will transfer.

Grievances and Appeals

Informal Grievance Procedure

A candidate who has problems arising from conflicts with faculty, evaluation results, advancement, degree/credential requirements, policies, probation conditions, or disqualification should discuss them first with a program faculty member. If a candidate wishes to review a problem or to appeal a decision, s/he should then consult with the Program Director. Should questions arise beyond this point with respect to where or to whom a specific appeal should be directed, the Graduate Institute Dean may be consulted for advice. After all of the informal procedures for grievances and appeals have been exhausted, the formal grievance procedures may be initiated.


Formal Grievance Procedures

Upon request made in writing to the Graduate Institute Dean, or should the Program Director deem it necessary, a disciplinary/grievance committee will be assembled. Prior to assembling the committee, the Graduate Institute Dean will determine whether the informal grievance procedure has been exhausted and may require additional steps be taken through the informal grievance process, and a new written notice be given, prior to convening a committee. Once it is determined that a disciplinary/grievance committee is appropriate, the committee will be assembled within 30 days of receiving the written request, and members will include, but are not limited to a member from the Board of Director’s Academic Affairs Committee, a Graduate Institute professor, and a Reach Administrator. Findings of the disciplinary committee may be appealed to the full Board of Directors as necessary. The decisions of the Board of Directors are final.

Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination

It is the policy of Reach University and its Board of Directors to maintain an organizational working and learning environment free of all forms of unlawful discrimination and all forms of harassment, exploitation, or intimidation, including sexual harassment. 


Equal Opportunity 

Reach affords equal opportunity to all employees and prospective employees, volunteers, candidates, and other participants without regard to race, religion, citizenship, political affiliation, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition (as defined under California law), veteran status, family care status, sexual orientation, sex (which includes gender and gender identity, pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), taking or requesting statutorily protected leave, or any other basis protected by law. 


 Complaint Procedure 

Any candidate who believes that she/he/they has been discriminated against, should bring their concerns to the attention of appropriate Reach personnel consistent with the grievance procedures outlined in these policies. 



Reach University will not tolerate any form of discrimination and will take appropriate disciplinary action, including possible termination, of any person determined to have engaged in unlawful conduct under this policy. 


No Retaliation 

Retaliation (including intimidation, threats, coercion or discrimination) against an individual for raising an allegation of sexual harassment or discrimination is prohibited.

Academic Freedom

“Institutions of higher education are conducted for the common good and not to further the interest of either the individual teacher or the institution as a whole. The common good depends upon the free search for truth and its free exposition.”

  • American Association of University Professors (AAUP) 1940 Statement of Principles of Academic Freedom

The Reach Academic Freedom Policy values the intellectual dynamism that comes from the free flow of ideas while simultaneously providing for the need to have a cohesive and coherent academic program that is consistent with accreditation requirements and other public commitments. Nothing in this policy supersedes any policy outlined in the personnel policies.


Individual Faculty Academic Freedom Principle

Faculty members are expected to work collaboratively, as a whole faculty and in work groups, to establish communities of practice that negotiate pedagogical and curricular decisions. At the same time, Reach faculty should feel empowered to respond appropriately to their candidates’ needs and to proceed in the best interests of their candidates. The “Reach way” is simultaneously intended to provide focus, cohesion and guidance AND to be continuously reinvented as part of ongoing collaboration. Faculty members work with supervising Deans and the University Provost to develop their courses and approaches consistent with policy.


Collective Faculty Academic Freedom Principle 

Issues of academic quality and program integrity affect all faculty and staff. Reach believes that all faculty members should have input into decisions that affect them, and program directors are required to develop work teams and make decisions on this basis. Reach University has adopted the Academic Freedom Policy of the American Association of Graduate School Professors:

Faculty are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of their other academic duties; research for pecuniary return should be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the institution.

Faculty are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter, which has no relation to their subject. 

Reach University faculty are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officers of an educational institution. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As scholars and educational officers, they should remember that the public might judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the university.


Educational Program Alignment

In order to maintain quality and consistency of the education program, individual faculty members may not do the following:

  • Modify or adjust core outcomes and core assessments (which are defined by the program narratives and interpreted by the program directors and the supervising Deans).
  • Modify the amount of the scope of candidate engagement in learning for a defined course (combining seminar time, online collaboration, and individual practicum & coaching).
  • Modify a course in such a way as to jeopardize accreditation. 

Faculty have the freedom to:

  • Make adjustments and modifications to non-core outcomes and assessments for either the whole cohort or individual candidates with extenuating circumstances.
  • Make decisions about what grades will be awarded, including whether individual candidates pass the course.
  • Make adjustments to the content and sequence of the course concepts in response to emergent candidate needs, consistent with agreed upon learning objectives.
  • Make decisions about pedagogical approaches consistent with these policies.
  • Create new courses, following the Reach University Decision-Making protocol and requisite approvals.
  • Adapt the course syllabus to reflect their priorities and interests consistent with the program’s learning objectives.
  • Design and supervise courses of individualized study with the approval of the supervising dean and university Provost.
  • Research, publish and present at academic conferences
  • Freely express their ideas as they pertain to their course.

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Student Records Policy

Under the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), as amended, students at Reach University have the following rights in regard to education records maintained by the University.

  1. Students have the right to inspect and review their education records, subject to certain limitations. Education records include records, in any medium, which directly relate to a student who is or has been in attendance at the University and maintained by the University.  These routine records include, but are not limited to, grades, transcripts, class lists, student course schedules, student financial information, and student discipline files.

  2. Offices maintaining portions of each student’s education record are the Dean of Students, Admissions, the Office of Financial Aid, the Registrar, the offices of each relevant academic department, and the Finance Office. Students who have questions about information in any of these files should see the managers/directors of the offices involved. Some records may be administered by additional privacy laws and regulations that supersede FERPA, and, therefore, may not be available under this policy. Requests for the inspection and review of education records must be submitted direct to the custodian of the record, following policy and procedure of the office in whose custody the record is maintained.

  3. Students have the right to seek to amend their education records to correct inaccurate information. In compliance with University policy, individual offices have established procedures for challenging the content of education records. Students may also submit a written request for correction of a particular education record to the Dean of Students. If a requested amendment or correction to the record is not made, the student may insert into the records a written statement respecting the contested contents. Disputes over the assignment of grades are not covered by these provisions. Students with concerns about the assignment of individual grades are referred to the Policy on Disputed Grades.

  4. The College will not release personally identifiable information in an education record without the student’s prior written consent. (Some examples of personally identifiable information are grades, exam scores, grade point average, test scores (e.g. SAT, GRE), disciplinary status, birth date, gender, religious affiliation, citizenship, ethnicity, marital status, social security number, and student identification number.) This information may be released to parents only with the student’s written authorization (or if the parent can establish that the student is a dependent for tax purposes). Such authorization remains in effect until cancelled in writing by the student.

  5. Students have the right to file a complaint with the Federal Policy Compliance Office, a division of the US Department of Education, for any alleged violation of their rights under FERPA. Complaints should be submitted in writing to: Family Policy Compliance Office, US Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington DC 20202-5920.

In compliance with FERPA, Reach University has designated the following items of information as directory information that may be released without the prior consent of the student:

  • name and student user name;

  • local and permanent address;

  • local, cellular, and permanent phone number;

  • e-mail address;

  • program of study;

  • major field of study;

  • dates of attendance;

  • enrollment status;

  • class level;

  • expected date of graduation;

  • degrees and awards received;

  • most recent previous institution attended.

Students may request that the University restrict the release of directory information by submitting a written request to the Registrar’s Office. Such restrictions remain in effect until cancelled in writing by the student. Directory information required for course or classroom participation may not be withheld from faculty and students connected with the particular course. In addition, enrollment as a student and attendance at or participation in classes and other University activities constitutes an agreement by the student to the University’s use and distribution of the student’s image or voice in photographs, videotapes, audiotapes, and electronic reproductions of such classes and other University activities.

As permitted by FERPA, University officials have access to student directory and non-directory information when a legitimate educational interest exists for specific education records. A legitimate educational interest exists when the University has determined that a University official needs to know specific information to accomplish academic, instructional, advisory, administrative, research, supervisory, disciplinary or other educational responsibilities assigned by the University. University officials may include employees, faculty, staff, trustees, counsel, designated representatives of Reach University, and contracted agents and agencies of the University. Reach University may outsource some operations requiring the disclosure of information from education records. Providers of such services include the National Student Clearinghouse. University officials, including contracted service providers, who receive education records must comply with all FERPA regulations regarding re-disclosure and the privacy of such education records.

In addition, under FERPA, and in compliance with other federal and local regulations, privacy rights in the postsecondary environment are reassigned from parents to students. Nevertheless, FERPA permits institutions to disclose information from education records to parents and to other third party entities in specific situations and under certain conditions. Among these situations are the following:

  • To officials of another school where the student seeks, intends, or has enrolled;

  • In connection with the student’s request for or receipt of financial aid;

  • To certain federal, state or local government authorities in connection with the audit or evaluation of educational programs (these government authorities may further disclose information to outside entities that are designated by them to conduct any audit, evaluation or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf);

  • To U.S. military recruiters;

  • To certain entities conducting studies or audits on behalf of the University, by federal, state, or local education authorities, or by professional and other educational organizations;

  • In compliance with court orders and subpoenæ;

  • Where health and safety are at risk or in the event of student status changes;

  • When violations to federal, state, or local regulations have occurred and violations to institutional policy have been determined in regard to crimes of violence or non-forcible sex acts and, for students under the age of 21, the use or possession of alcohol or other controlled substances; and

  • Per additional contingencies set forth in FERPA.

General Complaint Procedures

Reach University takes very seriously complaints and concerns regarding the institution. If you have a complaint regarding Reach University, you may present your complaint to:

The Dean of Students for your respective program

These contacts will provide you with an explanation of the campus process for addressing your particular complaint(s) and answer any questions you may have to assure you a fair process. If you believe that your complaint warrants further attention after exhausting all the steps outlined in the writing given to you by the Dean of Students, you may contact:

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) if your complaint is about the institution’s compliance with academic program quality and accrediting standards. WASC is the academic accrediting body for Reach University.

If you believe that your complaint continues to warrant further consideration after exhausting the review of either WASC or the investigative team representing Reach University, you may submit a complaint to the Attorney General of the State of California by filing a complaint form with the Public Inquiry Unit of the California State Department of Justice at:

  1. Public Inquiry Unit: 916-322-3360; 800-952-5225; fax: 916-323-5341, or

  2. Online form to submit a complaint to the Attorney General of California

The Attorney General’s Office will review the process through which the campus attempted to resolve your complaint. If the process complies with the written outline, the Attorney General’s Office will, for the purposes of state oversight, consider the matter closed. If the Attorney General determines that the process through which the campus attempted to resolve your complaint did not comply with its published process, the Attorney General may request reconsideration by Reach University. The Attorney General’s Office also has oversight of Reach University as authorized through the  “Supervision of Trustees and Fundraisers for Charitable Purposes Act” [Cal. Gov’t Code § 12598], which provides public means to submit complaints regarding non-profit colleges and universities that abuse their status under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (23 U.S.C. §501(c)(3). The California Attorney General is given broad powers to undertake law enforcement investigations and legal actions to protect the public interest under Cal. Gov’t Code § 12598.

Nothing in this disclosure limits any right that you may have to seek civil or criminal legal action to resolve your complaints. Reach University has provided this disclosure to you in compliance with the requirements of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, as regulated in CFR 34, Sections 600.9 (b) (3) and 668.43(b). If anything in this disclosure is out of date, please notify the Dean of Students.

Pursuant to Section 600.9 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations and in accord with California Education Code Agreement 94878.9, an individual may contact the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education for review of a complaint.  The bureau may be contacted at:

Address:             2535 Capitol Oaks Drive, Suite 400
Sacramento CA  95833
Telephone:         916-431-6924
FAX:                     916-26-1897
Website:             Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education