In higher education in the United States, academic terms are divided into either quarters or semesters, with quarter hours typically being weighted with less credit than semester hours. There are advantages and disadvantages to each academic system. There are also complicating factors, such as when a student needs to transfer hours from one academic system to the other.
For all regulatory and practical purposes the United States Army, when attending to the subject of collegiate credit speaks in terms of semester hours.
More specifically, let’s say a student is attending an open enrollment community college, where he attends lower level undergraduate classes and the school uses the quarter hour system. Hypothetically he believes he is, oh, half way to having the minimum 90 college credits the Army requires for Officer Candidates to attend an AOCS or traditional program. The 45 quarter hours he “has”, is equivalent to only 30 semester hours, or roughly one (1) year of college.
So, in our example, the student actually isn’t “half-way there”, but a mere 1/3 of the way there.
Many external observers might expect a student who attends a quarter system institution to understand the credit system used in their own school!
Recent studies have shown, this is absolutely NOT the case! Many poorer performing students aren’t even remotely aware that there is a difference between quarter and semester hours!
Many students also fail math and stuff like that.