A typical college course is 3 credit hours, and a full-time college course load is generally 12 credit hours, though some students take up to 18 credit hours. Part-time study is generally 1 to 11 credit hours. Students are advised to study independently three hours a week for each credit hour. When you first begin (your first semester back), it is a good idea to attend only part-time. This will help you determine if pursuing a college degree is what you really want without committing a lot of time and expense. Many adults decide they want to go back to college and enroll in a full schedule, only to become overwhelmed with the responsibilities of family, school, and work. Consider taking only one to two classes to start, which will give you time to refresh study skills and get used to being in a classroom environment.
In regards to the number of credit hours to take when working, these guidelines provided by colleges may be helpful:
Less than 20 hours=12-18 credit hours
20-29 hours of work per week = 6-12 credit hours
30-39 hours of work per week = 3-9 credit hours
40+ hours of work per week = 3-6 credit hours