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Innovation, Learning, and Effectiveness

Faculty Resource Guide: College Terminology

Guide for full and part time faculty

College Terminology


academic advisor: professional staff or faculty member who advises students concerning academic programs and class schedules
academic calendar: the days of each term set aside for payment and add/drop deadlines, college holidays, exams, and grade reports
academic skills assessment: an instrument used to measure your entry-level skills in mathematics, language, and reading
associates degree: a two-year college degree; note that it may take longer than two years to complete an associates degree depending on the number of credits taken each semester
auditing a class: attending or listening in on a class without receiving a grade or credit for it
career program of study: a program of study which, when completed, will provide a student with the skills to seek employment in a chosen career area
certificate program: an academic program of one year or less
co-requisite: a course that must be taken at the same time as another course
credit: a unit of measure of the amount of work a student completes in a class; each completed course is worth an established number of credits; each credit equals 50 minutes of class time
curriculum: the courses offered in a program of study
developmental classes: remedial course work designed to increase a student’s ability to the level which will enable the student to continue with success in credit courses
distance learning: a system of delivering coursework through
non-traditional means such as fiber-optic/interactive video classes or online classes
elective: one of several courses offered which fulfills a specific content area in a program of study
general education course (G.Ed.): a required course in a program of study as determined by the faculty; G.Ed. courses are designed to enrich a student’s growth and preparation for lifelong learning; each college determines a core of G.Ed. courses which must be completed in order to graduate
grade point average: a system of measuring students’ average grades
load hour: a unit of measure used to establish the cost of each course; each load hour is 50 minutes; a non-credit course doesn’t carry a credit, but it does carry a load hour(s)
major: a selected program of study
prerequisite: a course which must be taken before another course
syllabus: an outline of topics to be covered by an instructor during a course; a syllabus will also contain information on attendance and grading policies: an instructor-student “contract”
transcript: an official record of all academic work attempted by a student
transfer program: a program of study designed for students who plan to transfer to the upper division of a college or university upon completion of an associates degree, usually to pursue a bachelor’s degree


Student Classifications

Credit Student  one who enrolls in a course for college credit and is awarded a letter grade.

Audit Student  one who enrolls in a credit course on a not-for-credit basis and is expected to attend classes.  He/she participates in class activities, but is not required to complete assignments or to take exams.  The audit student will receive a grade of “L” for the course.

Co-Listed Student – one who enrolls in the non-credit (continuing education) equivalent of a credit course.  Continuing education students will sit in the same classroom as the credit students and have the same learning experience.  The faculty member will receive separate course rosters for both the non-credit and credit sections of the course.

Non-credit students will participate fully in all classroom exercises except graded homework, tests, papers, and projects.  Non-credit students may receive copies of assignments for their own self development, but the assignments will not be graded, unless the course is designated as awarding Continuing Education Units (CEUs), which become part of the CE record.

Non-credit students who wish to receive credit for the class must drop the non-credit section and enroll in the credit section of the course.  The Drop/Add form must be filed with the Registration Office no later than the second week of classes.  Students who have completed the non-credit course or who have audited the credit course will not be awarded college credit for the course.  In certain courses, student may not be permitted to switch from non-credit to credit status.

Dual Enrollment Student – a high school student, 16 years of age or older, earning college credit which may also be applied toward his/her high school graduation requirements.