College Vocabulary to Know
Learn these words and terms to better navigate the college admissions process.
Academic Advisor/Counselor - This person will help you select the correct courses, review the course requirements in the field you have selected to pursue and help you with any academic problems you may encounter. At some institutions, academic advisement is conducted by faculty as part of their job duties. Other institutions may designate specific staff as academic counselors.
Academic calendar - important dates for the semester; e.g., registration, add/drop, holidays.
ACT and SAT - These letters are acronyms for the American College Test and the Scholastic Aptitude Test. Both tests are designed to measure a student's level of knowledge in basic areas such as math, science, English and social studies. Colleges may require the results of either the ACT or SAT before granting admission.
Application/Acceptance/Admission - Application is the process by which a prospective student submits the required forms and credentials to his/her chosen institution. Application criteria may include one or more of the following: previous academic records, test scores, interviews, recommendations, and other information provided by the applicant. Depending on the application requirements of a particular school, the student can gain Acceptance to the institution if the decision to accept the application is positive. Admission is the status granted to an applicant who meets the prescribed entrance requirements of the institution. It must be noted that there is a wide variation nationwide in the Application/Acceptance/Admission policies of higher education institutions. Check the college catalog for specific requirements of the schools you are considering.
Area of concentration - courses a student takes to build a foundation for intended major or electives to meet credit-hour requirements for a degree.
Assessment - tests in language usage, writing, reading, numerical and algebra skills to determine proper course placement.
Associate degree - awarded to students completing 60-64 semester hours in a particular field of study. Waubonsee awards seven associate degrees: arts (AA), science (AS), fine arts (AFA), engineering science (AES), teaching (AAT), applied science (AAS) and general studies (AGS).
Auditing - taking a class to benefit from the experience without receiving a grade or college credit.
Baccalaureate - bachelor’s degree; refers to four-year full-time academic program of study. The Bachelor of Arts degree requires that a portion of the student's studies be dedicated to the arts - literature, language, music, etc. The Bachelor of Science degree requires that a portion of the studies be in the sciences - chemistry, biology, math, etc. The minimum credit hour requirement for a bachelor's degree is 120 hours.
Bursar - the office that handles student payments, including tuition, fees, etc.
CLEP - The College Level Examination Program can be administered to students who desire to obtain college credit by taking proficiency tests in selected courses. If the student scores high enough on the test, college credit can be awarded. There is a charge for each test taken. Information concerning an individual institution's policies toward CLEP Tests can be found in the institution's catalog.
Counselor - a professionally trained person who assists students directly with academic, career and personal concerns.
Credit by examination - course credit awarded to students demonstrating knowledge through proficiency or CLEP tests.
Curriculum - group of courses comprising an area of specialization.
Degree - academic title given to student signifying completion of a program of study. See “associate degree.”
Discipline - area of study such as criminal justice, English or welding.
Division - educational or administrative unit of the college. See “instructional divisions.”
Drop a course - specific action taken by a student to withdraw from a class he/she registered for.
Extracurricular or cocurricular activities - offered outside the credit curriculum; e.g., intramurals, sports, clubs and social events.
Financial aid - grants, loans, scholarships and student employment to help students pay their way based on financial need and eligibility.
Full time - student registered for 12 hours or more per semester.
General studies - designed for students taking a broad range of courses and not pursuing either a career education or transfer degree program. Waubonsee offers an Associate in General Studies degree and a general studies certificate.
Grade point - numerical value assigned to the letter grade received in a class. Grade point average is number of grade points earned divided by number of semester hours attempted.
Graduation - completion of course work required for a degree. Students must petition for graduation.
Instructional division - grouping of disciplines, Waubonsee has seven: Business and Information Systems; Communications and Library Services; Health and Life Sciences; Humanities, Fine Arts and Languages; Learning Enhancement; Social Science and Education; and Technology, Mathematics and Physical Sciences.
Prerequisite - course that must be completed before taking another. Corequisite refers to a course that must be taken in conjunction with another.
Probation - warning that student is not attaining satisfactory academic progress.
Reverse transfer - student transferring from another college to Waubonsee.
Semester - 16-week class term. At Waubonsee, fall semester begins in August and spring semester in January. Summer session also offered.
Semester hour (sem hr) - unit of measurement defining credit awarded for successful completion of a class.
Student Handbook - annual publication explaining college policies, regulations and activities in an easy reference format.
Syllabus-An outline of the important information about a course. Written by the professor or instructor, it usually includes important dates, assignments, expectations and policies specific to that course.
Tuition - cost of attending courses based on the number of semester hours for which student enrolls and on residency.