Terms to help you 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/specialization - 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 a 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 Student Accounts and Cashier Office that handles student payments, including tuition, fees, etc.

Certificate of Achievement - Awarded to students completing specific requirements in occupational-oriented programs.

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.

Corequisite - Sometimes called a coreq, this refers to a course that must be taken at the same time as another.

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.

Dean - Person responsible for an instructional or administrative division.

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 co-curricular activities - Offered outside the credit curriculum; e.g., intramurals, sports, clubs and social events.

Fee - Set amount charged for registration; also an additional set amount for certain activities or courses.

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 the number of grade points earned divided by the number of semester hours attempted.

Graduation - Completion of coursework required for a degree. Students must petition for graduation.

IAI - Illinois Articulation Initiative; an agreement to facilitate the transfer process among Illinois schools.

Instructional division - Groups of academic disciplines sorted into related categories and managed by a dean. Waubonsee has six instructional divisions: Business and Career Technologies; Communications, Humanities and Fine Arts; Developmental Education and College Readiness; Health Professions and Public Service; Mathematics and Sciences; Social Sciences, Education and World Languages. It's important to note that these divisions are often created for internal instructional efficiencies and may be grouped differently on websites and other promotional materials.

Lec/Lab - Number of hours students spend per week in lecture and/or laboratory time in a course.

Part-time - Student taking fewer than 12 hours per semester.

Prerequisite - Course that must be completed before taking another. Corequisite refers to a course that must be taken in conjunction with another.

Pre-Registration Review (formerly known as E-RAP (Electronic Registration and Planning)) - Online program for all new, full-time Waubonsee students to assist in orientation and course selection.

Probation - Warning that student is not attaining satisfactory academic progress.

Registration - Process of completing forms and steps necessary to enroll in classes.

Reverse transfer - Student transferring from another college to Waubonsee.

Schedule - Periodic publication providing a complete schedule of courses and registration process information.

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.

Specialization/area of concentration - Courses a student takes to build a foundation for intended major or electives to meet credit-hour requirements for a degree.

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.

Transcript - Official copy of student's academic record obtained from the registrar.

Tuition - Cost of attending courses based on the number of semester hours for which student enrolls and on residency.

Undergraduate - An undergraduate is a student who is pursuing either a one-, two-, or four-year degree.