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Glossary of Academic Terms

A

Academic Calendar: The official listing of important dates relative to semester/term start and end dates, deadlines and holidays.

Academic Load: The total number of semester hours for which a student is registered in one semester or summer term.

Academic Record: A history of all of the courses and other equivalent activities a student has taken and the grades he or she has received. See also “Transcript.”

Academic Year: The period composed of fall and spring semesters.

Accreditation: The process of evaluating the academic qualifications or standards of an institution or program of study in accordance with pre-established criteria. Such accreditation is provided by one of the regional accrediting commissions of the various associations of schools and colleges for the institution or by an appropriate national association for a specific area.

Advisor: A member of the College faculty charged with the responsibility of interpreting academic requirements; developing course schedules; providing personal, academic, or career information; and monitoring adjustment to college and academic progress.

Approved Elective: Course selected by the student and approved by his or her dean or designated advisor for the student’s degree program; frequently from a restricted list of options.

Articulation Agreement: Document that identifies courses that should be taken at one institution for degree completion at another institution.

Audit: To enroll in a course without the intention of receiving academic credit.

Auditor: A student who is officially enrolled in one or more courses for no credits.

B

Bulletin: A publication coordinated by the Public Relations Office that includes a list of courses and sections for a specific semester/term, information about registration, the final examination schedule, and the academic calendar.

C

Class Schedule: See “Bulletin.”

Classification: A means of identifying the student by year of study and by course load. See “Freshman,” “Sophomore,” “Full-time Student,” “Part-time Student,” “Auditor.”

Core Requirements: See "General Education Requirements.”

Corequisite: A course that must be taken during the same semester/term as another course.

Course: A prescribed unit of study or instruction (credit or non-credit) that is normally presented through a series of scheduled meetings of a class.

Course Load: The number of semester hours a student schedules in a given term.

Credit: The unit of measure awarded for the successful completion of coursework.

Credit hours: The quantitative measure given to a course as stated in semester hours. See “Semester Hour.”

Cumulative Grade Point Average: A student’s grade point average for all college work based on the total number of quality points earned and the total number of semester hours attempted. See “Grade Point Average.”

Curriculum: A program of courses comprising the formal requirements for a degree in a particular field of study.

Curriculum Sheet: A check sheet used by advisors to track the student’s progress toward completion of a degree program.

D

Degree Plan: An evaluation by the student and advisor of academic work completed and courses required for graduation.

Division of Continuing Education: An administrative unit that offers noncredit courses on campus.

Drop: Official withdrawal from a course while the student is still enrolled in other courses. A student’s failure to attend class does not of itself constitute dropping that course.

E

Elective: Course chosen by the student, or by the student and designated advisor, as opposed to a required course.

F

Freshman: A student with fewer than 30 semester hours of credit earned.

Full-time Student: Student enrolled for 12 or more hours of resident credit in a regular semester or 6 or more hours of resident credit in a summer term.

G

General Education Requirements: Courses and other requirements which must be met by all candidates for any degree.

Good Standing: A status assumed or stated that a student is eligible to continue at or return to an institution unless noted otherwise.

Grade Point Average (GPA): A mathematical measurement of academic performance, computed by multiplying quality points by credit hours for courses in a semester, a major, or a total program: adding them; and dividing the sum by semester hours attempted.

Grade Points: See “Quality Points.”

I

Independent Study: A method of instruction in which studies by individual students are carried on with a minimum of external guidance.

M

Major: Primary field of study.

Matriculation: The state of being registered for coursework.

N

No Preference: The state of being registered for credit and working toward a degree but undecided yet as to a major.

P

Part-time Student: A student enrolled for fewer than 12 hours of resident credit in a regular semester or fewer than 6 hours of resident credit in a summer term.

Prerequisite: Requirement to be met before a certain course may be taken. May be in the form of specific coursework or approval of the dean in instances where “consent of dean” is required.

Probation (academic or disciplinary): A status assigned because of unsatisfactory grades or conduct.

Q

Quality Points: Numerical value assigned to each letter grade when given as the final grade in a course, which provides a basis for determination of a grade point average.

R

Resignation: The official process by which a student withdraws from all courses during a semester or summer term. The withdrawal is usually initiated by the student, but may be done in certain instances by college personnel. See also “Drop.”

Registration: The process by which a duly admitted student, upon payment of required fees, is enrolled in classes.

S

Section: Specific designation (beyond the course number) of each course offering that distinguishes room location, meeting time, and instructor.

Selected Topics Course: A course which subject matter may vary from semester to semester; it may include current or special topics. The instruction may be by seminar, lecture, or some other method.

Semester Hour: The unit by which coursework is measured. The number of semester hours assigned to a lecture course usually is determined by the number of hours the class meets per week.

Sophomore: A student with at least 30 semester hours of credit earned.

Special Topics: A term describing possible subject matter in selected topic courses or in other course types.

Student Schedule: The sections of courses in which a student is enrolled.

Suspension (academic or disciplinary): A college-assigned status that prohibits students from registering for courses for a specified time period. See also “Probation.”

T

Transcript: The continuous, formal, and official record of a student’s academic work at a college. See also “Academic Record.”

Transfer Student: A student who terminates enrollment in another college or university and subsequently enrolls in BPCC.

Trial Schedule: A form used to indicate a student’s preliminary schedule that is developed as a result of a meeting between the student and his or her academic advisor.

W

Withdrawal: See “Registration.”