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Glossary of Academic Terms

Posted in Effective College Planning by admin on the May 13th, 2007

ABILITY TO BENEFIT: A potential student who is a non-high school graduate is recognized as having the ability-to-benefit from a college education after successfully earning a minimum passing score on one of the federally approved standardized tests. (See page 25 for a more detailed explanation, as well as the list of approved tests for individuals with disabilities on page 95-98 in the RESOURCE SECTION).

ACADEMIC: A term used to describe any collegiate course of study; a term used to describe areas of study falling under the traditional scholarly disciplines, as distinct from directly vocational or technical programs.

ACADEMIC ADVISOR: Students who are matriculated into academic programs are assigned a faculty member who assists the student in setting semester course schedules and monitors that the student meets all of that academic programís degree requirements.

ACADEMIC ADJUSTMENT: A modification made to a course or program for a student with a disability. The modification is made to a nonessential part of the course or program.

ADA: see Americans with Disabilities Act

ACCOMMODATION: see Reasonable Accommodations

ADD/DROP: A system used to change a studentís schedule after registration has been formally completed. (Usually the first week of classes. Also called Schedule Adjustment.)

ALTERNATE FORMAT: Conversion of print materials into a form accessible to individuals who cannot read standard print. Examples include Braille, e-text, and large print.

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT: Federal law passed in 1990 (effective beginning January 26, 1992) extending the civil rights protections offered by Section 504 to places of public accommodations, state and local governments, and employment in addition to recipients of federal funding.

ASSISTIVE LISTENING DEVICE: Technology, usually consisting of a transmitter and a receiver, used to enhance sound for individuals with hearing impairments. Some may be used with or without hearing aids.

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY: Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially or off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

ASSOCIATEíS DEGREE: The degree awarded by community colleges and private two year colleges Associate of Science (A.S.), Associate of Art (A.A.), Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) and Associate in Occupational Studies (A.O.S.).

AUDIT: Student option for recording attendance in a course when no grade is desired.

BACCALAUREATE DEGREE (Bachelorís Degree): An academic degree awarded to students who successfully complete undergraduate requirements in a planned, approved program (usually requiring four years of full-time study to complete). Community college and private two year college graduates often transfer to a four year institution to complete this degree after receiving their Associate Degrees.

CAPTIONING: Providing text for speech.

CART: Communications Access Real-Time. Using court reporters to caption classroom lectures.

CATALOG: The book published by a college (annually or biannually) which describes the programs offered at the College, the academic policies of the College, services available to students, and short descriptions of each course.

CBVH: NYS Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped provides assistance to individuals who are legally blind with 20/200 in the corrected better eye.

ďCLOSEDĒ COURSE: Status of a course in which current enrollment has reached the number of students the instructor is scheduled to teach.

COLLEGE LEVEL EXAMINATION PROGRAM (CLEP): A standardized examination in college-level subject matter. The general examinations cover material offered in freshman-level English composition, humanities, fine arts, mathematics, natural sciences, and social science courses. Subject examinations cover material offered in specific advanced level courses.

CONFLICT: This occurs when the student attempts to register for two courses that are offered at the same time or which overlap.

CONTINUING STUDENT: Students who are considered eligible for registration the next semester because they were enrolled the previous semester (or were on an approved/recorded Leave of Absence) have not been academically dismissed, and have not yet graduated.

COREQUISITE: A requirement that may be met either before registration for a particular course or program, or at the same time as that course or program.

COUNSELOR: The Counseling Office has counselors available to help students with personal problems, academic problems, program changes, withdrawals, goal setting and interest testing.

COURSE NUMBERS: The numbers assigned to a particular course for registration identification purposes.

COURSE SUBSTITUTION: The substitution of a course for another required course that is specified in an academic program. Decisions regarding substitutions must be made on a case-by-case basis. Only courses that are non-essential can be substituted. Courses that essential to the program or that are required for licensure or certification cannot be substituted.

C-PRINT: A notetaking system developed for hard-of-hearing students. It is similar to CART, but captions meaning-for-meaning instead of word-for-word.

CREDIT HOUR: Unit of measure that indicates the number of classroom hours per week that the class is held. Credit hours for laboratory, studio and physical education skills courses are often computed on a different basis.

CUMULATIVE QUALITY POINT AVERAGE: The total of the studentís grade points for all semesters divided by the total number of credit hours completed for all semesters.

CURRICULUM: An organized course of study approved by the State Education Department that results in a degree. Ex. Business; Environmental Science; Nursing.

DEVELOPMENTAL COURSES: Courses which prepare the student to complete the courses necessary for their degree. These classes often do not count toward a degree.

DISABILITY: A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or major life activities.

DISMISSAL: Notification that a student can no longer attend that institution. Dismissal can be the result of poor grades resulting in Academic Dismissal or removal from the campus for behavior that violates the Student Code of Conduct.

E-TEXT: Print materials available in electronic (ďeĒ) format for use with a computer program which can read to the user.

EXTERNAL TRANSFER CREDIT: Credit granted for courses taken at another school.

FULL TIME STATUS: A student with a disability who cannot attend the expected number of full time hours due to the nature of their disability may be considered full time. Most colleges require documentation of a very significant disability and require recertification for full time status each semester.

FULL TIME STUDENT: Generally granted for a semester registration of 12 or more credits; an institution may grant full time status to a student with a disability enrolled for fewer than 12 credits if that registration is related to the impact of the disability on the student.

GRADE POINT: The value of a letter grade. A=4, B=3, C=2, D= I, F=0.

GRADE POINT AVERAGE: See Quality Point Average.

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE: Each institution must have a published formal procedure for students to follow if they feel that they have been treated unfairly by a college employee.

INCOMPLETE GRADE: Grade assigned by instructor to allow student to finish course requirements after course ends.

LIFE EXPERIENCE (LEAP): A program that allows students to use their life experience to earn credit for a degree.

LIBERAL ARTS: Liberal Arts are those academic disciplines taught without regard to specific preparation for a vocation, falling within the behavioral and social sciences, the humanities, the natural sciences and mathematics, and the fine arts. Specifically excluded are all vocational courses such as accounting or education courses.

MAJOR: Academic major to which a student has applied and been accepted by the specific department. Students with an accepted major are eligible to register for courses in that departmentís Ďmajors onlyí (restricted) courses. A student may have two majors.

MASTER COURSE SCHEDULE: Booklet containing the courses which will be offered in a given semester. This booklet is different each semester.

MASTERíS DEGREE: An academic degree awarded to students who successfully complete a prescribed course of graduate study (after a Bachelorís Degree).

MATRICULATE: The process of applying and being accepted into a degree program at a college or university. Being matriculated is important for academic advisement and financial aid purposes and allows the student to take advantage of all services within the school.

MATRICULATED STUDENT: A student who enrolls or registers in a college as a degree candidate (necessary for financial aid).

NONMATRICULATED STUDENT: An individual who may be enrolled in courses at a college but is not working toward a degree.

OPEN COLLEGE ELECTIVE (General Elective or Elective): A course from any of the college degree credit courses.

OVERLOAD: Students who are registered for more than 19 semester credit hours. This is possible only if a studentís advisor has granted permission and students have paid tuition at the parttime student rate for any credit hours over the 19 credit hour limit.

PART-TIME STUDENTS: Students who register for fewer than 12 semester credit hours.

PERSONAL CARE ASSISTANT: A person who assists the individual with a disability with activities of daily living. This is generally the responsibility of the individual with a disability and not the college or university.

PHYSICAL ACCESSIBILITY: The extent to which the buildings and grounds of an institution needs modifications, accommodations or adaptations in order to provide the individual with a disability an opportunity to get from place to place in the institution, and make use of its facilities.

PLACEMENT TEST: Test designed to measure the studentís ability in English and/or mathematics and then to prescribe what English and/or mathematics courses the student will begin with.

PRE-REGISTRATION (Early Registration): Continuing students are able to register for courses in the next semester at the end of the semester they are currently attending.

PRE-REQUISITE: A basic course that the student is required to take before registering for an advanced course.

PRIORITY REGISTRATION: Permission given to students with disabilities to register early when the nature of the disability significantly impacts course selection and time scheduling.

PROBATION: Status of a student who may face dismissal if the grades or actions that prompted the probation are not improved within a designated period of time.

PROGRAM ACCESSIBILITY: The extent to which any given program needs modifications, accommodations or adaptations in order to provide the individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in the program.

PROGRAM CHANGE: The process a student must use to change from one major course of study to another.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS: Courses that form the basis for an academic major and are essential to completing that program or meeting license or certification requirements. These courses are essential to the program and cannot be waived or substituted.

QUALITY POINT AVERAGE (Grade Point Average): The total of the studentís grade points in a semester divided by the total number of credit hours completed for that semester.

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS: Those academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and services, program modifications or physical access adjustments that are made to the programs, employment opportunities, activities, and services sponsored by the college to provide equal access to all otherwise qualified persons with disabilities.

REGISTRATION: The process of selecting the courses and sections of each studentís class schedule for a specific semester.

RESERVED COURSES: Courses in which enrollment is limited to those people who are matriculated into the designated degree program.

REGISTRAR: The administrator who is in charge of the Registration or Records office.

REGISTRARíS OFFICE: The office on campus in charge of student transcripts, verifying students status at school, registering and issuing student semester schedules, grades, end of the term reports, and processing the studentís graduation certification.

SCHEDULE ADJUSTMENT: Changing courses or sections on studentís approved semester course schedule. May require the approval of the studentís academic advisor.

SECTION 504: The section of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, which requires that all institutions that receive Federal assistance must make their programs, services and activities accessible to individuals with disabilities.

SECTIONS: Various classes of the same course in the same semester. They may have different days, times, instructors, and/or rooms, but course content will be the same.

STUDENT CODE OF CONDUCT: Rules of behavior established by the college describing unsatisfactory behavior by a student. Includes rules such as those that govern use of alcohol or drugs on campus or at campus events. Violation of these published rules can result in probation or dismissal.

TRANSCRIPT: The studentís educational record. Official transcripts are sent from institution to institution or to potential employers at the studentís request and bear the seal of the College.

TTY/TDD: TeleText Type, or Telecommunications Device for the Deaf, is a device which permits individuals who are hearing or speech impaired to communicate through the use of text transmission over phone lines.

TESTING ACCOMMODATIONS: Those adjustments to test location, administration or format that are approved for an individual student for a given test or course.

VESID: Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities. This is New York Stateís vocational rehabilitation services department for all individuals with disabilities except those who are blind.

VRS: Vocational Rehabilitation Services. (Also: Video Relay Service)

WITHDRAWAL FROM COURSE: When a student cannot continue in a course for some reason, he or she must formally withdraw from that course. The withdrawal is not finalized until the Registrarís Office receives all necessary paperwork. Failure to complete the withdrawal process will result in F grade in the course. A student cannot withdraw beyond established dates. The student withdraws ONLY from that course or courses but remains enrolled in the rest of the courses for which he or she is registered.

WITHDRAWAL FROM COLLEGE: Formal process utilized to change the status of an active student to one who is inactive. Discontinuance of attendance, notifying instructors, or mere telephone contact with college personnel do not constitute an official withdrawal. Students remain both academically and financially responsible for all incurred expenses until l the withdrawal procedure has been finalized.