researching and/or applying to a college can seem overwhelming.
when they use what seems like this whole other language when writing
handbook. This list is comprised of terms that may be new and/or
confusing to someone who is unfamiliar with the college jargon.
this list will be helpful in clarifying some of these terms or phrases.
note: This is a general list of definitions. Terms may vary
depending on the college. Check with the college you will be
because they will ultimately decide what each of these words mean!
Accredited - a college that is ACCREDITED maintains certain
for its graduates that others recognize as respectable. It is one
way for an employer to determine the level of preparation the graduate
has had in college.
Add/Drop - This term refers to schedule changes. If you
that you have registered for a class that you do not want to take, you
may go to the REGISTRAR’S OFFICE to DROP the course. If you wish
to take a course that you did not register for already, you may ADD the
course. *Pay attention to deadlines when deciding to ADD or DROP
a class, it could save you a lot of hassle and A LOT OF MONEY!*
Advisor - All full-time students have an ADVISOR. This
is much like a high school guidance counselor. You may go to them
with ANY questions you might have.
Associate’s Degree - This degree traditionally involves 2 years
of full-time study. Usually, 60-65 CREDIT HOURS are completed
receiving this degree.
Bachelor's Degree - This degree traditionally involves 4 years
full-time study. Colleges, although each varies depending on the
program, require the student to complete a minimum of 120 CREDIT HOURS.
Commencement - This is another word for "graduation day."
It is the ceremony that is held by the college that recognizes your
Concentration - this term relates to MAJOR or MINOR. A
is an area of interest that a student may decide to take additional
in. Some colleges offer the option of recognizing this area as a
CONCENTRATION, while others do not. Usually, this term will be
with Elementary Education MAJORS because they are usually given the
to choose a CONCENTRATION. For example, a CONCENTRATION in
or American Studies may be chosen with a degree in Elementary Education.
Course Catalog/Viewbook/Handbook - Each of these terms is used
The purpose of the CATALOG is to give an overview of each program,
describe each course, outline the degree requirements for each program,
overview the financial aid available to incoming students, etc.
CATALOGS offer more information.)
Credit Hour(s) - Each course has a certain number of CREDIT
Classes can be anywhere from 1-6 CREDIT HOURS. *Make note that
are charged per CREDIT HOUR.*
Chair (Chairperson) - This person is the head of a
They oversee everything that goes on in that department. The
is not necessarily someone that you will need to talk to during the
process. Unless you are directed to the CHAIRPERSON of a
department, you do not need to concern yourself with him/her.
Learning - Some colleges offer this option while others do not. If
you are unable to get to a college campus, this might be the program
you. For more information, click HERE.
- Federal Application For Student Aid; a form that the government uses
to determine the amount of money a person is eligible to receive.
This is not necessarily the amount of money a college will give that
Occasionally, he/she will be eligible for more aid depending on what
college has to offer. (click HERE to
about Financial Aid.)
- Grade Point Average; Usually on a 4.0 scale with A=4.0, B=3.0, C=2.0,
D=1.0, F=0.0; students receive a grade for each class (unless Pass/Fail
option listed below) and an accumulative GPA for the entire time they
Classes - Instructional Television Classes are part of what is
as DISTANCE LEARNING. They allow universities to offer classes
would not normally be able to because ITV teachers only teach at ONE
From this college, they are videotaped and watched by students at many
other colleges. When it comes time to decide which classes you
register for, check to see if any of your classes are ITV
This style of teaching does not work best for all students. If
are concerned with this, talk to your ADVISOR to decide the best plan
- The field in which a student chooses to study is called his/her
MAJORING in a particular area of interest requires that you complete a
specified number of CREDIT HOURS in that area. To see how many
HOURS are necessary at the college of your choice, see the course
Matriculated vs. Non-matriculated - A MATRICULATED student is
who has been accepted into a degree program. This is different
a NON-MATRICULATED student who is simply taking classes, but is not
toward a degree.
- A field of study that a student chooses to focus on. Much like
a MAJOR, to have a MINOR recognized on a TRANSCRIPT, a specified number
of CREDIT HOURS must be satisfied. Depending in the area of
the number of CREDIT HOURS varies (see the course CATALOG).
Option - The PASS/FAIL OPTION refers to the grade you will receive
in a class. Instead of receiving a letter grade, you will receive
a PASS or FAIL. The advantage to this option is that the PASS or
FAIL does NOT affect your GPA. For instance, if there is a class
that you are worried about getting a C- in, which might drop your GPA
a 3.1 to a 2.8, you may have the option of taking it PASS/FAIL.
a C- is a passing grade, you would get a PASS and receive credit for
course without the consequence of your GPA dropping.
- When it comes time to apply to a college, one of the requirements
be RECOMMENDATIONS from employers or teachers. A RECOMMENDATION
simply a letter that states that the person applying to the college is
capable of doing the required work.
- A TRANSCRIPT is a record of a student's college grades as well as any
scores from SAT or GRE tests. When a student graduates, he/she
one TRANSCRIPT from each college attended.
Agreements - a TRANSFER AGREEMENT is an agreement between two
that says the college you are transferring TO will accept the credit
you have earned at the college you are transferring FROM. This
is made between individual colleges. For more information,
the college's ADMISSIONS OFFICE or see the COURSE CATALOG. You
also check THE POST SECONDARY GUIDE OF MAINE located in the Adult Basic
- As a student, you may drop a class at any time during the
This is called WITHDRAWING from the course. The policy differs
each college, so if this is something you need information about, refer
to the COURSE CATALOG/ VIEWBOOK for your college. *Also note that
WITHDRAWING from a course means that you lose the money you have paid
- WORK-STUDY is a federal program that every college has available to
with financial need (based on the FAFSA you file). A certain
of jobs are set aside for students to work on campus. The amount
of money you may earn is limited. One student may make $2,000
another may be limited to $1,600. It is given to the student on a
weekly or bi-weekly basis depending on the college's pay
To learn more about WORK STUDY, click HERE.