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Glossary

Advanced Placement:  Courses and exams that students can take while still in high school to receive college credit.  Acceptance of credit is determined by the college or university based on scores or AP exams.

Applicability: Transfer course work that applies to graduation requirements in a specific major at the receiving institution.

Application Fee Waiver:  The fee waiver provides freedom from payment of the admission application fee.

Articulation Agreement:  A written agreement that lists courses at one college that are equivalent (or acceptable in lieu of) courses at another college.

Associate Degree:  A degree usually awarded by a community college upon completion of 60 SCH of college work including general education, major requirements, and electives. This may be an Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT), (AAS), or an Associate of Science (AS) degree, depending on the student’s major.

Associate of Arts/Associate of Arts in Teaching/Associate of Science (Transfer Degrees): Usually referred to as the University Transfer Program, the degree is designed for students who plan to complete their first two years of college work at an community college and then transfer as a junior to four-year institution of their choice.

Associate of Applied Science Degrees (Technical Degree): Associate of Applied Science degrees prepare students for entry into specific occupation or are designed to articulate with four-year technical programs, like a  BAAS or BAT.

Bachelor’s or Baccalaureate Degree:  A degree, awarded upon completion of a program of study of 120 college units or more.  These units may all be earned at a four-year institution, or may be a combination of units earned at a community college and a four-year university. The degree may be a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAAS), Bachelor’s of Applied Technology (BAT) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree, depending on the student’s major.

Concentration:   An option or special emphasis within a degree program.

Consortium Agreements: A grouping of regionally accredited colleges that allows for smooth transfer of college credit.

Core Curriculum:  a set of courses that fulfill lower-division (freshman and sophomore) requirements for a specific major/degree plan in addition to the core curriculum, guaranteed to transfer to any public college or university in Texas.  More info here.

Credit/No Credit:  A form of grading whereby a student receives a grade of CR or NC instead of an A, B, C, D, or F. A CR is assigned for class work the equivalent of a grade of C or above. A grade of CR may not be recognized by some universities or programs.

Doctorate Degree:  Awarded upon the completion of a prescribed program beyond the master’s degree level.

Electives:Courses which are not required for the major or general education but which are acceptable for credit.

Field of Study Curriculum:  Field of study curriculum” means a set of courses that will satisfy the lower division requirements for a bachelor’s degree in a specific academic area at a general academic teaching institution.  Here are the degrees that have field of study curriculum:  Business, Communication, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Engineering, Engineering Technology, Mexican-American Studies, Music, Nursing

Filing Periods:  The period of time during which specific requests or applications must be submitted. This commonly applies to enrollment for a specific quarter or semester, applications for scholarships, or applications to a specific college or university

Grade Point Average – (GPA): The indication of the overall level of academic achievement.  It is an important measure used in making decisions about probation and disqualification, eligibility for graduation, and transfer to four-year institutions.  The grade point average is derived from the following unit system:

                                A – 4 grade points per SCH
                                B – 4 grade points per SCH
                                C – 3 grade points per SCH
                                D – 1 grade points per SCH
                                F – 0 grade points per SCH

The GPA is calculated by dividing the total number of grade points received by the number of SCH attempted.

Independent College/University:  Also known as private universities, not state funded institutions.

Joint Admission Agreement Program:  A program between some four-year universities and a community college that offers transfer students priority consideration, benefits, and sometimes scholarships certain academic criteria are met.

 Junior Status: At least sixty (60) semester hours of completed course work from a regionally accredited institution. Junior status does not necessarily mean that the student has two years of course work remaining to graduate.

Liberal Arts:  Broad-based programs/courses in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.

Lower Division:  Courses at the freshman or sophomore level of college, commonly designated with 1000-2000 course numbers.  Community colleges offer lower division courses.

 Lower Division Major Preparation:  A set of courses required for a major that sets the foundation for upper division coursework.  In general, students are encouraged, sometimes required, to complete as many lower division major courses prior to transfer.

Major:Planned series of courses in one particular field designed to develop special skills or expertise.

Master’s Degree:  Awarded upon the completion of a prescribed program beyond the bachelor’s degree level, typically 35-50 additional units. This may be a Master of Arts (MA), Master of Education (MED), or a Master of Science (MS) degree, depending on the student’s major.

Minor:  A secondary field of study outside of the major, often requiring substantially less course work.

Postsecondary:  Education instruction beyond high school.

Pre-Professional:  Undergraduate coursework either recommended or required for enrollment in professional schools.

Prerequisites:  Requirement that must be met before enrolling in a particular course, major, or program.

Professional Schools:  Law, medicine, dentistry, veterinary, medicine, pharmacy and other schools which require or recommend specific undergraduate preparation.

Provisional Admission (aka: Conditional Admission):  Most four-year institutions will initially admit students on a provisional basis. This simply means that admission may be revoked if the student does not submit final transcripts from their community college showing that they have fulfilled all transfer requirements.

Regional Accreditation: There are six regional accrediting commissions across the U.S. State assisted colleges and universities usually require that, in order for course work to be transferable, it must have been taken at a regionally accredited institution. (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is the accrediting body for this region of the U.S.)

Residence Requirements:  States that a certain number of SCH must be taken on the campus from which the students expects to receive a degree.

Resident/Non-Resident Status:  Student status based on place of legal residence.  Non-residents (out of state) often have to pay higher fees and meet higher admission requirements at state financed colleges and universities.

Reverse Transfer: When a student transfers from a four-year to a two-year institution of higher education.

Selection Criteria:  When a university campus cannot admit all the eligible applicants, it applies additional standards.  Selection criteria often exceed minimum eligibility requirements.

Semester Credit Hours:  The measure of college credit given a course, usually on the basis of one credit hour for each lecture hour per week or for every two to three laboratory hours per week.

Semester System:  Approximately 16 weeks of instruction offered two times a year, during the fall and spring.

Teaching Credential:  A basic multiple- or single-subject teaching certification obtained upon completion of a bachelor’s degree and prescribed professional education requirements in four or more years of college.

Transcript:  A list of all courses attempted at a college or university showing the final grade received for each course. Official transcripts bear a seal of the college and signature of a designated college official.

Transfer:  Changing from one college to another after meeting the requirements for admission to the second institution.

Transfer Compact:  A Transfer Compact is a voluntary agreement among institutions of higher education within the State of Texas. Its purpose is to foster enhanced transfer processes for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a degree and to increase the number and preparedness of students matriculating from a two-year program at community colleges into a baccalaureate program at four-year universities. The intention of this transfer compact is not to change the curriculum of a four-year institution. The intention of this agreement is to provide guidance to students with respect to what courses offer the best mechanism for obtaining a bachelor’s degree.  More info can be found here.

Transferability: Transfer of college-level course work between regionally accredited institutions. Does not assume applicability to any specific major at the receiving institution.

Transfer Student: A student who is applying to an institution of higher education who has previously attended another institution of higher education.

Undergraduate:  A student enrolled in the years of college study prior to receiving a bachelor’s degree. 

 Upper Division:  The junior and senior years of college or university study, commonly designated with a 3000-4000 course number.

 2 + 2: Refers to the idea of taking the first two years of college-level work at a community/technical college and then transferring with two years remaining at the four-year college/university.