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Academic Adviser
The person at a college who helps a student decide what classes to take, when to take them, how many credits to take, what major to pursue, etc.
Academic Standards
College standards, such as a certain grade point average, that students must maintain in order to remain in good standing with the college.
Academic Year
Each institution's annual schedule. Academic years are usually divided into quarters, semesters or trimesters. See Calendar.
Colleges and schools must meet requirements in academic programs, facilities, teaching, etc. to be certified by accrediting agencies. Usually, colleges must be accredited for their students to receive financial aid.
Achievement Tests
Standardized tests given by the College Board in several high school subjects. Colleges look at scores when making decisions about admission and course placement. These tests are not required by most schools.
See American College Testing Program.
Admission Requirements
Students who want to attend a college must meet that college's specific requirements to be considered for admission. These may include high school grade point average, standardized test scores, high school courses, etc.
Admissions Tests
See Standardized Admission Tests.
Advanced Credit
Some colleges offer tests for advanced college credit. Students who receive a high score on these tests can earn credit in specific subject areas and may skip to higher-level courses.
Advanced Placement (AP)
College-level courses (designed by the College Board) offered in high school. Students may take an AP test at the completion of these courses. Students with high scores on these tests can be placed in upper-level college courses and may receive college credit for beginning.
Advanced or Early Registration
A period of time set by colleges during which students can register early for classes.
People who have graduated from a college.
American College Testing (ACT) Program
A company that produces standardized admissions tests, including the ACT and PLAN. Some colleges use ACT scores to determine admission eligibility. See Standardized Admissions Tests.
Application Fee
A charge to process a student's application. In some cases, this fee is waived if a student shows financial need.
Training programs that combine on-the-job and course work. The result is certified skills in specific trades. Apprentices are usually paid for their training.
Articulation Agreements
An agreement between two schools that allows course credit at one school to be accepted or transferred and applied toward a degree or certificate at another school.
Arts and Sciences
A group of academic studies that may include fine arts, languages, social sciences, natural sciences and humanities. The group may be called a division, college or school; for example, the College of Arts and Sciences at State University.
Associate Instructor (AI)
See Teaching Assistant.
Associate's Degree
You can earn an associate’s degree in nursing in 2-3 years. Associate’s degrees in nursing are most commonly offered at community and junior colleges, but some four-year schools and universities offer them as well. An associate’s degree will prepare you for a large number of career opportunities in nursing. It will qualify you to work in a wide variety of areas in health care providing care to individuals and families in order to promote, improve, or maintain their health. If you later decide to continue your education and go for a bachelor’s degree, you may have already completed most of the prerequisites and general education requirements for entering a four-year program. (You may even be able to complete the remainder of the four-year degree in 1 to 1½ years.

Baccalaureate or Bachelor's Degree
A bachelor’s degree is typically earned in 4 years, which is why the colleges that offer bachelor’s degrees are sometimes referred to as four-year schools. Students who are studying for a bachelor’s degree are called undergraduates. A bachelor’s degree can increase your career options and advancement opportunities in nursing. It prepares you to provide care to individuals, families, groups and communities in order to promote, improve, or maintain their health. It also gets you ready for leadership positions in the health care industry and positions in community health. A bachelor’s degree is required for admission to a graduate program in nursing also known as a master’s degree program.
Board of Trustees
The policy-making and governing body of a college.
The person or office in charge of money at a college. Students pay the bursar for tuition and room and board.

How a college divides a year for classes and grading. Calendars usually run from August to May or September to June, with an additional summer calendar. See Academic Year, Quarter, Semester, Trimester.
The grounds, class buildings, and residence halls of a college.
Career Plan
A set of steps to be followed over a period of time to get a desired job.
A college's book of general information about classes, faculty, costs and admission and degree requirements.
A document granted by colleges after completion of study for a specific occupation.
Certificate of Technical Achievement
A certificate, similar to a report card, that can be updated during and after high school. It is awarded to students who master specific technical skills and knowledge.
The highest administrator of an academic department; usually a professor.
Chief administrator of a college campus; called a "president" at some schools.
Civic Group
A community organization or club that usually wants to improve life in the community.
Both men and women being included in a program or facility; for instance, being able to attend the same college or live in the same residence hall.
A school offering studies that lead to an academic degree. A college can be part of a larger university system, or stand alone. Colleges not in a university system usually do not offer graduate degrees.
College Board
Nonprofit association made up of college, schools, universities and other educational organizations. College Board administers the SAT, PSAT/ NMSQT tests and Advanced Placement. See SAT I, PSAT / NMSQT, Advanced Placement.
College Scholarship Service
This service processes a supplemental financial aid application called the Profile. Some colleges and universities require the Profile in addition to other financial aid forms. This is a College Board service that students must pay for. See Profile Application.
Graduation ceremony to recognize students who have completed degree requirements.
Community College
College that offers programs (usually two years or less for full-time students) leading to certificates or associate's degrees. These programs prepare students for immediate employment or for transfer to a college or university offering bachelor's degrees.
Commuter Student
A student who does not live on-campus, but travels to campus to take classes.
Competitive Admission Policy
See Selective Admission Policy.
Conditional Admission
A college may admit students who have not met all the admission requirements. To remain, these students must fulfill specified requirements before or during their enrollment.
In education, an agreement between schools that enables students who attend one school to attend class and use resources at another school.
Cooperative Education (Co-op) Education
A program in which a student combines employment and study in a career field.
Core Classes
Classes that all students in a major program are required to take.
A required class or lab taken with a related course.
Correspondence Course
A class in which students receive lessons in the mail and send completed assignments to instructors. Correspondence is an example of distance education. See Distance Education and Independent Study.
Another name for "class."
Course Evaluation
A survey usually given at the end of a semester. Students give their opinions about the instructor and the course.
Course Number
Numbers assigned to courses to show their level of difficulty or depth/breadth of study. A 100-level course is less difficult or broader in scope than a 200-level course.
How schools measure a student's progress toward a diploma or degree. The number of credits assigned to a course depends, in part, on how much time is spent in class each week. For example, most courses offered by colleges on semester calendars are worth three credits. Credits are also referred to as "credit hours" or simply, "hours."
The available courses in a program of study at a specific college.

The highest officer of a division, college or school, such as Dean of the School of Education. Deans usually report directly to a provost, chancellor or the president of a college.
Declare a Major
Officially tell a college your major, or area of study. See Major.
Deferred Admission
A college may accept a student but then allow the student to delay coming to the school for one year.
Deficiency Points
These indicate unsatisfactory classwork. Students with these can be put on academic probation or dismissed from school.
After finishing a program of study at a college, students receive an academic recognition. For example, a Bachelor of Nursing from Samuel Merritt School of nursing.
An area of study in a larger college or school. Professors specialize in an area of study, and teach for that area's department.
An official document awarded by colleges and high schools to students when they complete required courses of study.
A field of study. See Major.
Discussion Section
When a small group of students meet to discuss the lecture portion of a class. Discussions are often led by a graduate student called an Associate Instructor or Teaching Assistant.
Students can be dismissed or expelled for consistently poor grades or breaking rules.
Distance Education
Classes taught over satellite or local television, by video tape or CD ROM, through the Internet and by correspondence. Some may be regularly scheduled; others may be taken when most convenient for the student's schedule.
Distribution Requirements
See General Education Requirements.
The highest university degree, also called a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.).
See Residence Hall.
Double Major
Meeting requirements for two majors. See Major.
Dual or Concurrent Enrollment/Dual Credit
Some colleges enroll high-achieving high school students in college courses that may fulfill both high school and college graduation requirements. Students must gain permission from the high school principal or guidance counselor and admission to a college. College students may also dual enroll in two degree programs.

Early Admission
Students can take the necessary standardized tests and apply early in their senior year for admission to some colleges. If you choose to apply for early admission and are accepted, the institution guarantees you a place and you promise to attend the institution.
An optional, instead of required class. Some electives fulfill general education requirements outside of a major.
Emeritus Faculty
Honored faculty members, usually retired from teaching.
To become a student at a university by registering for courses and paying tuition and fees. See Registration, Matriculate.
A course requirement that is fulfilled by passing an exam in the subject.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC)
Analysis on how much money a family can contribute toward education expenses.
Extracurricular Activities
Non-required activities that occur outside the classroom.

The teachers, professors and instructors who teach at schools.
Faculty Advisor
See Academic Advisor.
See Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Federal Pell Grant
A federal financial aid grant program which is not paid back. Students apply by filling out the FAFSA.
Federal Perkins Student Loan
A low-interest loan for students who show financial need. It must be repaid after graduation. Students apply by filling out the FAFSA.
Federal PLUS (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students) and/or Federal Direct PLUS
Financial aid to parents, processed through a bank, other lending agency, college or university to help pay for college. These loans must be repaid with interest. Repayment begins 60 days after the loan is issued to the parent(s).
Federal Subsidized Stafford Loan and Direct Ford Loan
Student financial aid processed through a bank and/ or college. A student must be enrolled in a college degree program at least part time to receive a Stafford Loan. Loans must be paid back with interest after a student leaves college. Students apply by filling out a FAFSA.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
Federal grant for students with exceptional need. Students apply by filling out a FAFSA.
Federal Unsubsidized Stafford/Direct Unsubsidized Ford Loan
Similar to a Federal Stafford Loan, except interest is paid by the student during college.
Money charged by a college for services provided to a student. Fees are often charged for lab materials, computer use and recreational facilities.
Fee Waiver
A written statement that says the student does not have to pay a certain fee. Some scholarships give fee waivers for tuition.
Finals Week
Time at the end of the semester when classes do not meet and final tests are given.
Financial Aid
Federal, state, college, and private programs that help students pay for college costs. Financial aid may come in the form of grants and scholarships, loans or work-study programs.
Financial Aid Counselor
A college staff member who helps students and parents fill out financial aid forms and processes financial aid money.
Financial Need
Difference between the cost of attending college and the Expected Family Contribution. A student's (or family's) financial need determines how much financial aid will be awarded.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
The required application for federal, state and institutional financial aid. Indiana students must file their applications between January 1 and March 1 of the year the student plans to attend college to meet the priority deadline.
Full-time Student
A student who carries a minimum number of credits or hours to be considered "full time" by a college. The number of credits considered to be a full-time load varies. Schools on a semester calendar often require at least 12-hours for full-time status. See Calendar, Part-time Student.
4-1-4 or 4-4-1
Calendar used by some colleges. There are two regular semesters of four months, with one month long semester between or following them.

General Education Requirements
The courses you take for the first year of college are called general education. Colleges consider general education courses to be the broad-based body of knowledge essential to a well-rounded education. All students are required to complete general education requirements in order to graduate.
Gift Aid
Financial aid that is not repaid, such as grants and scholarships.
Making a decision about the type of degree you’re going earn. There are three educational pathways to nursing: Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN), Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN).
Grade Point Average (GPA)
A system for evaluating the overall scholastic performance of students. Grades are often measured on a four-point scale in which an "A" equals four points and a "B" equals three points, etc. These are called grade points. Total points are found by multiplying the number of credits for a course by the student's grade point. A student's GPA is found by dividing the sum of grade points by the number of course credits.
A person who receives a certificate, degree, or diploma from a school.
Graduate Assistant (GA)
A GA helps a professor with research or works for an academic department. GAs usually receive a salary and reduced tuition. See Teaching Assistant.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
A test often used to determine eligibility for graduate school (administered by the Educational Testing Service).
Graduate Student
A student who has received a bachelor's degree and is working on an advanced degree such as a master's or doctorate.
Financial aid based on student need; it is not repaid.
Greek Organizations
Student organizations named by Greek letters. These organizations may be academic, social or charitable. Members of social Greek organizations (such as fraternities and sororities) frequently live together in a "Greek House."
Guaranteed Student Loan (GSL)
See Federal Stafford Loan.

Higher Education
See Postsecondary Education.
Organizations to which students are nominated for membership based on high grades, outstanding school service or both.
Living arrangements for students at colleges or private secondary schools.

Identification Card (ID)
Card issued to identify a student. IDs are often required for meal plans, borrowing library books or for admission to college-sponsored activities.
Independent College
A college or other school that is supported with private money, but not supported financially by the state. Some independent colleges have a religious affiliation or are single-gender schools.
Independent Study
Studying a subject for credit without regular classroom instruction. This may refer to on-campus courses that you take independently, or through distance education. See Distance Education, Correspondence Course.
Individualized Major
See Student-designed Major.
Informational Interview
A meeting with an experienced person to gain knowledge or understanding. This can be used to find out about a job or career, such as the training and responsibility involved.
In the education field, it is a school, college, or university.
A nontenured teacher at a school. See Tenure.
Any competition or activity taking place between different colleges.
Programs or courses using knowledge from two or more academic areas. See Discipline.
Interest Inventory
An exercise or set of exercises used to identify possible areas of career interests.
Experience gained by students working at jobs on or off campus. Students get practical experience in their area of study.
Intramural Sports
Athletic activities between a school's students.

Job Shadowing
Time spent with someone who is at work. This time is used to better understand what people do in their job.
Junior College
See Community College.

Financial aid that must be repaid with interest after a student leaves college.

A focused area of study. Students take many classes in their major, gain specialized knowledge and earn a degree in that area.
Master's Degree
It usually takes 1-3 years to complete a master’s degree program. Master’s degree programs are commonly referred to as graduate programs or graduate school. Community colleges and junior colleges do not offer graduate programs. A student becomes eligible to enroll in a graduate program once he or she has earned a bachelor’s degree. There are two types of master’s degree programs:
  1. Graduate programs that require you to have a bachelors degree or equivalent in nursing. Upon admission you select the specific specialty track you want to study.
  2. Entry Level graduate programs are for you if you have a bachelors degree in a non-nursing area, are not a registered nurse, and have decided that you would like to study to become a nurse. Entry-level graduate programs build upon your bachelors degree and, after you complete the courses that prepare you to take the registered nurse licensure exam, you can select the specialty area you want to study.
Graduate programs prepare individuals for advanced nursing positions. Clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, nurse clinicians, teachers, researchers, administrators, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, nurse educators, and administrators are all advanced nursing positions.
To register or enroll in a college.
A person who gives advice and help.
An area of interest studied at the same time as a major. It is rarely in the same department as a major and requires fewer classes than a major.

National Achievement Scholarship Program for Outstanding Negro Students
A scholarship program for African-Americans only, similar to the National Merit Scholarships and based on junior year PSAT scores. See National Merit Scholarships.
National Direct Student Loan (NDSL)
See Federal Perkins Student Loan.
National Merit Scholarships
Competitive scholarships limited in number and offered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
Winners are determined by PSAT scores and other criteria.
Need Analysis Form
A form, filled out by the student and/or family members, used to determine the amount of financial aid the student can receive. The FAFSA is the federal need analysis form. See Free Application For Student Aid.
See National Merit Scholarships, Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).
Nontransferable Degree
A degree, often an associate's, that cannot be counted as credit toward more education, like a bachelor's degree, at the same or a different college. See Transferable Degree.
Nursing Education
A major is a focused area of study. You must complete certain classes in their major to earn a nursing degree. In order to earn a Nursing degree, students must take a certain number of classes in their major for the purpose of gaining specialized knowledge. Nursing courses include classroom instruction and supervised "hands on" clinical experience and education in hospitals, clinics, community agencies and other health care settings. A health care setting is anywhere a nurse provides patient care. In addition to general education requirements, typical course work may include courses in the following subjects:
  • Basic Nutrition
  • Chemistry
  • General Psychology
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Human Development
  • Microbiology
  • Nursing Science
  • Pharmacology

Occupational Outlook
A prediction of future job openings in specific career fields.
Occupational Training
Education and training to prepare for a particular occupation.
Office Hours
In education, hours set aside by an instructor to meet with students.
In education, a person who acts on behalf of students and others in the college community who have difficulties with the college.
On-the-job Training
Training provided for employees while they are learning a job; the employee creates a product or provides a service while being trained.
Open Admission Policy (Open Door Policy)
Admission policy in which anyone with a high school diploma or its equivalent can take classes.
See Rolling Admission, Selective Admission.
Programs to help new students and parents get to know a college. Orientation usually takes place before or at the beginning of the academic year.

Parent Loan
See Federal PLUS.
Part-time Student
A student enrolled in a number of course credits that is less than full time. Usually, this is less than 12 credits a semester.
Pell Grant
See Federal Pell Grant.
See Doctorate.
An effort to donate time and/or money to others. A philanthropic organization may donate money or service to organizations and individuals.
Test taken (often in sophomore year of high school) to prepare for the ACT. See American College Testing Program and Standardized Admissions Tests.
A file of materials created by a student that displays and explains skills, talents, experiences and knowledge gained throughout life. Portfolios are often used when applying for a job.
Postsecondary Education
Education after high school at a public, independent, technical, community or junior college or university.
Pre-admission Summer Program
College programs offered to freshmen before fall classes. Courses may be skill-building or regular college classes.
Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT)
A high school test that measures critical reading, writing and math skills and prepares students for the SAT I. It also determines eligibility for the National Merit Scholarship. See Scholastic Assessment Test.
Course sequences for undergraduate students to prepare for graduate work in the same area.
Beginning class (usually required) that prepares student for a more advanced class. The requirements for admission to a nursing program. Most nursing schools will require the following science and related courses: anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, psychology, sociology, and algebra. Some programs may even have a foreign language requirement. Admissions requirements as well as exceptions to the admission requirements are different from school to school and program to program.
At the end of the nursing program, students must pass the state board licensure examination (NCLEX) to become a licensed registered nurse.
Private College
See Independent College.
Academic status of students whose GPA falls below a minimum level (this varies from school to school).
A teacher at a college (often tenured). See Tenure.
Profile Application
A supplemental application required by some colleges for school-based financial aid. This form must be completed and mailed to the College Board's College Scholarship Service. Some colleges require it earlier than the FAFSA.
Set of required courses for a degree in a major area of study. Proprietary Schools: Colleges that operate as profit-making institutions. These colleges provide students with training in specific fields.
A booklet of general information about a college or program.
A college's chief academic officer (sometimes called an academic dean). A provost often reports directly to the president of a college or university.
See Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) .
Public College
College or other school supported by the state; the state pays part of the school's operating costs.

Group of four residence halls or academic buildings.
A calendar used by some colleges. The quarter school year is broken down into four periods, each lasting 10 to 12 weeks.
Quiet Floor/Hours
Part of a residence hall or hours during the day where students are expected to maintain a very low noise level.

Reading Days
Days between the end of classes and beginning of final exams to be used to prepare for final exams.
Person (or office) in a college who manages class schedules and academic records.
Officially enrolling in classes for the upcoming grading period.
Religious Affiliation
Private colleges associated with religious organizations.
Remedial Course
A course that teaches skills needed to succeed in college courses. These skills are in the areas of math, writing, reading, etc.
A set of conditions that must be met in order to do something, such as be accepted to a college, complete a degree, etc.
Residence Hall (Dormitory)
A campus building where students live. Food service, social and educational activities are provided. Some colleges require students to live in residence halls for a certain amount of time.
Residency Requirements
Most colleges require that students spend a certain amount of time on campus taking classes or living on campus. This term can also mean the minimum amount of time a student must live in the state to pay in-state tuition, which (for public colleges) is lower than the tuition paid by out-of-state students.
Resident Assistant (RA)
A trained student who lives in a dormitory to coordinate programs and activities. RAs may also help students with problems in the dorm or counsel students about campus difficulties.
Rolling Admission
Schools with this admission practice accept applications throughout the year and decide whether or not to admit students as soon as they receive the required materials. See Open Admission Policy, Selective Admission.
Room and Board
The cost for living in residence halls or other campus housing (room) and receiving meals from the housing food service (board).

See Scholastic Assessment Test.
Subject tests
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Completion of courses according to school standards. Satisfactory academic progress must be shown to receive financial aid and continue in school.
An effort to provide all students high-level skills for the future and connect their education to the work world.
Financial aid awarded for academic and other achievements (music, athletics, etc.). Scholarships do not have to be paid back.
Scholastic Assessment Test I (SAT I)
A standardized admission test published by the College Board. Some colleges use SAT I to determine
admission eligibility. See Standardized Admissions Tests.
Selective Admission Policy
An admission policy in which a college only admits students who meet certain requirements (sometimes referred to as Competitive Admission Policy). See Open Admission, Rolling Admission.
Calendar system used by some schools. Classes and grade reports are divided into two periods, each lasting about 15 weeks.
Standardized Admissions Tests (SAT I, ACT, etc.)
These tests (such as ACT and SAT I) are designed to measure knowledge and skills and are used to predict achievement in college. The test score may be considered along with other factors for admission to the college.
Student Activities
See Extracurricular Activities.
Student Aid Report (SAR)
Summary of information that details a family's Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and Pell Grant eligibility. Families receive this after filling out a FAFSA.
Student Body
All students who attend a particular school.
Student Center or Student Union
A building on campus designed for a variety of uses by students. A bookstore, dining facilities, administrative offices, game rooms, etc. may be located here.
Student-designed Major
At some colleges, students can plan an individualized major. Such programs must be approved by appropriate college administrators.
Student Loan
See Federal Stafford Loan.
Study Abroad
Programs in which students go to college for some time in another country while making regular progress toward their diplomas or degrees.
Subsidized Loan
Loan based on financial need in which borrower does not pay all the interest. Usually, interest is not charged until repayment begins. See Unsubsidized Loan.
Support Services
Services provided by most colleges to help students in areas such as academics, veterans affairs, adult and special-needs.

Teaching Assistant (TA)
A graduate student paid by the college to teach undergraduate classes. A TA may teach introductory classes, grade papers or lead discussion sessions and may also be called an Associate Instructor.
Guaranteed employment status given to teachers and
professors after successful completion of certain requirements within a
certain time period.
An occupation requiring skilled labor, such as an electrician or
tool and die maker.
The official record of a student's educational progress; it may include listings of classes, grades, major area and degrees earned.
Transferable Degree
A degree, usually an associate's degree, that can be counted as credit toward more education, such as a bachelor's degree, at the same or a different college. See Nontransferable Degree, Transfer Program.
Transfer Program
College program that prepares students to complete a degree at another college. Junior, community and technical colleges often have transfer programs to prepare students to continue their education at colleges and universities offering bachelor's degrees. Transfer programs often award associate's degrees.
Transfer Student
A student who changes from one school to another. Grades and credits from the first school may or may not be counted at the second. Schools may not accept all the credits earned at another school.
A calendar system used by some colleges that is made up of three 10-12 week periods.
The cost of classes or credits at a school.
Tutors are experienced adults or students who help others study a specific subject.

Unconditional Admission
Students who meet all of a school's admission standards are given this status.
A college student working on a bachelor's or associate's degree or certificate.
A postsecondary institution that has several colleges or schools, grants undergraduate and graduate degrees, and may have research facilities. Universities are more comprehensive than colleges, although the two terms are often used interchangeably.
Unsubsidized Loan
Loan in which borrower is charged interest immediately. See Subsidized Loan.
Student who is a junior or senior but has not yet received an undergraduate degree.

Waiting List
A list of students who will be admitted to a college only if there is space available. Students placed on a waiting list are usually notified if they are admitted, typically in May or June.
An exemption from normal procedures or requirements. For example, to receive a "class waiver" means not having to take a class. See Fee Waiver.
A form of financial aid in which students earn money by working part time at their college. Students apply for work-study by filling out the FAFSA.