Glossary of Academic Terms
Academic Advisor Provides pre-admission information, interprets placement test scores, assists with course selection, advises on general academic policies and procedures, provides information on transfer to other institutions, and evaluates (unofficially) student records/transcripts to determine course/program eligibility.
Academic Dismissal Academic dismissal results when a student on Academic Restriction fails to achieve at least a 2.0 GPA during the current enrollment period.
Academic Restriction An academic status (after Academic Warning) limiting a student to no more than seven credits in a regular semester, which results when the minimum required grade point average has not been achieved. One of the courses must be a CAP course and the other must be a course previously attempted that was not satisfactorily completed.
Academic Warning Status of a student who, at any point after six credits (or two courses) are attempted, falls below the prescribed minimum requirements for good academic standing.
Accreditation Certification that the college and/or its programs have met established standards and are recognized by national and/or state authorizing agencies.
Admission Process of becoming officially recognized as a person able to enroll in credit courses. This is a one-time process unless the student stops taking classes for an extended period of time. (Also see Registration)
Alumni Students who graduated from the college. At Prince George’s Community College, alumni also may include students who once attended the college.
Apprenticeship A training program in which an employee (apprentice) learns a craft or trade under the guidance of skilled tradesmen. The apprentice enters into a training agreement with an employer that imposes mutual obligations on both parties. The terms of apprenticeship are regulated by labor agreements and state law. (Also see Culminating Experience)
Articulation Agreement An official agreement between a community college and a four-year institution that designates the transferability of specific courses and/or degrees.
ARTSYS (Articulation System) A computerized information system developed by the University of Maryland System used to check on the transferability of Prince George’s Community College courses, find a recommended transfer program for a major, or compare how other Maryland System colleges will evaluate a student transcript.
Associate Degree A degree consisting of a minimum of 60 credits that includes general education core requirements, program concentration courses, and electives. Prince George’s Community College offers four degrees: Associate of Arts (A.A.); Associate of Science (A.S.); Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.); and Associate of Arts in Teaching (A.A.T.).
Audit A registration option that enables the student to attend a college course without receiving academic credit. Full tuition and fees are still paid.
CAP (Career Assessment and Planning) Course A course that focuses on career/life planning and college success and is offered through Student Development Services.
Capstone Course A course taken by students who are nearing the completion of their studies. Students apply skills and knowledge acquired in previous courses and demonstrate specific competencies and communication skills. (Also see Culminating Experience)
Career Program A curriculum leading to an Associate of Applied Science degree (A.A.S.) or certificate emphasizing skills training for employment after graduation.
Certificate A record of successful completion of a shorter program of study of less than 60 credits, typically with application to skills needed for immediate entry into the workplace.
Challenge Exam A comprehensive exam developed by the appropriate academic area that measures the prior learning of students with substantial work-related or personal experience in the subject matter. Subject to certain conditions and limitations, students who pass a challenge exam will have credit for the course posted to their transcript.
CLEP (College Level Examination Program) A series of general and subject exams sponsored by the College Board. The exams are designed to measure knowledge students have obtained, both formally and informally, related to college-level course material, and for which college credit may be awarded.
Clinical Education An essential aspect of the student learning experience in each Nursing and Allied Health Program; involves supervised, hands-on experience, in a health care setting, designed to promote student learning outcomes; the final clinical course in each program is designed as a capstone course and serves as a culminating experience. (Also see Culminating Experience)
Collegian Center A community of learners in various disciplines brought together for integrated learning experiences and co‑curricular enrichment.
Commencement The college’s graduation ceremony held in May, wherein degrees and certificates are publicly awarded for academic levels of achievement.
Concurrent Enrollment Student A student taking courses at a college while attending high school. Typically, the courses appear only on the college’s transcript.
Continuing Education Course A course primarily designed for learning without academic credit as distinct from a credit course that is designed to earn academic credits toward a degree or certificate. (Also see WDCE [Workforce Development and Continuing Education])
Cooperative Education Cooperative education is a structured, educational strategy that integrates classroom studies with learning through productive work experiences in a field related to a student’s academic or career goals. It requires a partnership among students, educational institutions and employers with specified responsibilities for each party. (Also see Culminating Experience)
Corequisite A course to be taken at the same time as another specified course or courses. A corequisite course also may be completed before taking the course or courses with which it is paired.
Counselor Provides personal and interpersonal short-term counseling to enrolled college students for the purpose of assisting them to overcome barriers and deal with cultural and school adjustments. Counselors will refer college students for long-term counseling to off-campus mental health services providers who charge nominal fees, whenever possible.
Course Section Various classes of the same course in the same semester. Sections may have different days, times, instructors and/or rooms, but course content will be the same. A five-digit Synonym identifies each section. (Also see Synonym)
Credit Course A course primarily designed to earn academic credits toward a degree or certificate as distinct from a Workforce Development and Continuing Education course that is designed for learning without academic credit.
Credit Hour Each credit course carries a specific number of credit hours, which generally equates to the number of hours per week that class will meet for a standard lecture class. Most collegiate-level courses are three credit hours.
Critical Thinking The ability to analyze facts, generate and organize ideas, defend opinions, make comparisons, draw conclusions, evaluate arguments and solve problems.
Culminating Experience A learning opportunity designed for students to synthesize skills and knowledge acquired in previous courses and/or to gain experience in their career or technical area of study. This learning experience is designated for students nearing the completion of their studies. Examples of possible culminating experiences include, but are not limited to, the following: cooperative education, internships, fieldwork, clinical education, apprenticeships and capstone courses.
Curriculum A set of courses that comprises a program of study. (Also see Program of Study)
Curriculum Planning Guide A guide that outlines what courses need to be taken and in what sequence to complete an associate degree or to reach other educational goals. These guides are used in conjunction with the college catalog and are available through the college’s website.
Dean’s List A list published at the end of the fall and spring semesters of students who demonstrate high academic achievement.
Developmental Studies Program A program that helps students develop academic skills for succeeding in college-level courses. Developmental Studies Program courses are offered in English, reading, writing, and mathematics.
Dual Enrollment A student who is simultaneously enrolled in both a public high school and a public college. The credits earned in the college may also count as credit on the high school transcript. This could include credits that satisfy high school graduation requirements.
eLearning Courses that use interactive Web-based applications, interactive video and multimedia computer applications in varied combinations to deliver instruction at a distance. (Also see Hybrid Course, Online Course, and Video Enhanced Online Course)
Early Alert The identification of students at risk early in the semester and communication with them through a computer generated notice.
Equivalent Hour (EH) A method for equating developmental courses to credit courses for determining a student’s enrollment status. Equivalent Hours do not affect a student’s total credits, degree requirements, or GPA.
Elective An elective allows a student choice or selection with minimal restrictions. Also see “program elective.”
Enrollment The process of selecting courses for a given semester. (Also see Registration)
ESL (English as a Second Language) A program of courses for students whose first language is not English.
Extension Center An off-campus location that may offer credit courses and opportunities for degree attainment as well as noncredit continuing education and workforce development courses and certification programs. Prince George’s Community College extension centers are located at Joint Base Andrews, Laurel College Center, Skilled Trades Center in Camp Springs, and the University Town Center in Hyattsville.
FX Grade A grade assigned by the instructor to any student on the roster who did not officially withdraw from the course but who failed to participate in course activities through the end of the period. It is used when, in the opinion of the instructor, completed assignments or course activities or both were insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible.
Fee A financial charge for courses and services.
Fieldwork Employer supervised educational, on-the-job experience in the employer’s facility. (Also see Culminating Experience)
Full-time Student A student enrolled in 12 or more credit hours in a given semester.
General Education Core A body of knowledge that provides a liberal education and contributes to the development of critical thinking skills that identify an individual as a college graduate.
General Education Courses Transferable courses that are specified for each program of study and provide the academic background that every student receiving an associate degree should possess.
GPA (Grade Point Average) An average of the grades a student has earned based on how many credit hours each course was worth. Typically, acceptable college GPAs are from 2.0 to 4.0.
Graduation The formal completion of an associate degree or certificate as indicated on a student’s official transcript.
Half-time Student A student enrolled in six to eleven credit hours in a given semester.
Hybrid Course A course with less than 100 percent required face-to-face instruction that consistently replaces regularly scheduled face-to-face instruction with required, paced learning activities that are delivered online. (Also see eLearning)
I Grade Denotes an incomplete (I) grade that is given to a student (at the discretion of his or her instructor) whose work in a course has been qualitatively satisfactory, but due to illness or other extenuating circumstances is unable to complete the course requirements by the end of the semester.
Internship A supervised work and learning experience that exposes a student to professional responsibilities that align with his or her academic and career goals. (Also see Culminating Experience)
Letter of Recognition (LOR) Record of completion of an identified set of concentration courses in a discipline for a maximum of 11 credits.
myPGCC Provides centralized Web-based access to college resources, including Blackboard courses, Owl Link, Owl Mail, and PGCC news, information, and student events.
Matriculated Student Any student officially admitted and enrolled at the college.
NA Grade A grade assigned by the instructor to any student on the roster who never attends or academically participates in the class during the first three weeks of class (or the equivalent of 20% in short courses).
Online Course A course where 100 percent of face-to-face (i.e., on-campus classroom) instruction is replaced by required, paced learning activities that are delivered online. (Also see eLearning)
Owl Alert Prince George’s Community College’s emergency text messaging and e-mail notification system.
Owl Debit Card A Prince George’s Community College debit card issued to all credit students to be used, at a minimum, as the vehicle for managing receipt of refunds from the college.
Owl Link Prince George’s Community College computer system that provides self-service to students, prospective students, visitors, donors, and employees. (Also see Web Advisor)
Owl Mail Prince George’s Community College student e-mail system that all credit students are expected to use to interact with the college and to remain informed of important events on campus.
Owl Success Track A mandatory first-year experience program for first-time college students.
Part-time Student A student enrolled in less than six credit hours in a given semester.
Placement Test A required assessment used to determine initial course placement for first-time entering students to the college.
PLAN (Prior Learning Assessment Network by Portfolio) A process by which students whose personal and professional experiences provide evidence of mastery of collegiate-level subjects may use portfolio assessment to gain credit for previous knowledge and skills attained. Students who wish to apply for credit through portfolio assessment are required to attend an information session, meet with a PLAN advisor and register for a 3-credit course, CAP-105 Portfolio Development.
Prerequisite A course that must be completed before enrolling in a more advanced course. For example, ACC-1010 is taken before ACC-1020 .
Program Elective A program elective must be selected from a specific list unique to a particular program of study. Also see “elective.”
Program Evaluation A report created by a student in Owl Link that matches all courses taken against the academic requirements of the student’s program of study in order to assist with course planning and to determine progress toward graduation. (Also see What-if Scenarios)
Program of Study A set of courses leading to a degree, certificate, or letter of recognition.
Registration Process by which students officially enroll in their courses every semester and reserve a place in class by paying the tuition bill. New and readmitted students must register in person for their first semester. Returning students also may register by telephone or over the Internet.
Schedule Adjustment The process of adding, dropping, or exchanging courses during registration or any other prescribed period at the start of the semester.
Schedule of Classes A publication that lists classes available for a particular semester. Schedules are published separately for credit and workforce development and continuing education courses.
Semester A period of instruction, generally 15 weeks, offered during fall and spring. The college also offers courses with more flexible and accelerated course formats throughout the year, including during the summer and intersession.
Service-Learning The integration of volunteer service and classroom learning, with a focus on critical, reflective thinking and personal and civic responsibility.
Syllabus A learning document provided by an instructor that describes the content and expectations of a course, the grading policy, a list of assignments and due dates, and related information such as the required textbooks, other course materials, the instructor’s office hours, and contact information.
Synonym Five-digit unique identifier for a course section offered in a specific semester. For example, the course synonym is 80824 for EGL-1010-LD01 offered in the fall 2014 semester.
TBA To be arranged or to be announced.
Transcript A student’s formal academic record of grades received in all courses taken at Prince George’s Community College, including transfer credits if applicable. Students can obtain official copies of their transcripts from the Office of Admissions and Records.
Transfer Program A program with another college or university enabling the student to transfer credits and work toward a bachelor’s degree. Designated as an Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.), or Associate of Arts in Teaching (A.A.T.).
Tuition The amount of money charged for each credit or noncredit course for which a student registers.
Video Enhanced Online Course Uses commercially produced video material as a supplement to an online course. The course activities are conducted online, while the video programs are delivered in a variety of formats. (Also see eLearning)
W Grade A withdrawal (W) grade is received when the student voluntarily drops a course after the schedule adjustment period but before the completion of 75 percent of the course, normally the 12th week of classes. The withdrawal is not finalized until the necessary paperwork is completed and submitted. 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.
WDCE (Workforce Development and Continuing Education) Provides a variety of noncredit occupational, educational, multicultural and recreational opportunities at nominal costs to county residents. Additionally, WDCE assists area businesses with their employee training needs. (Also see Continuing Education Course)
What-if Scenarios A report created by a student in Owl Link that allows the student to determine how courses taken might fit into a program of study other than the one currently being followed.