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High School Students

Glossary of College Terms

Academic advisor: Member of student services or the faculty who helps and advises students on academic matters. He or she may also assist students during the registration process.

Academic year: The period of formal academic instruction, which at JCC includes three semesters, Fall, Winter and Spring/Summer.

ACT®: A nationally standardized test provided by American College Testing (ACT) mostly to high school students to determine skills in English, Math, Reading and Scientific Reasoning.

Add/Drop: A process at the beginning of a semester when students can change their course schedules by adding or dropping classes.

Advanced Placement: Some institutions accept AP test results, taken by high school juniors and seniors, for college credit. Policies vary from college to college.

Articulation agreement: A transfer plan by a four-year institution detailing what credits need to be taken at JCC and what need to be taken at said institution.

Associate degree: A two-year degree from a community or junior college.

Bachelor’s degree: A four-year degree from a college, university or professional school; usually requires at least 120 credit hours, also called a baccalaureate degree.

Billing contact hour: A measurement that represents the actual time spent in class used as the basis for tuition costs.

Catalog of entry: The catalog current at the time you started at JCC. If you maintain continuous enrollment, you follow the requirements listed in your catalog of entry, or a more recent catalog of your choice.

Certificates: College certificates are generally 30-59 credit hours (about 10-16 classes) and concentrate on specific skills with few general education courses.

CLEP: “Collegiate Level Examination Program” enables students to earn college credit for courses by successfully completing a test offered in a variety of subject areas.

Continuous enrollment: Registered for at least one class in any semester during an academic year: Fall, Winter or Spring/Summer.

Corequisite: A class that must be taken at the same time as another class because of the relationship of materials.

Core course requirements: Courses required for completion of certificate or degree that are specific to the program of study.

Course section: The same course is offered at a variety of times, and each has its own section number.

Course placement test: An assessment used to test a student’s academic ability so that he or she may be placed in the appropriate courses.

Credit hour: Credit given for attending one lecture hour of class each week for 16 weeks or equivalent.

Cumulative GPA: Your overall GPA earned over your entire time at JCC.

Electives: In some degrees you can choose from a list of course options to fulfill your requirements. This allows you to choose the courses that interest you the most.

FAFSA: This Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a federal form that must be completed over the Internet. It must be renewed each year. JCC staff is happy to assist with this process.

FERPA: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 provides: Protection of a student’s right to privacy of information that JCC has in its possession concerning the student; and, a guideline for release or disclosure of information as is required by federal and state law.

Financial assistance or aid: A general term that includes all types of money, loans and part-time jobs offered to a student.

Foundational courses: Your success in college classes depends upon your entry level skills in reading, writing and mathematics. Your need for foundational courses is identified by your Course Placement results.

Full time: Twelve or more credit hours per semester.

General Education Requirements: Courses required for completion of a degree that students must take in order to graduate.

GPA: Grade point average; the average of your class grades, generally based on a 4.0 scale.

Grants: Financial assistance that does not require repayment.

Half-time: Enrolling in six to eight credit hours per semester.

Loans: Financial assistance that must be repaid.

MACRAO: This acronym stands for the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. The MACRAO agreement helps students transfer from Michigan community colleges to other colleges and universities.

Major: A student’s concentrated field of study.

Minor: A student’s secondary field of study.

Nonresident: Any JCC student who lives outside of Jackson County.

Online courses: Classes held on the Internet instead of in a traditional classroom, also called distance learning courses.

Prerequisite: A course that must be taken prior to enrollment in another course.

Program of study: The degree or certificate you are working toward is your program of study.

Registration: Period of time designated for enrollment in classes for a specific semester.

Resident: A JCC student who lives in or owns property in Jackson County or whose Jackson County employer is paying their tuition.

Scholarships: Financial assistance based on merit that does not require repayment.

Semester: Period of study of approximately 16 weeks in duration for Fall and Winter semesters. Spring/Summer semester is 12 weeks long.

Service learning: A teaching and learning strategy that brings together community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience.

Syllabus: An outline of topics to be covered in an academic course.

Transcript: A student’s legal and historical record of courses completed and attempted, along with all grades.

Tuition: Costs for courses, not including fees.

Withdrawal: Dropping a course after the add/drop period.

Work-study program: A federal financial aid program that allows students to work on campus.

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