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Academic Year
The semesters of Fall, Winter and Spring/Summer, in that order, make up one academic year, roughly from late August to the early part of the following August.
Academic Probation
Overall GPA for the semester of less than 2.0. Financial aid recipients are required to pass 67% of all credits attempted. Withdrawing or receiving less than a 2.0 may jeopardize future financial aid.
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. If students have a recent (within three years) ACT score of at least 18 in Math, in Reading, and in English, they do not have to take JC Course Placement. They may proceed with orientation and registration.
You can add a class without an instructor's written permission during the first week, or about the first 5% of the class. In the second week, you will need the instructor’s permission. The "Add/Drop 100% Refund" period is the first 10% of the length of the class. For exact dates for your class, go to e-Services. Choose on the “Drop Sections” link then the click on the link for refund/drop dates.
Advanced Placement
Some institutions accept AP test results, taken by high school juniors and seniors, for college credit. Policies vary from college to college.
Associate Degree
Also called a two-year degree, consists of about 60 or more credit hours (about 20 classes) that follows a list of courses to take (degree requirements). Few students complete this in two years. JC associate degrees must all fulfill outcomes set by the Board of Trustees. Most students planning to transfer work toward an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science.
Associate of Applied Science Degrees
These are specialized associates that have specific skill sets as well as an array of general education courses that fulfill the outcomes set by the JC Board of Trustees. These usually do not meet MACRAO transfer requirements. Students wanting to transfer after earning an applied science degree need to consult their transfer college and advisors early to be sure of choosing classes that will best transfer.
Associate of Arts
An associate degree that concentrates on social science and humanities selections, allowing about 24 credits of elective credits.
Associate of Science
An associate degree that concentrates on science and math with about 24 credits of elective credits.


Bachelor’s Degree
Four-year colleges and universities grant bachelor’s degrees, which are comprised of about 124 credits. Students can transfer up to 60 credits from community colleges to count toward a bachelor’s degree, with some exceptions. Always check with your transfer college for admissions rules and consult JC Transfer Guides and academic advisors.
Basic Classes
See "Developmental Courses," "General Education," or "MACRAO."
Billing Contact Hour
The actual time spent with the instructor in class, plus scheduled times in labs and clinicals, over the course of the semester. Tuition and technology fees are based on the number of Billing Contact Hours. Billing hours are usually the same number as academic credits, but in some cases are more. For example, a four-credit biology class with a lab is usually five billing contact hours.


Contains policy, degree requirements, course descriptions and resource information for JC. A new catalog takes effect about every two to three years. Each year the catalog maybe updated with a supplement that announces any changes in degrees, programs or courses.
Catalog of Entry
The catalog current at the time you started at JC. If you maintain continuous enrollment, you follow the requirements listed in your Catalog of Entry, or a more recent catalog of your choice.
College certificates are generally 30-50 credit hours (about 10-16 classes) and concentrate on specific skills with few general education courses.
Some occupations as for about 12-20 credits (four to six classes) taken in a very specific curriculum. These help the student toward state licensing or other credentialing, and may count toward a certificate or associate degree. Examples are Corrections Officer and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
Class Schedule
The booklet printed, and posted on the web, each semester listing details of when and where classes will be held for a specific semester. The Class Schedule also summarizes key policies, lists Student Center and Bookstore hours, and lists the calendar of important dates for the semester.
"Collegiate Level Examination Program" provides a way for students to place into more advanced classes and to receive credit. Policies vary in institutions. JC's policy is listed on the web page with the transfer information.
Course Section
The same course is offered at a variety of times. Each of these classes has its own section number. For example MTH 110 section 12 might meet on Monday nights and MTH 110 section 13 might meet on Tuesday nights.
Credit by Exam
Some JC courses may allow you to earn credit by testing out of the course. This credit may not count at other colleges. JC's policy is listed on the web page with the transfer information.
Credit Hour
Academic credit based on the time spent in class. Roughly, a three-credit class means you spend 3 hours a week in class with an instructor over the length of the semester.
Continuous Enrollment
Registered for at least one class in any semester during an academic year: Fall, Spring or Summer.
A class that must be taken at the same time as another particular class because of the relationship of materials. Often this is a lab or discussion group. Be sure to look in the co-requisite column in the Class Schedule or in the Course Description listed in the Catalog.
Course Placement
An assessment at JC to determine your need for further preparation for college-level work. If you do not have recent ACT scores of 18 or higher in Math, Reading or Writing, or if you do not have previous passing college grades, you will be asked to complete Course Placement prior to enrolling in academic courses for grades. We also accept SAT scores. For high school guest students we use PLAN, PSAT, and Explore.
Cumulative GPA
Your overall GPA earned over your entire time at JC.


Developmental Courses
Your success at college classes depends upon your entry level skills at reading, writing and mathematics. Your need for developmental courses is identified by your Course Placement results. Developmental courses (ENG 090, 080, 085 and MTH 095 or ) do not count toward college degrees as they are considered preparatory.
To un-register from a class after you have registered for it and the class has started. Dropping a class before the "Add/Drop Period" for 100% refunds does not affect your transcript. Withdrawing after this 100% refund period leaves a W (Withdrawal) on your permanent transcript record.


Some degrees offer you options as to classes you can take that aren't listed specifically in the requirements. Read the degree requirements carefully. Some degrees restrict your elective choices to specific types of courses.


This Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a federal form that must be filled out and mailed or completed over the Internet. We recommend completing this at least four to six weeks prior to the beginning of your first semester. It must be renewed each year. File your renewal by April 1 of each year for the best chance at federal and state funds for the following Fall semester.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 provides: Protection of a student's right to privacy of information that JC has in its possession concerning the student; and, a reasonable guideline for release or disclosure of such information as is required by federal and state law and as is necessary for the effective functioning of the College.


General Education
A variety of courses that the JC faculty and Board of Trustees believes is necessary to be well-rounded, educated citizens who can think critically, express themselves clearly, and learn continuously in an ever-changing and challenging world. General education disciplines are: English, mathematics, science, social science, humanities, and health/physical fitness. Also see MACRAO.
Grade Point Average, based on honor points earned divided by the number of credits.


A hold on your record falls into several categories. In some cases, a hold can prevent you from registering. Contact Student Services to help figure out why you have a hold and how to clear it.
  • Library – you need to return materials or pay fines.
  • Academic – your GPA is under 2.0 or you don't pass 67% of your attempted credits.
  • Business Office – for students who owe money to the college or have defaulted.
  • Dean – students who have been dismissed from the college for violating college policies about student conduct.
  • Financial Aid – Warning holds flag students who have not met the academic requirements for their financial aid. Financial Aid students may also have a probationary hold or a suspension hold.
  • Verification of Program of Study – Each year all students receive this hold. You need to update your program of study, by phone, fax, mail, in-person or on the web. Data that we report to the federal and state government requires that we provide accurate program information.
Honor Points
Honor points are figured by multiplying the grade earned in the class by the number of credit hours.


Lower Division
courses at community colleges, which provide mostly 100 and 200 level courses as noted by the course numbers (such as ENG 131 and MTH 251), are considered freshman and sophomore level, or lower division.


This acronym stands for the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers Articulation Agreement. The MACRAO helps students transfer from Michigan community colleges into fou-year colleges and universities by providing an agreed upon assortment of classes to take that fulfill general education requirements toward a bachelor’s degree.


Official Transcript
The copy of your transcript that is issued and mailed directly from one institution to another. JC accepts only official transcripts for evaluating transfer credit. (See also Student Issued Transcript and Transcript.)


Certain college courses need a certain level of skills or knowledge as you begin the class in order to succeed in the class. Talk with the instructor or an advisor to see if you meet the pre-requisites. These are also listed in Course Descriptions in the Catalog and at the end of each discipline listing in the Class Schedule.
Program of Study
Basically, the degree or certificate you are working on becomes your program of study. If you are planning to transfer to a four-year institution, your program of study might be listed here as a transfer program, such as education or psychology.


The period of time during which you can enroll (register) for classes for a specific semester.


See "Class Schedule."
Money made available students based on academics, program of study or financial need. Scholarships are not paid back and usually have conditions the student must maintain. For example, departmental scholarship recipients must carry at least 12 credits and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA.
Student Issued Transcript
You may print a copy of your transcript from e-Services or request a copy. If you request a copy from us, it will be printed on official transcript paper and stamped with “Issued to Student.��� Most transcripts that are sent to other institutions to transfer credit need to be official, not student-issued. When you send us a request for a transcript, be sure to include who needs to receive it. (See also Transcript).
A document from an instructor containing a course outline, assignments, attendance and grading policies, and office hours. The syllabus is usually handed out to students on the first day of class.


Your legal and historical record of courses attempted and completed along with all grades. Transcripts may not be changed unless there has been a clerical error. You may request a transcript for your own use or have official copies sent to other institutions or employers by contacting Records & Registration. (See also Official Transcript and Student Issued Transcript.)
Moving the credits earned at one college to another in order to complete a degree or certificate.


Upper Division
courses at the junior and senior level (300- and 400-level) usually only available through four-year colleges and universities that grant bachelor degrees.