Important Terms and Definitions you need to know
As you navigate through college, you will discover that professors, academic advisors, student services staff and peers use a whole new set of terminology with which you may not be familiar. For example, completed classes are measured in terms of semester credit hours; academic standing is determined by classes completed and grade point averages.
Please refer to the list below for common terms and definitions that you may encounter along the way. This is not an inclusive list, but it will definitely help you understand college lingo.
Academic Advisor: professional who can help with course recommendations, chart your academic progress and fill out a degree plan.
Academic Course Schedule: a listing of all classes being offered throughout the semester. Students can view the course schedule online.
Add/Drop: any change in a student’s schedule after registration. Also refers to the first 3-4 days of a semester in which a student is allowed to make schedule changes.
Associate Degree: an academic degree, consisting of approximately 60 credit hours, that includes the required General Education Core as well as a few electives or classes in the major field of study. It is usually completed in two years.
Bachelor’s Degree: also known as a baccalaureate degree. It is an academic degree consisting of a minimum of 120 hours credit hours that includes the required General Education Core, as well as all classes in the field of study, and is usually completed in four years.
Blackboard: online portal where students can view course syllabi, assignments, grades, documents and files posted by instructors, and is also used to communicate with professors and classmates.
Blue Book: a blank booklet with a blue paper cover often required for written exam answers and essays; it may be purchased at Barnes & Noble bookstore.
Certificate Program: specialized program focusing on vocational trades and skills that can lead to immediate employment. It is usually completed within one year. It may later be applied to certain associate or bachelor’s degrees.
Credit Hour: unit of measure used to determine college credit earned. To earn one semester credit hour, a student must attend class for one classroom hour (usually 50 minutes) per week for the entire semester.
Degree Audit: a computer-generated analysis that enables the student and the advisor to assess the student’s academic progress and unfulfilled bachelor’s, associate, certificate or minor degree requirements.
FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid. FAFSA is an online application widely used by universities to determine a student’s eligibility for Pell Grant funds, scholarships and student loans.
Freshman: classification for a student who has been admitted to UTB/TSC and who has earned less than 30 semester credit hours.
Full-time Student: an undergraduate student taking at least 12 credit hours or a graduate student taking at least nine credit hours per fall or spring semester.
Good Standing: academic classification for a student having a minimum GPA of 2.0 as well as a cumulative completion rate of 70 percent or higher.
Grade Point Average (GPA): the average of all grades earned at UTB/TSC and transferred from other universities and colleges. GPA is computed by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of credit hours attempted.
Info Shop: located in the Tandy Hall foyer, staffers assist current and prospective students with questions regarding admission, financial aid or other university topics.
ITECC: International Technology, Education and Commerce Center. Located at the former Amigoland Mall, it houses the Workforce Training and Continuing Education Division, classrooms, as well as the Language Institute.
Junior: classification for an undergraduate student who has earned at least 60 hours of credit but not more than 89.
Libertad: UTB/TSC’s wireless Internet network. Students can set up personal laptops to use Libertad while on campus at the Help Desk or at any of the Open Labs.
Major/Degree: field of study in which you are concentrating.
Open Lab: any computer lab that is open to students of all majors. Open Labs are located at the Oliveira Library; Science, Engineering & Technology Building (SET-B); and the University Boulevard Library.
Prerequisite: a course that must be successfully completed prior to taking another specific course.
Probation: classification of academic standing for a student having a GPA below 2.0 or a less than 70 percent cumulative completion rate.
Program of Study: also known as a “Degree Plan.” An official document listing all courses and academic requirements for graduation.
S.A.P.: Satisfactory Academic Progress. Academic requirements to remain in good standing (70 percent completion rate and 2.0 cumulative GPA).
Scantron: a form that is used for testing and assessment purposes. It may be purchased at Barnes & Noble bookstore.
Scorpion Online: online portal that provides all enrollment services (e.g., registration, financial aid information, grades) to students via the Web.
Senior: classification for an undergraduate student who has earned more than 89 credit hours.
SGA: Student Government Association.
Sophomore: classification for an undergraduate student who has earned between 30 and 59 credit hours.
Sting Card: UTB/TSC’s identification card.
Suspension: academic standing for a student who was previously on probation but failed to meet S.A.P. requirements for the current semester.
Syllabus: a very important outline given at the beginning of every course stating all expectations for that course, when assignments are due, what topics will be covered, when tests will be given, grading standards, office hours and instructor contact information.
The Collegian: UTB/TSC’s weekly student newspaper.
The Village at Fort Brown: university housing for students, staff and faculty.
Transcript: the record of a student’s academic courses and grades. An official copy of a transcript can be requested from the Registrar’s Office for a $5 fee. Unofficial copies can also be requested from the Registrar’s Office free of charge.
Undergraduate Student: student who has not yet earned a bachelor’s (baccalaureate) degree.
Welcome Week: a week of activities and information that takes place at the beginning of the spring and fall semesters.