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Rich Mountain Community College
Rich Mountain Community College

Learn the Lingo:


Learn the LingoTerms Every College Student Needs To Know

ACADEMIC ADVISOR:  A faculty or staff member who assists students individually with planning their course of study and in understanding academic policies and procedures.

ACADEMIC PROBATION: A warning to the student that his or her academic progress is unsatisfactory.

DegreesASSOCIATE DEGREE:  A two-year degree in the arts or sciences.

BACHELOR'S DEGREE:  A student receives this degree upon completing his or her undergraduate studies.  There is a Bachelor's of Arts (B.A.) and a Bachelor's of Science (B.S.).

CAAP:  The acronym stands for Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency.  CAAP is part of the Rising Junior Examination.  RMCC requires all students with 45 hours to take the CAAP as a condition of graduation.  The CAAP is offered in the fall and spring semesters.

CATALOG:  A campus publication used by students and faculty.  This book provides information ranging from specific college academic and non-academic programs, rules and regulations, and admission policies.  Also included are the institution's academic and non-academic calendars.

CLEP:  The acronym stands for College Level Examination Program, a national program through which students can obtain college credit in certain areas by taking a comprehensive examination and making a certain score.

CORE CURRICULUM:  The "main" classes that every student must take in order to graduate, sometimes called "general education" classes.

CO-REQUISITE:  A co-requisite is a course that has to be taken at the same time as another course.  If a course has a co-requisite, the course description in the college catalog will specify.  See also "Prerequisite."

COURSE NUMBER:"  A three-digit numbering system used to designate each course at RMCC.  The first digit identifies the level of the course:  1 for freshman and 2 for sophomore.  The second digit specifies whether is it a part of a series of classes.  The third digit is the number of credit hours.  Thus, ENG 113 is a freshman-level, first in a series, three-credit hour course:  English Composition I.

CREDIT HOURS:  A credit hour is based on the number of hours spent in class.  Most college classes award three credit hours upon successful completion; however, classes with labs usually award four credit hours, most physical education classes award one credit hour, and some classes award five credit hours upon completion.

DeadlinesCURRICULUM:  The courses available at a college or university.

DEADLINE:  The due date for a course assignment, paper, project, etc. Be sure to record these due dates in your student handbook.

DEVELOPMENTAL COURSE:  Courses at the level (003, 013, 023, etc.) are developmental courses and do not count toward graduation; nor do grades received count in the cumulative grade point average.  They do, however, count for financial aid purposes.

DOCTORATE:  An academic program with a research focus that is pursued after a Master's degree.  A Doctoral degree signifies original scholarship in an academic field or discipline.

DROP/ADD:  During the first week of a semester, the student is allowed to drop a course and/or add another course for that semester.

ELECTIVE:  An elective is any course that is not required, either by the college's core requirements or by the requirements of a major or minor.  The degree programs described in the RMCC Catalog will list the number of elective hours available.  Electives may complement the rest of a student's work or be taken just for fun.

FERPA:  The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act outlines the rights students at Rich Mountain Community have with regard to their education records.

FINANCIAL AID PROBATION:  The first semester a student fails to complete the minimum hours required or fails to maintain the minimum grade point average, he/she will be placed on financial aid probation and may receive federal financial aid for one additional semester.  If the student fails to meet financial aid requirements after the additional semester, he/she will be place on financial aid suspension.

FINANCIAL AID SUSPENSION:  A student on financial aid suspension must earn enough credit hours with the required GPA using his/her own finances in order to be eligible to receive federal financial aid.

FRESHMAN 15:  A casual term used to describe the 15 extra pounds of weight a freshman tends to gain during the first year in college.  Exercise and proper eating habits can help remedy this problem.

GRADE POINT AVERAGE:  Also called GPA.  The grading system used in college.  Numbers instead of letters are used to calculate academic progress or success.  Learn to how calculate your GPA.

INDEPENDENT STUDY:  A program where students are allowed to take a course under a professor's direction, without classroom participation, and still gain academic credit.

INTERNSHIP:  Work experience that contributes to the student's major.  A professor or faculty member monitors the process.

MAJOR: A specialized field of study that a student chooses to pursue through his or her college career.

MASTERS: A degree awarded to a graduate student once he or she had completed the first level of graduate school.

MIDTERMS: Tests administered midway through the semester or quarter to assess the student's progress.

MINOR:  Along with a major, students can take additional courses to complement their academic concentration and curriculum.

ORIENTATION:  A program designed to assist all new students in adjusting to their new college surroundings.

PLAGIARISM:  A serious offense, which is the act of stealing another person's words or ideas and using them as one's own.  If caught plagiarizing, the offender serious consequences that may include failing the assignment, failing the class, being dismissed from the class, or being dismissed from the college.

PRE-REQUISITE:  A course that must be taken before advancing to a higher level course of the same subject  See also "Co-requisite."

REGISTRAR:  Processes and maintains student transcripts and official records affiliated with student attendance and accomplishments.

REGISTRATION:  The process of enrolling in college classes.

SEMESTER:  The school year is composed of semesters.  Depending on the institution, there can be two to three semesters per year; semesters usually last three to four months.  RMCC has four semesters fall, spring, summer I and summer II.

Student GovernmentSTUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION (SGA):  An organization composed of students to represent all students.  The student government is the voice for the student body.

SYLLABUS: A professor's plan of action for the class.  A schedule of requirements explaining the intent of the course, such as assigned readings or papers and when the tests are due during the semester.

TRANSCRIPT:  The compilation of the student's grades, credits, honors, etc., received through his or her college career.  Contact the Registrar's Assistant to request a transcript.

UNDERGRADUATE:  This term refers to academic work leading to the associate or baccalaureate degrees and to students working toward those degrees.  It is usually seen in comparison to "graduate," which refers to academic work taken by students who already have a baccalaureate degree.

WORK-STUDY PROGRAMS: Campus jobs offered to students receiving federal financial aid (Pell).

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