College 101: The Language of Higher Education

Prerequisite, Subsidized loans, Credit, it seems as though Institutions of Higher Education speak a different language. Here is a breakdown of some key words or phrases that will better help you understand higher education and the environment.

Curricular Admission:

To be curricular placed students must meet (one of the following) admission requirements: 

  • Have graduated from high school with an approved high school diploma
  • Have graduated from a home school program
  • Have complete a GED program
  • Demonstrate ability to benefit from college by placing into MTE 1 or higher AND ENF 1 or higher on the Virginia Placement Test

Students who do not meet admissions requirements may enroll in courses with no established prerequisites.

Non-curricular students are not Financial Aid eligible.

Semester Terms:

  • Fall (End of August–Mid December) Spring (January–Mid May)
    Our Fall and Spring semesters are 16 weeks (15 weeks of classes, one week of finals). Within each semester classes are also offered in 1st 8 week, 2nd 8 week, 12 week and 5 week sessions.
  • Summer (End of May–August)
    The summer semester is 10 weeks, with 10 week classes, 8 week classes, and 5 week classes.

Financial Aid Terms:

  • Grants – Money to aid a student in pursuit of his/her education. If a student attends and passes all of his/her classes, grants are not required to be repaid.
  • Loans – Money that students borrow that is required to be paid back with interested.
  • Scholarship– Money given to a student, because of merit, need, etc., to pursue his/her studies

Degree Terms:

  • Associates of Arts and Science, and Associates of Science – prepare a student to transfer to a 4-year school for a bachelor’s degree
  • Associates of Applied Science – prepare a student for the workforce
  • Certificate – One year programs to prepare students for the workforce
  • Career Studies Certificate – Short certificate programs to aid in the workplace advancement

Course terms:

  • Syllabus – an outline of the subjects and goals of the class, often includes assignment due dates
  • Withdrawal – a student is taken out of a class, no longer attends class and receives a grade of W on their transcript-which does not impact their GPA
  • Course Subject – The subject the course falls under, noted by three letters ex: HUM=Humanities, MTH=Mathematics
  • Course Number – The level and number assigned to the course, 3 numbers, ex: ENG 111=English Composition

Academic Course Terms:

  • EMPLID (Student ID) – This is a unique identification number assigned to each student, faculty and staff.
  • Catalog – Establishes degree requirements, college calendar, administrative information and policies, student development services and course descriptions.
  • Prerequisite – A qualification or class that must be completed before enrolling in the specific class. Ex: BIO 142 has a prerequisite of BIO 141
  • Credit – 1 credit hour equals one hour in class. Classes are typically 3 credits, with some 1 credit, 2 credit and 4 credit classes.
  • Developmental Class – Foundation classes in English and Math which are designed to prepare a student for college level coursework.
  • Gen Eds – A selection of courses, designed to help the student develop more well-rounded knowledge and meet the Core Competencies and/or General Education requirements at a four year institution. The following topics make up LFCC’s General Education curriculum:  Communication, Humanities/Fine Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Personal Development, Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Transfer Terms:

  • Articulation – Special agreements with four-year colleges and universities that define the way courses, programs or entire categories of programs transfer to another institution.
  • Community College Transfer Grant – Students must complete a transfer associate’s degree with a 3.0 grade-point-average and meet financial eligibility requirements. The grant will be applied to tuition expenses at a four-year Virginia college or university, either public or private. The grant provides $1,000 for all eligible students, with an extra $1,000 for students who pursue undergraduate work in engineering, mathematics, technology, nursing, teaching or science.
  • Guaranteed Admission Agreements – Agreements between Virginia Community Colleges and four-year colleges and universities that guarantee admission to the four-year institution to those students who meet the criteria of the agreement (e.g. GPA, completing a transfer associate degree).
Sidebar search form