Glossary of College Terms
Glossary of College Terms, Alphabetical Listing
Academic Day – At Peru State College, the Monday of finals week is a day without classes designed to give students extra time to prepare for the final exams that begin on Tuesday.
Academic Probation – All colleges require students to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) to remain in school. Any student with a cumulative grade point average below 2.0 will be placed on probation for a semester on until the cumulative GPA is 2.0 or greater.
Academic Suspension - A student on Academic Probation may be placed on Academic Suspension if he/she fails to maintain or achieve the minimum cumulative GPA required. A student placed on suspension will be dismissed from the college for one semester
Advisor (Academic Advisor) - Usually a faculty member, this is a person in your major area who will help you select the correct courses, review the course requirements in the field you have selected to pursue and help you with any academic problems you may encounter.
Alumni - people who have graduated from the institution.
Application/Acceptance/Admission - Application is the process by which a prospective student submits the required forms and credentials to his/her chosen institution. Application criteria may include one or more of the following: previous academic records, test scores, interviews, recommendations, and other information provided by the applicant. Depending on the application requirements of a particular school, the student can gain Acceptance to the institution if the decision to accept the application is positive. Admission is the status granted to an applicant who meets the prescribed entrance requirements of the institution. It must be noted that there is a wide variation nationwide in the Application/Acceptance/Admission policies of higher education institutions. Check the college catalog for specific requirements of the schools you are considering.
AWAC – The AWAC building is the Al Wheeler Activity Center. The building houses the athletic department headquarters, gym and weight room and the campus health center.
Bachelor's Degree - This is the undergraduate degree offered by four-year colleges and universities. At Peru State College you can earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, a Bachelor of Science degree, or a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree.
Bookstore - All colleges have a physical or online bookstore where students order the textbooks or software required for their enrolled classes. Books ordered from Peru State’s online bookstore, peru.ecampus.com, can be delivered to the Cat Cave Spirit Store for student pickup.
CATS – CATS refers both to a specific building and to the services offered in the building. The CATS building is located between the library and the student center. The Center for Achievement and Transition services (CATS) offers student support, counseling, disability services, and the One Stop office.
Catalog- College catalogs provide all types of information parents and students need to know about a school. It lists, for example courses of study, degrees offered, course descriptions, and the faculty and administration of the institution.
College - A College is an institution of higher education that grants degrees and certificates.
Commuter - A commuter is a student who lives off-campus and drives to class, or commutes.
Convocation – Opening convocation is a special ceremony where our administration, faculty and alumni greet the new freshman class and commit to each other to achieve your goal of college graduation.
Co-requisite courses – Co-requisite courses must be taken in the same semester.
Course Numbers - All courses are identified by an alphabetical subject abbreviation and numbers usually containing 3 digits. Lower Division course numbers begin with 100 or 200 and are generally designed for freshman and sophomore students. Upper division courses begin with 300 or 400 and are generally designed for juniors and seniors. Numbers starting at 500 and above are used in graduate programs
Credit Hours - Courses taken in college are measured in terms of credit hours. To earn one credit hour, a student must attend a class for one classroom hour (usually 50 minutes) per week for the whole semester (usually 16 weeks). Classes are usually offered in 1 - 5 credit hour increments, and sometimes larger amounts.
Dead Week – For sixteen (16) week courses, Dead Week is the week prior to finals week, and no exams are to be given during that week unless granted an exception by the appropriate Academic Dean.
Dean – The administrator who oversees an academic school (School of Education, School of Professional Studies, School of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School) and the administrator who oversees student life.
Degree Audit – Students can monitor their progress toward their degree completion through myPSC. The Degree Audit selection in the My Academics section will generate a report showing how the courses they have taken are applied to their degree requirements, which requirements have been met by which courses, and what requirements remain. The degree audit report is specific to each student’s selected majors/minors and the catalog in force when the selection was made.
Degree Requirements - The requirements prescribed for completion of a program of study are generally termed degree requirements. Requirements may include a minimum number of hours, required GPA, prerequisite and elective courses within the specified major, and/or minor areas of study.
Degrees - There are three basic types of degrees: Associate - obtainable at a two-year community or junior college, Baccalaureate or Bachelor’s - offered by four-year colleges and universities, and Graduate - Obtained after the bachelor’s degree, i.e., Masters or Doctorate.
Department - A department is the basic organizational unit in a higher education institution and is responsible for the academic functions in a field of study. It may also be used in the broader sense to indicate an administrative or service unit of an institution.
Disability Services - Disability Services provides reasonable and appropriate accommodations to qualified students with disabilities and assures them equal access to campus programs and activities. It is the student’s responsibility to request needed services.
Division - A division could be several different things: an administrative unit of an institution, usually consisting of more than one department... a unit of an institution based on the year-level of students - i.e., lower and upper division... or a branch of the institution, instructional or not - i.e., the Division of Student Affairs.
Drop and Add - Students are permitted to drop courses from their class schedules and/or add other courses during the first week of the term. They are not charged tuition and fees for hours dropped during this period but need to consider the number of credits required for full-time student status with regard to athletic eligibility or financial aid load.
Electives – Courses students choose to take outside of the general studies, major, or minor requires to reach a total of 120 credits.
Enrollment - This is the procedure by which students choose classes each semester. It also includes the assessment and collection of fees. Pre-enrollment is the method by which students select courses well in advance of the official enrollment date of the next term.
Extra-Curricular Activities - These are non-classroom activities that can contribute to a well-rounded education. They can include such activities as athletics, clubs, student government, recreational and social organizations and events.
Faculty - The faculty is composed of all persons who teach classes for colleges.
FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The almost universal application for financial aid, including loans, grants, college work-study and other federal and state programs.
Fees - Fees are additional charges not included in the tuition. Fees may be charged to cover the cost of materials and equipment needed in certain courses, and they may be assessed for student events, programs, and publications.
FERPA - Stands for Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act. This act gives college students the right of privacy over the school records, even if they’re under 18.
Final Exams (Finals Week) - These exams are usually given during the last week of classes each semester. The type of final administered in a course is left to the discretion of the instructor. Finals are not offered during the regular class meeting time. The final exam schedule is published online.
Financial Aid - Aid is made available from grants, scholarships, loans, and part-time employment from federal, state, institutional, and private sources. Awards from these programs may be combined in an "award package" to meet the cost of education. The types and amounts of aid awarded are determined by financial need, available funds, student classification, academic performance, and sometimes the timeliness of application.
Full-Time Enrollment/Part-Time Enrollment - A full-time student is enrolled in 12 or more credit hours in a semester (full-time status for a Summer term is usually 6 credit hours). A part-time student is enrolled in less than 12 credit hours in a semester (less than 6 in a Summer term). The amount of financial aid offered is based on enrollment status of full time (12 or more credit hours), three-quarter time (9-11 credit hours), half time (6-8 credit hours), or less than half time (1-5 credits).
General Studies/General Education courses – A broad foundation of approximately 40 credit hours spread across various subjects and required for all students regardless of major. The requirements help students develop communication and computational skills, gain knowledge of technology and its application, develop perspectives on values, thoughts and aesthetics, understand methods of inquiry and explanatory schema, and appreciate cultural differences.
GPA – grade point average. Your semester grade point average is calculated by dividing the number of quality points earned by the number of credits attempted that semester; your cumulative GPA is the total number of quality points earned at Peru State College divided by the total number of attempted credits. An “A” earns 4 quality points per credit hour for that course, a “B” 3 points, etc. You can estimate your semester GPA here.
Graduation Requirements – The collection of courses and processes necessary to earn a college degree. Graduation requirements will include general studies courses, courses required for your major and minor if applicable, a combination of lower division and upper division hours totaling a minimum of 120 credits, minimum course grade requirements, a minimum GPA of at least 2.0, and an application for graduation.
Grants – Grants may be offered as part of a financial aid package. Grant eligibility is based on family income, family size, assets, and other information submitted on the FAFSA. Grants do not need to be repaid.
Honor Roll - Students are placed on honor rolls for GPAs above certain specified levels. Criteria for President’s, Dean’s, or other honor rolls vary at different institutions. In most cases, students must be enrolled full-time to be eligible.
Internship – An internship is a formal, professional learning experience that offers work experience related to a student’s field of study or career interest. An internship at Peru State College requires 45 hours of internship work for each hour of academic credit.
Loan/Student Loan – Students and their parents have access to loans to help pay for a college education. Federal direct loans offered as part of a student’s financial aid package are subject to federal eligibility requirements and loan limits as well as federal loan benefits. Parents can apply for Federal PLUS loans to help their child pay for a college education. Information for student loans can be found online.
Major/Minor - A major is a student’s chosen field of study. It usually requires the successful completion of 48-57credit hours. A minor is designated is secondary field of study of 21 credit hours.
Nebraska State College System – Nebraska’s three state colleges, Peru State College, Chadron State College, and Wayne State College, are governed as a collective system with a common Board of Trustees and system office responsible for developing system-wide policies and programs.
Office Hours – Time that faculty are available specifically to meet with students. Each full-time faculty member is required to hold a minimum of five office hours spread over at least three days each week of the semester and is required to inform students of those hours on the course syllabus.
One Stop – The One Stop office is designed to provide centralized services for students. Peru State’s One Stop office is located on the second floor of the CATS building. Students can get help with financial aid, have questions answered about their bill, pay charges due on their account, pick up refund checks, and similar business tasks.
PALS – Peru Academic Liaisons – Peru State professional staff members connected with first year students offering support, answering questions, and easing the transition to college.
Pass/Fail Courses – Credit/No Credit courses do not earn letter grades or grade points for students.
If a student passes a C/NC course, he/she receives a "Credit" () or "S" (satisfactory)
on the transcript and the credit hours. If the student does not pass the course, they
will receive a "NC" (fail) or a "U" (unsatisfactory) on the transcript and no credit
hours. The evaluation for the pass/fail course is not figured into the student’s
Permission Numbers – Enrollment in some courses is limited to a select group of students. In order to enroll, students in the group obtain a permission number from the Dean of the school offering the course. Examples might include certain science courses limited to students majoring in science or courses in the Honors program.
Prerequisite Course - A prerequisite course is a course taken in preparation for another course. For example, Accounting 1 is a prerequisite for Accounting 2.
Private/Public Institutions - Private and public institutions differ primarily in terms of their source of financial support. Public institutions receive funding from the state or other governmental entities. Private institutions rely on income from private donations, or from religious or other organizations and student tuition. Peru State College is a public institution governed by the Nebraska State College Board of Trustees.
Residence Life – Residence life covers the non-academic portions of college including on-campus housing, food service, student organizations and activities.
Schedule of Classes - Colleges publish a class schedule for each semester/term, during the previous semester. With the help of academic advisors and/or faculty members, students make up their own individual class schedules for each semester they are enrolled.
Scholarships – Peru State College offers a wide range of scholarships based on academic achievement, financial need, leadership, and special abilities (athletics, art, music). Scholarships are a form of financial aid that do not need to be repaid.
Schools – Peru State College’s academic programs are organized in four schools led by a Dean. School of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, and School of Professional Studies offer undergraduate majors and minors; the Graduate School offers master’s degree programs.
Semester – An academic period of approximately 16 weeks. Peru State College offers a fall semester beginning in late August and a Spring semester beginning in January.
Student Records - The Student Records administration or registrar of an institution is responsible for the maintenance of all academic records.
SSS – Student Success Services – a membership organization providing extra support for eligible students. See TRIO.
Student Handbook -- A guide to current policies, practices, and activities of the campus. It is not meant to serve as the ultimate authority concerning these matters, as Board of Trustees’ policies are updated on a continual basis, and practices and activities are reassessed periodically. Peru State College reserves the right to update this handbook at any time.
Summer Session – Peru State College offers courses over the summer in an 8-week online format.
Syllabus - An outline of the important information about a course. Written by the professor or instructor, it usually includes important dates, assignments, expectations and policies specific to that course. Some are quite lengthy.
Textbooks - Books required of students enrolled in college classes. Professors notify students which books they must purchase (and sometimes additional, optional textbooks) at the beginning of each semester/class. Students can purchase new or used textbooks or rent textbooks.
Term – Each semester Peru State College offers full-semester classes of 16 weeks and two 8-week terms for online classes. First 8-week Term I classes are denoted in the class schedule by a course section number ending in 049X; second 8-week Term II classes end in 049Y.
Title IX – The section of federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and is committed to providing an environment in which all students who participate in College programs and activities can work together in an atmosphere free from sexual harassment and sex discrimination.
Transcript - The transcript is a permanent academic record of a student at college. It may show courses taken, grades received, academic status and honors received. Transcripts are not released by the college if the student owes any money to the college.
Transfer of Credits - Some students attend more than one institution during their college career. When they move or transfer from one college to another, they also transfer accumulated credit hours from the former institution to the new one. The new institution determines which courses will apply toward graduation requirements.
TRIO SSS – A federally funded program designed to increase the college graduation rate of eligible students by providing enhanced services for its members including mentoring, tutoring, and advice on academic, career, and personal issues, among others.
Tuition - Tuition is the amount paid for each credit hour of enrollment. Tuition does not include the cost of books, fees, or room and board. Tuition charges vary from college to college.
Tutor - A tutor is a person, generally another student, who has completed and/or demonstrated proficiency in a course or subject, and who is able to provide instruction to another student. Tutors usually help students better understand course material and make better grades.
Undergraduate - An undergraduate is a student who is pursuing either a one-, two-, or four-year degree.
Withdrawal from a Course - Students may withdraw from courses during a semester, but there are established procedures for doing so. A grade of W will be recorded on the student’s transcript.
Withdrawal from College – Students may completely withdraw from college for serious reasons. The student should consult with their advisor, residence life, financial aid, and the business office before making a withdrawal decision.