FAQ - Glossary of Terms

Recognition by an organization or agency that a college meets certain established standards of educational quality (may be national and/or regional).

Advanced Placement
Designated high school honors courses that provide college credit for students scoring at a certain level on the AP examination

Application Fee Waiver
Freedom from payment of the admission application fee for those students with demonstrated financial hardships.

Articulation Agreement
A formal agreement between colleges that identifies courses on a “sending” campus that is comparable to, or acceptable at a “receiving” campus.

The official Internet site that contains all articulation agreements between California Community Colleges, the University of California, and the California State University. www.assist.org.

Associate in Arts Degree
A two-year degree usually awarded by a community college upon completion of a program of study.

Bachelor’s (Baccalaureate Degree)
A Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or related degree awarded upon completion of a program of study usually done in four years (full-time).

A campus publication that includes descriptions of academic and non-academic programs, courses, policies and procedures, and the college calendar.

California Community College

The process that verifies the completion of general education for California state colleges and universities (either the CSU General Education Breadth requirements or the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum) or the University of California (the Intersegmental General Education Curriculum). Students must request certification in the Admissions and Records Office prior to transfer.

Class schedule
A campus publication which lists the times and locations of courses taught each semester. The schedule also contains registration information, testing dates and times, final exam schedule, and other information of interest to new and continuing students. The current schedule can be accessed at www.miracosta.edu to check closed/open sections.

Credential Program
Prescribed professional education requirements that must be met in order to teach at the K-12 levels. These are usually fulfilled after completion of a bachelor’s degree, but may also be completed while pursuing the degree.

CSU General Education Breadth
Completion of the CSU General Education Breadth requirements will permit a student to transfer from a community college to any campus in the California State University system without the need, after transfer, to take additional lower-division general education courses to satisfy campus general education requirements.

Doctorate Degree
Usually a Ph.D. Awarded upon the completion of a prescribed program beyond the master’s degree level. Requires 2-3 years of full-time study beyond the master’s degree.

Education Abroad Program.

Educational Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS)
A program designed to provide information regarding admission, financial aid, and support services to current and/or prospective students who may have economic, educational, or environmental disadvantages. “Special Admission” consideration may also be provided.

Courses which are not required for the major or general education, but which are acceptable for credit. An elective course may be in the student’s major area of study or any department of a college.

Filing Periods
The period of time during which campuses will accept applications for students wishing to enroll in a particular semester or quarter.

Financial Aid Transcript
A copy of a student’s official record of all financial aid awarded and received at an institution.

General Education Requirements (GE)
A group of courses in varied areas of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences that are designated by a college as one of the requirements for a degree.

Grade Point Average (GPA)
The indication of the overall level of academic achievement. It is an important measure used in making decisions about eligibility for graduation, transfer to four-year institutions, and probation disqualification. The grade point average is derived from the following unit system: A = 4 grade points; B = 3 grade points; C = 2 grade points; D = 1 grade point; and F = 0 grade points per unit. The GPA is calculated by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the number of units attempted.

Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC)
Completion of the IGETC will permit a student to transfer from a community college to a campus in either the California State University or University of California system without the need, after transfer, to take additional lower-division general education courses to satisfy campus general education requirements. Students must request “certification” of IGETC when it is completed. The form is submitted to the Admissions & Records Office.

Impacted Major/Campus
When the number of applications received is expected to be larger than the number of spaces available, additional criteria are considered in making admissions decisions.

Independent College/University
Accredited colleges and universities that are not state supported.

Liberal Arts
Programs/courses in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.

A term used to describe courses that are usually taught the freshman or sophomore year of college. California Community Colleges only offer lower division course work.

Lower –division Major Preparation
Lower division courses that are required as foundation information for upper division coursework. These courses should be completed prior to transfer is possible.

A subject of academic study chosen as a field of specialization.

Master’s Degree
Degree awarded upon completion of one or two years of study beyond the bachelor’s degree.

A secondary field of study outside of the major, often requiring substantially less course work.

Mixed Record
A student who has attended a university or baccalaureate-granting college and a community college.

Pass/No Pass
A form of grading whereby a student receives a grade of “P” or “NP” instead of a letter grade. At MiraCosta College, a grade of P is assigned for work equivalent to a grade of “C” or above. P/NP grading is not advised for courses within a student’s major, or transfer level math or English.

The ability to ask for, in writing, a special exception to a specified rule, policy or standard.

A requirement a student must meet in order to demonstrate readiness for enrollment in a course or educational program. A prerequisite is enforced through the registration process at most colleges and universities, including MiraCosta.

Quarter System
Approximately 10 weeks of instruction offered three times a year, during the fall, winter, and spring. Some institutions also offer a summer quarter.

Re-Entry Student
An older, returning student.

Repeating a course where a “D” “F” or “No Pass” (NP) was earned. A Withdraw (“W”) is not considered a repetition.

Residence Requirements
States that a certain number of units must be taken on the campus from which the student expects to receive a degree.

Resident/Non-Resident Status
Student status based on place of legal residence. Non-residents (out-of-state) often have to pay higher fees and meet higher admission requirements at state financed colleges and universities.

Rolling Admissions
An admission decision given by the college as soon as possible after an application is completed. No notification deadline is specified.

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)
A multiple-choice test administered by the College Board, designed to measure proficiency in mathematics and verbal ability. Usually taken for freshmen college admissions, transfer students may also find it meets writing and mathematics exam requirements for some universities.

Outline prepared by the professor and usually handed out at the first class meeting. The syllabus outlines the professor’s expectations, and includes a timeline, homework, and reading assignments for the course.

A list of all courses taken at a college or university showing the final grade received for each course. Official transcripts bear a seal of the college and signature of a designated college official and are sent directly from one institution to another.

Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG)
Admission programs that assure students a place at the university upon completion of specified criteria.

A student enrolled in the years of college study prior to receiving a bachelor’s degree.

The measure of college-credit given a course, usually on the basis of one unit for each lecture hour per week or for every two to three laboratory hours per week.

Upper Division
A category of study at the undergraduate level that is narrower in focus than lower division study. These courses are usually taught at the junior and senior level and encompass most of the major.

The junior and senior years of study.

Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The accrediting agency for all schools in California.