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If you’re not familiar with the world of higher education as a first generation student,
the terms and jargon used by your teachers and advisor may feel like a whole new language.
To help you better understand college language, feel free to use the following glossary.
Associate Degree - Typically referred to as a two-year degree, normally includes a program of around 60 credit hours.
Bachelor’s Degree - Also referred to as a baccalaureate degree, and generally takes around four years to complete if attending full-time, and consists of around 120 credit hours.
Academic Advisor - A college staff member who helps a student select the correct degree plan and courses, and discusses educational goals.
Credit Hours - The number of hours per week that a course meets for a whole semester. College courses are measured in terms of credit hours. Most courses at NWACC are three credit hours but some are more or less.
Syllabus - A guide to a course and what will be expected of you in the course. Generally, it will include course policies, rules and regulations, required texts, and a schedule of assignments.
Work Study - A federal student aid program for those with financial need that allows one to work part-time for the college. A student must be financial aid eligible to qualify for work study.
Academic Standing - The status determined by a student’s cumulative and/or semester grade point average at the end of the fall and spring semesters.
Grade Point Average (GPA) - This number represents the average value of the student’s accumulated final grades earned over time. NWACC uses a 4.0 scale (A=4.0, B=3.0, C=2.0, D=1.0, and F=0).
Elective - A credit course that a student chooses from a number of optional courses in a program, as opposed to a required course.
Prerequisite - A required prior condition. This could be a course that is required before you can take another course. For example, English Comp I is a prerequisite for English Comp II.
Corequisite - A course or requirement that must be completed at the same time as another course or requirement. For example, the English block.
Registration - The process of selecting and signing-up for courses. Each semester, students are informed of the opening date for registration for the following semester.
Degree Audit - An analysis of a student's academic progress toward a degree. It's a helpful tool for a student to monitor where he is and what he still needs to do to complete requirements. The degree audit can be found in My NWACC on the left-hand column.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) - A federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. This is why NWACC is not able to give out information to a student's spouse or guardian. If there is a person that a student wants to be able to access this information, a student can fill out the consent to release of academic information form.
Transcript - A student’s academic record, usually includes all courses taken, grades received, and GPA.