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College Terms

The following terms or phrases are ones with which you may not be familiar, but are peculiar to the academic world. Students may encounter them in conversations with faculty and staff, in this catalog, or in other publications.

Academic Probation: A state-mandated process to identify a student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 2.00 (or credit hours, or, simply, unit).

Academic unit: Credit for courses offered by Taft College is awarded in terms of semester units. The value of a course is computed on the basis of one unit of credit for each hour of lecture or discussion, two-to-three hours of laboratory, or two hours of activity per week, for a 16-week semester. Courses meeting for fewer than 16 weeks will require an equivalent number of hours prorated on a per-week basis.

Academic year: Two semesters (fall to spring), starting in fall plus summer semester and examination periods.

Accredited: Quality of academic programs is approved by an outside rating agency.

Admission: Your acceptance for enrollment.

Advisor: Academic advisor who offers class selection and academic advice.

Advisory: A condition of enrollment suggested a student meet before or in conjunction with enrolling in a course.

Associate Degree: Awarded for completing an area of study. The typical amount of coursework to complete an Associate Degree in two years is 14-16 units per semester, for a total of 60 semester units, if a student begins coursework at the degree applicable level of English and math.

Bachelor’s Degree: (baccalaureate degree): Awarded for a four-year degree.

Calendar: See “Academic Calendar” in this catalog. It includes important dates of the academic year.

Catalog: The catalog is your comprehensive guide and contract with Taft College.

Certificate: A document that verifies completion of a specific area of study.

Class Schedule: Published for the registration period for each semester and includes course details (when, where) and scheduling procedures.

Competency Requirements: Reading, writing and mathematics competency must be demonstrated before graduation.

Co-requisite: Course you must take concurrently with, or prior to, another course.

Counselor: Trained professional to diagnose difficulties students may encounter when pursuing their academic goals and develops educational plan.

Courses: Listed in the “Course Descriptions” section of this catalog, showing the course number, title, description, and units.

Credit: See “Academic Unit”

Curriculum (program): Courses required for a specific degree or certificate.

Cut: Deliberately missing a class without prior approval.

Departments: Academic areas in which courses are offered in one or more disciplines.

Distance Learning: Instruction provided outside the traditional classroom also known as Distance Education (DE).

Drop and add: You may change your schedule by dropping or adding classes. Check the Academic Calendar for the drop/add deadlines for each term or check with the Counseling Center secretary.

Elective: Course distinguished from required course.

E.O.P.S. /C.A.R.E. (Extended Opportunity Programs and Services/Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education): A state-funded program that provides comprehensive support services designated to help students achieve their educational goal(s).

Financial aid: Various types of financial help including scholarships, work-study jobs or grants to eligible students.

Full-time student: A student enrolled in 12 or more units in one semester.

GED (General Education Development examination): An examination of high school diploma equivalency. HiSET is available for Spanish speakers.

General Education requirement: A group of courses required to earn a degree; provides a broadly based education.

Grade Point Average (GPA): Number of grade points earned divided by the total units attempted.

Major: A concentration of courses in a specific educational area leading to a degree.

Matriculation: A process bringing the College and student into an agreement designed to achieve the student’s educational goal(s).

Multiple Measures: Taft College uses various measures such as high school transcripts, motivation, and recency of coursework to place students in appropriate courses.

Non-Credit: Non-credit courses are available to members of the community, free of charge, and do not count toward the completion of a certificate or Associate degree. Per the Education Code Section 84757, non-credit courses can refer to several categories including elementary and secondary basic skills courses, English as a second language courses, or education programs for persons with substantial disabilities.

Part-time student: A student taking less than 12 units in a semester.

Pass/No Pass: At the option of each academic division, some courses are offered on a pass/no pass (satisfactory/fail) grading basis as indicated in the Course Description section of this catalog (previously known as credit/no credit grading).

Prerequisite: Specific courses you must successfully complete with a “C” or better before you can enroll for another specific course. Students must satisfy prerequisites and any other stated conditions before enrolling in a course.

Professor: General term for all Faculty. A professor with a doctoral degree may also refer to him/herself as a “doctor”.

Registration: Each semester you must register in specific classes for the next semester, pay tuition and fees, etc.

Special Admit Part-Time Student: Special Admit student taking 11 units or less in a fall or spring semester. Summer semester is limited to 5 units.

Student Learning Outcomes: What students have gained during the educational experience, such as knowledge, skills, experience, values, beliefs, and so forth.

Syllabus: Written description of course content distributed by instructors to students.

Term: Semester

Transcript: Written record of all of your coursework maintained by the Registrar’s Office.

Transfer with a Guarantee: Associate of Science for Transfer (AS-T) and Associate of Arts for Transfer (AA-T) are degrees designed to guarantee transfer into the California State University system with junior status, with only an additional sixty (60) units to obtain a Bachelor’s degree.

Two-for-one: Most courses, will expect you to spend an average of two hours in preparation or study for each hour of lecture.