link College Glossary

Glossary

WVC District

College Glossary

Unsure about what a term means? We've defined the most common words used in higher education and by the College below.


Common Terms

Definitions

  • AA/AS Degree (Associate of Art/Science)

    An Associate of Art or Science Degree is awarded by a Community College like Mission College. The degree requires the completion of 60 units of lower-division courses. It will include general education and major coursework in a particular program of study. View a list of degrees.
  • Academic Dismissal

    A student whose cumulative grade point average is less than 2.00 for each of three
    consecutive semesters.
  • Academic Probation

    A student is placed on academic probation after attempting a minimum of 12-semester units of work and earning less than a C average. In terms of grade point average, that means less than a 2.0 average.
  • Add/Drop
    Students must add and drop classes within certain periods of time. Be aware of each semester’s add and drop dates. Also, even though an instructor may drop a student from a class, adding and dropping is ultimately a student’s responsibility. Always double-check your schedule in the Portal to confirm that any adds or drops show up accurately.
  • Articulation

    The process of comparing the content of courses that are transferred between postsecondary institutions.
  • Assessment

    Assessment is a test to evaluate your skills in Reading, Writing, Math, and English as a Second Language. After completing an assessment, a student will attend an orientation or meet with a counselor to select courses based on assessment results.
  • Audit

    Auditing a course means that you are observing or "sitting in" on a course. To audit, you must get the instructor's permission and then fill out an Audit form to submit to the Admissions office.
  • Award Letter

    The notification of the financial aid award. The award letter lists the types and amounts of financial aid the student is eligible for. To finalize the award package, the student must sign and return the award letter to the Financial Aid office.
  • BA/BS Degree (Bachelor of Art/Science)

    A Bachelor of Art or Science Degree is awarded by a four-year college or university such as a Cal State University, University of California, or private University. The degree requires completion of all lower- and upper-division prescribed coursework. For example, general education as well as major coursework in a particular program of study.
  • Catalog

    A college catalog is a yearly publication that provides official information about a school, including academic and behavioral policies, courses of study, degrees and certificates offered, admission and enrollment procedures, financial aid information, and more.
  • Certificate

    A certificate is an official document indicating the completion of core requirements for a specific occupation or career program of study. Some examples of certificates offered at Mission College include Digital Illustration, User Experience and Interface Design, Accounting, and Entrepreneurship and Small Business.
  • Corequisite

    A corequisite is a required course that you must take in the same semester as another course. For example, Econ 1A: Principles of Economics has a co-requisite of Econ 2A: Principles of Macroeconomics Lab.
  • Dual Enrollment

    High School students can take community college classes with the approval of their High School officials while enrolled, and this is called Dual Enrollment.
  • Course Overlap

    In some cases, a student wants to enroll in two classes that overlap in meeting time. For example, an early class finishes at 9:30 a.m., but the next class starts at 9:20 a.m.—then a student may request instructor permission to take both classes as long as the overlap does not exceed 10% of the class meeting time.
  • Course Overload

    A course load of 12 units is considered full-time. However, students may take up to 18 units. If you want to take more than 18 units, meet with a counselor to complete a course overload form to enroll in the additional units.
  • CSU General Education

    California State University General Education is a pattern of GE that works for all majors at all CSUs.
  • CSU System

    The California State University is a public system comprised of 23 campuses, including San Jose State, Chico, Cal Poly, and CSU Monterey Bay.
  • Curriculum

    A curriculum is a program of courses approved for a particular degree or certificate. To earn a degree or certificate in a specific program, you must complete the curriculum for that program.
  • Early Alert

    Early Alert is a system that allows counselors to reach out to students who may need additional help early in the semester. If an instructor reports concern about a student’s progress with attendance, homework, quizzes, and tests, a counselor will reach out to that student, either by phone or email.
  • Educational Plan (Abbreviated)

    An abbreviated Ed Plan is what you develop during Orientation so you can get started on the courses you need to complete your goals. This plan includes the first two semesters of coursework, including prerequisites, general education, and electives. A more comprehensive Ed Plan is what you develop one-on-one during a counseling appointment.
  • Educational Plan (Comprehensive)

    A comprehensive Education Plan is what you develop one-on-one during a counseling appointment. It will include all of the major and general education coursework required to graduate and/or transfer to a University.
  • Electives

    Electives are courses of choice that may be taken for credit toward transfer, a degree, or a certificate. For example, you may choose from a list of elective courses in order to meet a certain requirement.
  • FAFSA

    The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The forms are available and may be completed online at the FAFSA website. Staff in the Financial Aid office are there to help you. If you need help filling out your FAFSA, just ask!
  • Final Exams

    Mission College has a Final Exam week schedule that is different from the schedule for the rest of the semester. Every class has one final exam meeting time, regardless of how many times a week it meets during the regular semester. Find the Final Exam schedule on the website or in the schedule of classes, and map out your own final exam week schedule early each semester. That way you have time to make any arrangements needed--for example to your work or childcare schedule--to make sure you can attend all of your finals.
  • Financial Aid

    Many forms of financial aid are available to help you pay for college, including grants, scholarships, loans, and fee waivers. Check out more financial aid information.
  • Financial Aid Disbursement
    The payment that you will receive from any financial aid you have. In general, those payments are made at a specific schedule in the semester. See our disbursement dates.
  • Full-Time/Part-Time

    If you take 12 units, you are considered a full-time student. Students may take up to 18 units. If you take less than 12 units, you are considered a part-time student.
  • General Education (GE)

    Students need to complete a pattern of General Education courses along with major requirements in order to receive an AA/AS Degree or an ADT.
  • Golden Four

    Before transferring to any four-year college or university, you must complete the Golden Four classes. The Golden Four includes two transferable writing classes, a communications class, and a transferable math class. See your counselor for details.
  • Grade Point Average (GPA)

    A cumulative GPA is a number that represents the average value of all final grades earned in your courses. For a GPA calculation, an A is equal to four grade points; a B is three grade points; a C is 2 points; a D is one point; an F is 0 points. Grades of W (Withdrawal), P (Pass), and NP (No Pass) are not calculated into your GPA.
  • Hold

    A hold is placed on your academic record when there is an outstanding obligation. For example, unpaid fees for a lost library book. The hold is released when the obligation has been met. If you have a hold, you cannot register or receive other services from the college until the hold is released.
  • Incomplete

    In some cases, an instructor may assign an incomplete, which is a grade of "I", to a student who has not completed a major assignment or examination because of extenuating circumstances. Course requirements must be completed within a mutually agreed upon time frame by the instructor and student before the instructor can change the grade. Any Incomplete that has not been completed within one year will automatically change to an “F.”
  • Lecture vs. Laboratory Classes

    In lecture classes, you attend class on a regular basis and the instructor lectures on class material. Laboratory classes require you to perform certain functions in controlled situations that help you apply the course material in a hands-on context.
  • Online Asynchronous Classes

    Online asynchronous classes have NO class meetings on set days/times. All instruction is conducted via the college’s learning management system (such as Canvas.) While there are no scheduled meetings, asynchronous classes are not self-paced. Assignments are to be submitted online and are due on specific dates.
  • Online Synchronous Classes

    Online synchronous classes meet on specific days/times via Zoom (or some other video conference platform.) This includes classes with ANY scheduled synchronous meetings, even if there is only one scheduled synchronous meeting. You can search our class schedule by format, including online synchronous, online asynchronous, and in-person class formats.
  • Orientation

    Orientation provides students with information about the campus, higher education, college programs and services, degree, certificate, and transfer requirements, registration, academic expectations and procedures, and campus facilities. New students are required to satisfy the orientation requirement by their first semester at Mission College.
  • Pass/No Pass Option (P/NP)

    In designated courses, students can choose to earn a Pass for any grade of C or above or a No Pass for a D or below grade. A Pass or No Pass grade is not computed into your GPA. With a Pass, you will earn the credits for the course. If you earn a No Pass, you will need to repeat the course in order to earn credit.
  • Prerequisite

    A prerequisite is a required course that you must pass before taking a specific course. For example, Math 106: Intermediate Algebra is a prerequisite for Math 10: Statistics.
  • Priority Registration
    Priority Registration students with priority registration will be able to sign up for classes before incoming students and those students who have not completed “The Big Three,” which are Assessment, Orientation, and Educational Planning.
  • Private Schools

    Our students transfer to many private colleges and universities, both in California and across the country. Stanford, Santa Clara University, and Menlo College are examples of private schools in our local area.
  • Progress Probation

    A student on progress probation is subject to dismissal if their total percentage of W (Withdrawal), I (Incomplete), and NC (No Credit) grade reaches or exceeds 50% of the total units  attempted for 3 consecutive semesters. 
  • Readmission

    If you've been dismissed, you may request reinstatement by submitting a petition for readmission to the college. You may submit this petition after an absence of one semester or after explaining other extenuating circumstances. It is located in the Financial Aid department.
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

    The Department of Education and Student Financial Assistance Programs require schools to develop and apply a consistent standard of academic progress. It is important for your Financial Aid to make sure you maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress. Review Mission College's SAP policy carefully and talk to a counselor if you are unsure about your SAP.
  • SSSP (Student Success and Support Program)

    Triple SP stands for Student Success and Support Program. It includes Assessment, Orientation, and Educational Planning. California passed the Student Success Act of 2012 which requires that community college students complete “The Big Three,” (Assessment, Orientation, and Ed Planning) in order to get Priority Registration.
  • Syllabus

    syllabus is a required document for every course. It is like a contract between the student and the instructor. A syllabus includes a course description, student learning outcomes, and student expectations, as well as an instructor’s contact information, policies, and grading scheme. Keep the syllabus for every course you take, at least until you receive a final grade for that course.
  • Transcript

    A transcript is a permanent academic record. It may show courses taken, grades received, academic status, and honors received. Official transcripts can be ordered through the Admissions office. Review FAQs about transcripts.
  • "Official" Transcript

    Hard-copy transcripts that are sealed, and in an official envelope from the college. Electronic official transcripts are ones that are directly sent from the college to the university
  • Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG)

    Mission College offers University of California Transfer Admission Guarantees for students who meet the specific grade, course, and unit requirements. By participating in a TAG you will receive an early review of your application and if you fulfill certain requirements, you will be guaranteed acceptance to the campus. You may apply for a TAG to only one UC campus.
  • UC System

    The University of California is a public system comprised of multiple campuses, for example, UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis, and UCLA. One campus, UC San Francisco, enrolls only graduate and professional students in the medical and health science fields.
  • Units/Credit Hours

    Units are used to quantify hours of instruction. One unit is equivalent to about one hour of instruction per week for a full-length semester. A degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal awards will require a minimum number of units.

  • W or Withdrawal

    Students may withdraw from a course before 75% of the total days in a course. While a withdrawal does not impact your GPA, it does appear on your transcript as a “W.” Also, it does count as an attempt to complete the class, and registration fees for the course will NOT be refunded. A withdrawal is sometimes the best option, but do not treat withdrawals lightly. You do not want a pattern of withdrawals reflected on your transcript.
  • WVC Portal

    The WVC Portal is the primary source of communication between Mission College and you, the student. Use the portal to register for classes and to review or update personal and academic information. Check the portal frequently to be informed of important information and announcements.