Glossary of College Terms
Glossary of College Terms
The following is offered as an explanation of common terms used throughout the Ventura County Community College District. Students should be familiar with these key words, terms and phrases because they will be used throughout the community college experience. A counselor is also available to answer any questions.
Abbreviated Educational Plan: A pathway that identifies the courses a new student will take in their first one or two semesters. An abbreviated educational plan may be developed by a student with or without the help of an academic counselor, and is not approved by a counselor. Abbreviated educational plans are required for all new non-exempt students; however, a comprehensive educational plan will also satisfy this requirement.
Academic Year: Fall and Spring semesters, beginning with the start of the Fall term in August through the end of the Spring term in mid-May.
Add: Formally adding a class(es) by completing the appropriate forms online or at the Admissions Office.
Add Authorization Code: Four-digit code received from an instructor allowing the student to register in a closed class online using their MyVCCCD student portal.
Adding a Closed Class: Students seeking entry to any class that is closed at the time they attempt to register are referred to the instructor.
Advanced Placement (AP): A program in the United States and Canada created by the College Board offering college-level curriculum and examinations to high school students. Colleges often grant placement and course credit to students who obtain high scores above a certain number on the examinations. To see the list of AP exams that Moorpark College accepts toward the Associate Degree, see page 97-98 of the catalog or schedule an appointment with a counselor.
Advisory/Recommended Preparation: A condition of enrollment that a student is advised, but not required, to meet before or in conjunction with enrollment in a course or educational program. The recommendation is made by faculty and is intended to ensure that students are adequately prepared to successfully complete a particular course.
Area of Emphasis: Required in General Studies programs of study, an area of emphasis consists of 18 units in an area of concentration, with 6 of the 18 units coming from a single discipline to give the student more depth in their study.
Area of Interest (AI): A cluster of degrees & certificates that are considered similar from a student's perspective. In most cases, students will still declare a major in a specific discipline or department. Commonly referred to as “Meta-Majors” nationwide, our “Areas of Interest” are called “Career and Major Communities”, “Learning and Career Pathways”, or “Career Clusters” at other colleges.
Articulation: Contractual agreements between two or more schools of the courses that transfer and satisfy specific requirements.
Articulation agreements between each of the Ventura County Community Colleges (Moorpark, Oxnard, Ventura) and CSU/UC campuses are available at www.assist.org. These list the courses that transfer between the individual college and CSU or UC campus.
Assessment: All students have direct access to transfer-level English and math courses. Multiple measures (including high school transcript data, self-reported high school transcript data and guided self-placement) are used to provide recommendations for math and English courses. Course recommendations are intended to help students select appropriate classes and move forward on their desired pathway.
ASSIST (www.assist.org): ASSIST stands for Articulation System Stimulating Inter-institutional Student Transfer. It is a website that shows how course credits earned at one public California college or university can be applied when transferred to another. ASSIST is the official repository of articulation for California's public colleges and universities and provides the most accurate and up-to-date information about student transfer in California.
Associate Degree: An associate degree is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by community colleges, junior colleges, technical colleges, and some bachelor's degree-granting colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study usually lasting two years.
- Associate in Arts (A.A.)
- Associate in Science (A.S.)
Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT): is an undergraduate academic degree designed to guarantee admission to the CSU system. The degree consists of 60 CSU transferable semester units including certified completion of general education requirements (CSU GE-Breadth/IGETC-CSU), major requirements, and electives (if needed). An Associate Degree for Transfer may be earned in academic and career technical education majors.
- Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T)
- Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T)
Audit: Process by which a student may enroll in a class as an observer for information only. The student is not officially registered, and will not receive a grade. Audit enrollments do not satisfy degree, certificate or transfer requirements and do not appear on a student's transcript. See the Audit Policy in this catalog.
Bachelor’s Degree: Degree granted by four-year colleges and universities; The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) are most commonly offered.
By Arrangement: Course, or part of a course, which includes additional hours not yet formally scheduled. The arrangement is usually scheduled with the Instructor of the course at the start of the semester.
CCPG: a form of financial aid that covers enrollment fees for eligible California residents, AB 1899 Victims of Trafficking, Domestic Violence and other Serious Crimes, AB 540 and AB 2000 Undocumented students.
California College Promise Grant: A form of financial aid that covers enrollment fees for eligible California residents, AB 1899 Victims of Trafficking, Domestic Violence and other Serious Crimes, AB 540 and AB 2000 Undocumented students.
Certificate of Achievement: A college-awarded certificate indicating the student has satisfactorily completed the major courses in a program, but not the general education courses. A Certificate of Achievement is not a degree, but is posted to the academic transcript.
Certificate of Competency: A college-awarded document to students who have demonstrated achievement in a set of competencies that prepares them to progress in a career path or to undertake degree-applicable or non-degree-applicable credit courses. A certificate of competency is not posted to the academic transcript.
Certificate of Completion: A college-awarded document to students who have satisfactorily completed a sequence of noncredit courses designed to improve employability or job opportunities. A certificate of completion is not posted to the academic transcript.
Class Schedule: Same as Schedule of Classes. Listing of college courses offered in a particular term. Contents include the course ID, title, units, hours, time, instructor and location of classes. Prerequisites and deadlines are included in each listing. The schedule is only available online.
Collaborative Learning: A method of instruction committed to actively engaging students in their learning using small groups, team and group projects, and providing opportunities for students to share common experiences and solve problems.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP): A group of standardized tests created by the College Board that assess college-level knowledge in several subject areas. These exams are administered at various colleges and universities across the United States. Some institutions award credit to students who meet the college's minimum qualifying score for that exam, (typically, 50 is a qualifying score), but qualifying scores vary by school and exam. See page 101-102 of the catalog for the list of CLEP that Moorpark College accepts toward the Associate Degree, or schedule an appointment with a counselor.
Comprehensive (Active) Educational Plan: A pathway that identifies the courses a student must take to complete their informed program of study and reach their educational goals. The comprehensive educational plan is detailed enough to identify everything a student must do to achieve their educational goal. Comprehensive educational plans are required for all students who have completed 15 units of college coursework, and must be approved by an academic counselor during a counseling appointment.
Corequisite: A course or courses in which a student must be concurrently enrolled. A corequisite represents a set of skills or a body of knowledge that a student must acquire through concurrent enrollment. Corequisites are indicated in the Class Listings of the Schedule of Classes and in the College Catalog.
Counselor: Faculty who assist students with personal, career, vocational and educational planning and development.
Course: An organized pattern of instruction in a specified subject offered by the college.
Course Description: A brief statement about the content of a particular course.
Course Identification Numbering System (C-ID): C-ID is administered by the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges as a faculty-driven system for colleges and universities to facilitate the identification of comparable courses and increase articulation across all segments of higher education in the state. C-ID addresses the need for a “common course numbering system” to simplify student movement both within the California community colleges and intersegmentally. For additional background information on C-ID, please visit www.c-id.net.
Credit Course: A course for which units are granted.
Credit by Exam: Process by which a student may meet a specific requirement through successful performance on a comprehensive exam. Students who are successful in challenging a course through credit by exam will receive units earned in the challenged course and the appropriate letter grade (A,B,C,D,F, or P/NP) will be posted to their academic transcript. All courses shall be open to credit by examination unless specifically exempted by the District College. See page 98 for a list of course exempted from Credit by Exam.
Credit for Prior Learning: Granting unit credit for prior learning is based on the principle that previous experience, training, or instruction is the equivalent of a specific course taught by the college. Course and unit credit can be obtained through the credit for External Examinations process (AP/IB/CLEP), Internal Departmental Examinations process (locally administered exams), High School to College Articulation process, or Evaluation of Joint Services Transcripts (JST), Student-Created Portfolios, or Industry-Recognized Documentation, Credentials or Licensure. See catalog section on Credit for Prior Learning for details on the policy and process.
CRN: Course Reference Number is listed in the Schedule of Classes and referenced when students register in courses or make adjustments to their courses.
CSU: The California State University system, also called Cal State, consists of 23 campuses statewide.
CSU GE-Breadth: General Education pattern for the CSU system. See Transfer Information.
Curriculum: Course offerings of the College as a whole; also refers to a group of required courses leading to a degree or certificate.
Degree: A diploma granted by a college confirming the student has attained a certain level of ability in a specific field. The most common degrees offered at California Community Colleges are:
- A.A. Associate in Arts
- A.S. Associate in Science
- A.A.-T. Associate in Arts for Transfer; and
- A.S.-T. Associate in Science for Transfer.
Associate Degrees are posted to the Moorpark College academic transcript. The most common degrees offered at 4-year colleges and universities are:
- B.A./B.S. Bachelor's Degree; and
- M.A./M.S. Master’s Degree.
DegreeWorks: is a Degree and Goal planning tool in the My.VCCCD portal intended to help educate and guide students as they make choices in their class schedules and educational goals here at the Ventura County Community College District.
Dismissal: The procedure of dismissing a student from college for poor academic achievement, for incurring excessive withdrawals, or for disciplinary reasons. Dismissal can be temporary, providing the student agrees to and meets certain conditions. Meet with a counselor to petition your academic dismissal. Meet with the Dean of Student Conduct to discuss disciplinary dismissal.
Drop: Withdrawing formally from a class in which a student is enrolled. It is the student’s responsibility to formally withdraw from a class. A student may drop a class online or in-person, or the instructor may initiate the drop. View the Academic Calendar, the online Schedule of Classes, and/or your Schedule/Bill in the MyVCCCD portal for deadlines.
Educational Work Load: Generally consists of 15 units of work per semester to make normal progress towards the A.A./A.S. degree and/or transfer requirements.
Elective: A course that is not specifically required for the major but which the student takes for unit credit, and which may count towards the total units required for the degree.
Eligibility Cap: The maximum allowable time a student can receive state or federal financial aid. Pell Grant eligible students have 6 years (12 full-time semesters) of total Pell Grant lifetime eligibility. All the years each student has received federal Pell grant will be counted toward the 6 years, regardless of when the student began receiving aid. A student becomes ineligible to receive a Pell grant as soon as reaching 600% of their Pell or the equivalent of 6 full time years.
Excused Withdrawal: An Excused Withdrawal (EW) is a non-evaluated symbol used to permit a student to withdraw from a course for reasons beyond their control. It may be requested by the student at any time during the semester (effective January 2018) and no later than three (3) years after the term in which the course was taken. Excused Withdraw shall not be counted in progress probation or dismissal calculations nor shall it be counted towards the permitted number of withdrawals or counted as an enrollment attempt. The financial aid of a student may be affected depending on individual circumstance. A student should consult with the financial aid staff regarding any impact. Check with the Admissions and Records Office for the specific requirements and procedures
Financial Aid: Money available from the federal or state governments or local sources to help students meet college expenses. Financial aid can include grants, loans, scholarships, and work-study programs.
Full-Time Student: A student who enrolls in and satisfactorily completes a minimum of 12 units during the term. This status is important for financial aid eligibility and other special program requirements.
General Education/Breadth Requirements (GE): Courses all students must satisfactorily complete to obtain a degree. GE requirements vary depending on the degree the student is seeking. Current lists are available at the Counseling Office, in the College Catalog, in the Schedule of Classes, and on the College website.
Good Academic Standing: Describes a students whose grade point average is a “C” (2.0) or better and the percentage of entries of W, I, NC has not reached or exceeded 50%. When assigning enrollment priority; describes any student who has not been on academic or progress probation or dismissal for two consecutive terms. Students who are on probation for two consecutive terms will lose enrollment priority for the next term.
Grade Point Average (G.P.A.): The average of a student’s grades; calculated by dividing grade points earned by the number of units attempted. See Academic Policies.
Hour: Same as Credit, Credit Unit, Semester Hour, Semester Unit, or Unit. The basic unit of credit is the semester unit which is equivalent to a credit hour. One credit hour of community college work is approximately three hours of recitation, study or laboratory work per-week throughout a term.
Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC): Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum. A pattern of courses that can be used to satisfy general education requirements at both CSU and UC campuses. See Transfer Information.
International Baccalaureate (IB): An international educational based system which offers individual subject exams to students who complete its diploma programs. Many US colleges and universities award credit for qualifying scores on these exams. To see the list of IB exams that Moorpark College awards credit toward the Associate Degree, see page 92 of the catalog or schedule an appointment with a counselor.
Learning Community: Thematically links two courses, providing the student with an interdisciplinary context for learning.
Lower Division: The first two years equivalent of college work, usually 60 units i.e., freshman and sophomore years. By California law, only lower division work can be offered at California Community Colleges.
Major/Area of Emphasis: Same as Program of Study. An organized program of courses in a specific area of study, leading to a Certificate of Achievement, an Associate degree, or ultimately a Bachelor's degree.
Multiple Measures: Multiple measures refers to the process in which more than one assessment is used to determine a student’s readiness for a course or program, specifically, English and mathematics. Measures may consist of high school grades, courses, grade point average, test scores, and college assessment test scores. Faculty use at least two of these measures to recommend placement into courses in which students would be best prepared to succeed.
MyVCCCD: The student portal that provides access to a variety of services, tools and information.
Noncredit Courses: Courses offering no college credit, no units, and no grades. A noncredit course should not be confused with the pass/no pass grading option as defined below. Noncredit courses are offered for no cost, with the exception of textbooks and other materials, if required.
Open Registration: The date on which any student accepted to the college may begin registering for course for the upcoming term. Registration dates/appointments are in the Academic Calendar and a student’s specific date/appointment is in the MyVCCCD portal.
Open Entry/Open Exit: Courses available for students to add throughout the semester and may be completed upon fulfillment of course requirements at any time during the semester.
Part-Time Student Status: A student who enrolls in or completes fewer than 12 units in a term.
Pass/No Pass: A grading system allowing a course to be taken for a "grade" of pass/no pass (P/NP) rather than for a letter grade. See Academic Policies.
Pell LEU: Pell Lifetime Eligibility Used - Pell Grant eligible student has 6 years (12 full-time semesters) of total Pell Grant lifetime eligibility. All the years each student has received federal Pell grant will be counted toward the 6 years, regardless of when the student began receiving aid. A student becomes ineligible to receive a Pell grant as soon as reaching 600% of their Pell or the equivalent of 6 full time years.
Preparation for the Major: Lower division courses required by four-year universities as part of the selected major: see also, prerequisite.
Prerequisite: A requirement which must be completed prior to enrollment in a course and without which a student is highly unlikely to succeed. Prerequisites are listed in the course descriptions in the College Catalog and in the online Schedule of Classes.
Primary Semesters/Primary Term: Fall and Spring. The college calendar is broken down into two main, 16-18 week sessions; fall and spring. The summer session is broken down into several 4-8 week inter-sessions that run simultaneously and consecutively.
Priority Registration: Students in good academic standing, who have less than 90 degree applicable units, who have completed orientation, educational planning, and assessment will be given priority registration. Registration dates/appointments are in the Academic Calendar and a student’s specific date/appointment is in the MyVCCCD portal.
Probation: Academic standing when a student fails to maintain progress towards their declared academic goal or if the grade point average drops below a 2.0 for any term. Students on probation are required to meet with a counselor to develop a plan to get off probation and return to good academic standing.
Proficiency Award: A document awarded to a student upon completion of a course or a series of courses as designated in the College Catalog. Awards are issued by selected instructional departments of the College. Consult the instructor for more information. Proficiency awards are not posted to the academic transcript.
Program Change: Adding or dropping any classes after initially enrolling.
Program of Study: Same as Major/Area of Emphasis. An organized program of courses in a specific area of study, leading to a Certificate of Achievement, an Associate degree, or ultimately a Bachelor's degree.
Recommended Preparation: Preparation suggested by the faculty to successfully complete a particular course. While strongly encouraged, students do not have to satisfy recommended preparation guidelines to enroll in a course.
Registration: The official process of enrolling in courses online in the MyVCCCD portal. The process of registration must be completed before census in order for a student to be officially enrolled and to receive credit for any classes. Visit the website for registration information. View the Academic Calendar, the online Schedule of Classes, and/or your Schedule/Bill in the MyVCCCD portal for census deadlines.
Registration Date/Appointment: The date when students can begin registering for course for the upcoming term. They are assigned based on the student’s academic standing, degree-applicable units, and 3SP completion. Registration dates/appointments are in the Academic Calendar and a student’s specific date/appointment is in the MyVCCCD portal.
Registration Planner: A registration and planning tool available on MyVCCCD that allows students to select courses, list their availability, compare potential schedules, register for classes, drop courses, and plan courses in advance.
Repeatability: The conditions under which a course may be repeated and whether the student may earn credit for additional attempts of a course. The State of California Community Colleges Title 5 has its own set of rules for Course Repetition Policy. Students generally have three attempts to receive a passing grade (A, B, C, P) in a course. Course repeat limits are listed in the college catalog course descriptions. Federal regulations prevent the Financial Aid Office from paying for a course that has been passed and repeated more than one time. In order for a repeated course to be counted towards a student's enrollment status for financial aid purposes, a previously passed course once may only be repeated once (a total of two attempts). If a student enrolls in a previously repeated and passed course for a third time, this course will not count towards the student’s enrollment for financial aid purposes.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): To be eligible for federal student aid and college financial aid, a student must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress. This generally consists of maintaining at least a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (i.e., at least a C average) and passing enough classes with progress toward a degree.
Schedule of Classes: Same as Class Schedule. Listing of college courses offered in a particular term. Contents include the course ID, title, units, hours, time, instructor and location of classes. Prerequisites and deadlines are included in each listing. The schedule is only available online.
Section: A single course taught several times in a term. For example, an English M01A course could have twenty sections spread over time and space in order to give students the maximum opportunity to take the course. Different sections are noted by CRN in the online Schedule of Classes.
Semester: Refers to the calendar year on which the Ventura County Colleges operate and unit count students can earn; typically, one-half of the academic year; 16 to 18 weeks duration.
Short-Term Course: A class that meets for less than a full semester; course carries semester unit count.
Staff: Noted in the online Schedule of Classes when a faculty member has not yet been assigned.
Student Education Plan (SEP): A program of study and services needed by the student to enable the student to reach his or her educational objective. The SEP is developed by the student and counselor.
TBA: “To Be Announced” is noted in the online Schedule of Classes when the time of a class may be arranged independently or when the location is to be announced after the schedule is posted online.
Transcript (of record): Same as academic transcript and official transcript. A student’s college academic records prepared by the Admissions & Record’s Office.
Transfer: This term generally applies to the student who plans to continue his or her education at a four-year college or university.
Transfer Certification: Process by which a counselor at a community college evaluates a student's transcripts and verifies they have met the CSU-GE Breadth or IGETC requirements for transfer to either a CSU or UC school. Transfer certification (also called GE certification) will be included with the student's academic transcript by the Admissions & Records Office. Student must meet with a counselor to initiate this process.
Transfer Credit: Credit from one college that is accepted and applied toward a degree, certificate or program of study by another college or university.
Transferable Course: A course that is accepted at universities at least for elective credit. Indicated after each applicable course in the College Catalog course descriptions and in the online Schedule of classes by clicking on the CRN, under “Transfer Credit.”
Transfer Requirements: Students planning to transfer must satisfy the specific requirements for admission to the institution they are transferring to. Admission requirements include, but are not limited to: completion of a general education pattern, subject area preparation for the major, specified number of transferable units, and minimum GPA. See a Counselor in the Transfer Center for transfer policies to 4-year colleges and universities.
UC: The 10 campuses of the University of California system.
Undergraduate: Courses in the freshman through senior years of college career. Courses taken prior to completion of a Bachelor’s Degree.
Units: The basic unit of credit is the semester unit which is equivalent to a credit hour. One credit hour of community college work is approximately three hours of recitation, study or laboratory work per week throughout a term.
Units Attempted: Total number of credit units in the courses for which a student has enrolled.
Units Completed: Total number of units in the courses for which a student has received a grade of A, B, C, D, or P.
Upper Division: Refers to courses taken at the junior and senior class level; available at the four-year college or university.
Withdrawal: The process by which a student officially drops one or some classes or withdraws from all classes during the semester through the MyVCCCD portal. Visit the website for withdrawal information. View the Academic Calendar, the online Schedule of Classes, and/or your Schedule/Bill in the MyVCCCD portal for census deadlines.