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Definitions

Accredited: Certified as having fulfilled minimum standards established by regional accrediting agencies. Indicates that course work is accepted by other colleges and universities.

Advisor: A member of the college faculty or staff designated to assist students in planning their programs of study.

Audit: Take a class without receiving credit.

Commencement: An annual graduation ceremony held in June.

Common Course Numbering: The Washington Community and Technical College system has adopted common course numbers, prefixes and titles for courses that are equivalent at many two-year colleges.These changes go into effect summer quarter 2008. The courses and their descriptions are not changing, just the course number and in some cases the prefix and/or title. There are changes to both common courses and non-common courses. Common courses are identified by having an “&” character at the end of the prefix, for example ENGL& or ANTH&. You can see a complete list of all the changes and more information at www.tacomacc.edu/ccn.

Counselor: A member of the college faculty who has special training in guidance and who assists students who have problems of an academic or personal nature.

Credit/Quarter Credit Hour: A measurement of college work. Ordinarily, one credit hour is given for one clock hour of attendance each week for a period of one quarter (11 weeks). In some cases such as laboratory courses, however, two or three clock hours of attendance each week are required to earn one credit or credit hour. A specified number of credits or credit hours must be earned for a degree.

Curriculum (Plural Curricula or Curriculums): The complete list of courses offered by the college. Also, a group of courses required for a specific degree.

Deficiency: Lack of credit in a course required for a specific program, graduation, or a degree. Also, a status imposed on a student because of low grades. See the Academic Review Policy.

Degree: A diploma awarded by the college which signifies a student has successfully completed a program of study.

Directory Information: The only information authorized for external release by the college without the student’s written consent shall include student name, degrees and awards received. The college may confirm dates of attendance, date of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized sports and activities and the most recent previous educational institution attended.

Direct Transfer: The college has agreements with most of the public and private four-year colleges and universities in the state for the direct transfer of its students under guidelines developed by the Inter-College Relations Commission of the Washington Council for High School-College Relations. For transfer information, see the Degree section.

Discipline: A branch of knowledge or of teaching, such as Art, History, English, etc.

Distribution Requirements: A range of courses required for graduation with an associate degree, in addition to the major department requirements.

Division: An area within the college which is devoted to a group of related subjects e.g., Business, Humanities, Allied Health, etc.

Drop: See Withdraw.

Elective: A course which is not required for a particular program.

General Educational Development (GED): A program designed to meet the needs of adults who have not graduated from high school and who want to earn a certificate of high school equivalency. Passage of the GED examinations generally is accepted in lieu of high school graduation.

Grade Point: A numerical value assigned to a grade, as follows: each credit hour of A equals 4 points; B, 3 points; C, 2 points; D, 1 point; E and other grades, 0 points.

Grade Point Average (GPA): The numerical average obtained by dividing total grade points earned by total credit hours completed in a quarter. A cumulative grade point average is obtained by dividing the total grade points on a student’s record by the total hours he or she has completed.

Honors Program: A program with a two-year course of study for students with exceptional academic qualifications.

Honors/High Honors: A designation at graduation for students who graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.33 or higher for Honors and 3.66 or higher for High Honors.

Incomplete: An incomplete is a grade given only when a student has done satisfactory work in a class but for some unavoidable reason has been unable to complete the course or take the final examination. Incompletes must be converted to a traditional letter grade within one year of their issuance or they revert to an ‘E’ grade.

Major: The subject or field of study to which the student devotes concentrated attention.

Non-Resident Student: See Resident Student.

Pre-Professional: A program designed to prepare students for later specialization in a particular field upon transfer to a senior college or university.

Prerequisite: A course which must be taken before a student is allowed to take another course. For example: MATH&-141 and MATH&-142 are prerequisites for MATH&-151.

Quarter: A term of instruction consisting of approximately 11 weeks. The regular academic year consists of fall, winter and spring quarter.

Quarter Hour: See Credit Hours and Quarters.

Registration: The process of becoming officially enrolled in a college. Registration usually is required at the beginning of each quarter. It includes the selection of courses and payment of fees.

Resident Student: A resident student is one who is financially independent and has had a domicile in the State of Washington for at least one year immediately prior to the first class day of the quarter for which he or she is registering and who has established a bona fide domicile in the state for other than educational purposes. A financially dependent student is also classified as a resident if one or both of his or her parents or legal guardians have maintained a bona fide domicile in the State of Washington for at least one year immediately prior to commencement of the quarter for which he or she has registered. See Admissions Procedures section for more information.

Withdraw: To officially stop taking classes before the 55th calendar day of the quarter. This must be done with an Add/Drop form.

 
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