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Glossary of Terms

Articulation Agreement: Agreements between community college and four-year universities that indicate the acceptability of courses in transfer toward meeting specific degree requirements.


Assessment Test: Tests  that help determine the student’s levels of English and Mathematics, which assists in placing students in the appropriate level course.


Associate Degree (AA/AS):   A degree granted by the community college to students who complete a specified program of study, usually totaling 60 units. Associate degrees are awarded in arts and science and are sometimes called two-year degrees, in contrast to the four-year or bachelor’s degree awarded by a university.


BOGFW: Board of Governors Grant Fee Waiver.  It waives annual enrollment fees for qualified students.  It is now known as a California Promise Grant.


California Promise Grant:  The new name that replaces the Board of Governors Grant (BOGFW)  See above.


Certificate:  An award granted upon completion of a prescribed series of courses preparing students for employment in selected occupational/vocational fields which require training beyond high school. A certificate may be earned while preparing for an associate degree. Some four-year colleges also offer certificate programs.


Corequisite:  A course that must be taken during the same term as another course.


CSU/UC:  These refer to California State University and University of California respectively.  These abbreviations are often used in college catalogs and schedules of classes to indicate courses that are transferrable to these institutions.


Electives:  Courses that are not used to meet specific major, general education, or graduation requirements, but can be used to complete the total units required for a degree.


General Education: A program of courses in the arts and sciences that provides students with a broad educational experience. Courses typically are introductory in nature and provide students with fundamental skills and knowledge in mathematics, English, arts, humanities, and physical, biological, and social sciences. Transfer students often take these classes while attending a community college. Completion of a general education program is required for the baccalaureate degree.


Grade Point Average (G.P.A.):  The average of all grades received. For transfer students, grade point average refers to the average grade received in transferable units. Also called G.P.A. and cumulative grade point average.


Honors Programs:  Special courses for high academic achievers often within the framework of general education. Program may feature workshops, seminars and small group discussion sessions.


Humanities: Generally courses in the classics, foreign languages, linguistics, literature, philosophy, public speaking, and religion.


IGETC (Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum):  A general education program which community college students can use to satisfy lower-division general education requirements at any CSU or UC campus.


Impacted Programs: Some majors at some colleges may be declared impacted because they receive more applications than program space available. Impacted program applicants must normally apply during a specified time period and participate in a competitive selection process.


Liberal Arts: Program/courses in the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences.  This is sometimes the major for those students who wish to transfer to a university in order to earn a teaching credential.


Lower Division: Courses offered for freshman/sophomore level credit. Also refers to students whose class level is freshman or sophomore.


Matriculation: The process of initially enrolling in college.


Major: A program of study that leads to a degree; the subject area in which a student pursuing a college degree develops the greatest depth of knowledge.


NDA Courses: Non-degree-applicable (NDA) basic skills courses are designed to prepare students for success in college-level classes. NDA courses do not count toward a certificate or degree, and are not transferable.  Community colleges use special numbering systems to indicate courses that are NDA.  Refer to you college catalog.


Pell Grant:  A cash grant from the Federal government that does not need to be repaid.  For more information, go to


Priority Filing Dates: One month period of time when applications are first accepted for a specific term at the CSU or UC, i.e. November 1-30 for the following fall term.


Social Sciences: Usually courses in anthropology, geography, history, political science, psychology, and sociology.


Transfer Program: A community college program which provides the first two years of transferable semester (60-70) preparation for the baccalaureate degree.


Transfer Admission Guarantee (TAG): A formal, written agreement that outlines the courses that must be completed before transfer, states the GPA required, and lists specific requirements for crowded majors. The Transfer Admission Guarantee will guarantee admission to the university as long as the provisions of the agreement are completed. Students with 30 transferable units completed may be eligible for a TAG.


Transfer Student: A student who, after attending a college or university, seeks admission to another college or university. Generally, courses taken at previous colleges will be applied to the degree requirements at the new institution.


Transferable Courses: Courses offered by one college (e.g., a community college) that will transfer to another college (e.g., a four-year college or university). These courses can usually be applied toward the bachelor degree requirements at the four-year college or university.  Most college catalogs and class schedules will indicate courses that are transferrable to the California State University (CSU) or to the University of California (UC).


UC/CSU: These refer to University of California and California State University respectively.  These abbreviations are often used in college catalogs and schedules of classes to indicate courses that are transferrable to these institutions.


Undergraduate: An enrolled student who has not completed a baccalaureate degree; a freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior.


Unit:  A measure of credit earned for course completion. A unit is based on the number of hours of instruction per week required in the classroom and/or lab or in independent study. A course earning three semester units will usually meet for three lecture hours a week. One quarter unit is equal to 2/3 of one semester unit.


Upper Division: Courses offered for junior/senior class level credit. These courses are not offered by community colleges, and they often require completion of prerequisite courses. Also refers to junior and senior students

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