Glossary of College Terms
Accredited - A college or program certified by a national and/or regional professional accrediting body to have met certain standards. Colleges in the Los Angeles Community College District, including Valley College, are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
Add/Drop - ADD: Formally enroll in a class. DROP: Formally remove yourself from a class after you have registered. You must officially drop courses that you stop attending for any reason. Failure to do so may result in an F grade on your transcript that cannot be removed.
Application - A written request for formal admission to a college or university.
Articulation - Articulation agreements, sometimes referred to as transfer course agreements, are the official course requirements between Valley College and colleges or universities to which you plan to transfer. Taking courses at Valley that are articulated with courses at a university ensures that you are taking the right courses. Articulation can be done course-to-course, for major requirements and/or for general education requirements. Valley College has articulation agreements with a variety of institutions of higher education including the University of California (UC) campuses, California State University (CSU) campuses, and private and out-of-state colleges/universities.
Associate Degree - An Associate in Arts or Associate in Sciences degree, awarded by a community college upon completion of a set program of study.
Bachelor's Degree - A Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or related degree, awarded upon completion of a program of study.
California Community Colleges - A system of higher education that includes over 100 colleges, including Valley College, that offer certificates, associate degrees, and preparation for transfer to a baccalaureate granting institution.
California State University - A system of 23 higher education universities located throughout the State of California that offer Bachelor's and Master's degrees.
Certificate of Achievement - Normally awarded upon completion of a concentrated occupational program.
College Catalog - Published once a year, the catalog describes college programs, services, degrees, graduation requirements, academic policies, and courses taught throughout the year.
Co-requisite - Enrollment in a companion course is required. The information presented or the practice gained in the co-requisite course is considered necessary for success in the target course.
Course Number - The number or letter following a course title that uniquely identifies this course from others offered in the same discipline; for example, History 11 and History 43.
CSU GE Breadth Certification Plan - A group, or "pattern," of courses that you may complete to fulfill lower-division general education requirements toward the Bachelor's degree at any California State University campus.
Electives - Courses that are not required but may be taken for personal interest or to meet unit requirements toward degree completion and transfer admissions.
Full-time Student – You are considered a full-time student if you are enrolled in a minimum of 12 semester units.
General Education - Work and a full life in the 21st century require high order skills of creativity, problem solving, innovation, and teamwork – hallmarks of general education. To earn an associate degree or higher you must complete general education coursework which will give you skills employers are seeking regardless of your major:
- Come ready to work the first day on time
- Communicate and think critically
- Work in teams
- Use technology
- Think and communicate globally
IGETC (Inter-segmental General Education Transfer Curriculum) - A pattern of courses that you may complete to fulfill lower-division general education requirements if you intend to transfer to the UC (University of California) or CSU (California State University) system.
Independent and/or Private Colleges and Universities – Includes over 70 California independent colleges and universities, as well as out-of-state institutions offering various degrees, levels of academic rigor, educational environments, and majors.
Lower Division Coursework - Lower-division coursework is what makes up the associate degree and/or the first half of a bachelor’s degree. California community colleges, including Valley College, offer lower-division college coursework. To complete a bachelor’s degree, you must transfer and complete your upper-division coursework requirements. Lower-division courses generally focus on foundational theories, concepts, perspectives, principles, methods, and procedures of critical thinking in order to provide a broad basis for more advanced coursework at the upper-division level. The primary intent of lower-division coursework is to equip you with the general education needed for advanced study, and to expose you to the breadth of different fields of study.
Major - Your major is the academic and/or vocational field you choose to study in-depth; for example, Biology, Economics, Automotive Technology.
Matriculation - The process of enrolling in college and participating in assessment, orientation and advisement.
Occupational/Vocational - A program of study which develops job skills and includes coursework in a specific vocational area.
Part-Time Student - You are considered a part-time student if you enroll in fewer than twelve (12) units a semester.
Pass/No Pass - A policy of granting credit, but no grade, for satisfactory completion of a specific course. Courses taken on a Pass/No Pass must be completed with a grade of C of higher to be recorded on your transcript as a Pass. Courses taken on a Pass/No Pass basis are not included in your grade point average.
Prerequisite - Coursecredit, training, or experience that you must have completed before enrolling in the target class. Requiring a prerequisite Indicates that mastery of a certain body of knowledge is necessary if you are to be successful in the target course (the course that has the prerequisite). Most commonly, such knowledge is measured by the successful completion of the prerequisite course listed in the class schedule. "Successful completion" of a prerequisite course is defined by a grade of "A," "B," "C," or "P." Grades that are not acceptable are "D," "F," or "NP."
Probation - Whenever you enroll in at least twelve (12) units and fail to complete at least half (50 percent) of all units in which you are enrolled (progress probation), or your cumulative grade point average drops below 2.0 (academic probation). After three consecutive semesters on probation, students are subject to dismissal.
Quarter System - Approximately ten weeks of instruction offered three times a year, during the fall, winter and spring. Some colleges also offer a summer quarter. Valley College is on the semester system.
Registration - The official process of selecting your courses and having your enrollment confirmed. The process must be repeated each semester/ summer session in which you wish to beenrolled.
Schedule of Classes - Published each term that lists the courses offered, class times, instructors' names, room numbers and important dates to remember. Schedules are online through the Valley College web site.
Semester System - Approximately fifteen to sixteen (15-16) weeks of instruction offered twice a year during the fall and spring. Valley College is on the semester system.
Student Number - A six digit number (88-1234567) assigned to you at the point of application that identifies you as a student of Valley College.
Summer Session - A four to six week intersession held during the summer months. Coursework completed in the summer session is given the same credit as coursework completed during the fall and spring semesters.
Transcripts - Your official college record of all courses you have attempted and completed. Your official transcript is a permanent record that will stay with you throughout your academic career. Once you have a transcript from a institution of higher education, you must report this record on all applications that ask for your complete academic record.
Undergraduate - Courses offered for freshman- through senior-level credit. Also refers to students who have not yet completed a bachelor's degree.
Unit/Credit - A value that indicates the amount of credit given to a class. (It often reflects the weekly time interval required for class attendance.)
University of California - A system of 9 higher education universities located throughout California that offer Bachelor's, Master's and Doctorate degrees.
Upper Division Coursework - Upper-division coursework is baccalaureate-level coursework that you will compete if you transfer from Valley College to a university to earn your bachelor’s degree. The California community colleges, including Valley College, do not offer upper-division coursework. This coursework will primarily be in your chosen major.
Waiting List - A secondary enrollment list created when a class has reached its maximum enrollment during registration. If you are on a waiting list for a class, you are not enrolled in the class until/unless you have formally added it.
Winter Intersession - A five week session between the fall and spring semesters. Coursework completed during a winter intersession are given the same credit as coursework completed during the fall and spring semesters.
Withdrawal - The process by which you officially drop a class during a semester. You must officially withdraw from courses that you stop attending for any reason. Failure to do so may result in an F grade on your transcript that cannot be removed.