Los Rios Glossary / List of Terms

Each college has its own set of words and concepts you may not have encountered before. Following is a glossary of frequently used words for your reference.

The academic calendar contains the landmark dates that drive much of the day-to-day business at the colleges. Each academic calendar contains the start and end dates of the semesters, withdrawal, and drop deadlines along with other landmark dates that vary, depending on the length of the term.
While you are taking classes, the school evaluates both your performance (grades) and the progress you are making toward the completion of your goals. If you have completed 12 or more semester units and your grade point average (GPA) is below 2.0 ("C"), you will be placed on Academic Probation. You may be removed from probation when your grade point average is raised above 2.0. (See also Progress Probation)
(Grade Repair) If your academic record includes old grades ("D" or "F") that do not represent your current level of academic success, you may ask the college to ignore this information when it computes your grade point average. See the counseling center for additional information.
A college or program which is recognized by a professional association as maintaining certain standards. Accredited programs qualify graduates for admission to higher or more specialized programs, and for professional practice. Los Rios colleges are accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
A program that allows eligible high school students to enroll in college courses.
Recommended courses and/or skill levels to meet prior to enrolling in a course or program to ensure success.
A connecting link between two or more schools. Articulation agreements between Los Rios colleges and other schools list courses that transfer and meet general education and/or major requirements leading to a bachelors degree.
Assessment tests are used to recommend English, English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) and Math classes. These classes are prerequisites to many classes and are required as part of an AA/AS Degree or transfer program. For these reasons, students should have these Assessment results before seeing a counselor.
A general degree granted by California Community Colleges.
A general degree granted by California Community Colleges with some having more emphasis on two-year career-technical training than the A.A. degree.
A transfer degree granted by California Community Colleges designed to provide a clear pathway to a CSU major and baccalaureate degree.
A transfer degree granted by California Community Colleges designed to provide a clear pathway to a CSU major and baccalaureate degree.
A degree granted by four-year colleges/universities, usually the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or the Bachelor of Science (B.S.).
Intended to certify that students completing all required courses for a major are prepared to enter the careers designated on their certificates. Certificates of Achievement require 12 units or more with grades of "C" or better in each course.
Intended to certify that students completing all required courses are prepared to meet specific occupational needs, upgrade skills, or for advancement in an existing career. Certificates require 11.5 units or less with grades of "C" or better in each course. The certificate requires completion of all courses listed in the Required Program of study.
The listing of courses with each course title and section offered, including the units, course number, days, time, building and room number, and the instructor's name for each section.
Published each year, the catalog helps you understand program requirements and lists all courses you can take at a particular college (not just the classes offered in one particular semester). You will also find information on majors, admission requirements, regulations, grades, and transfer requirements. It is a valuable document (on sale at campus bookstores) you will need to plan your college education.
A course in which a student is required to enroll at the same time as another course. (See also Pre-requisite)
Counseling assistance is available to students by a staff of professional counselors which enables students to establish and meet their educational goals and objectives. This includes personal and vocational counseling, career guidance, adjustment to college, developing study skills and many other services. Students may see the counselor of their choice. A counselor is a trained faculty member assigned to assist students with academic, career, personal, and crisis intervention.
A course is the name of a class, such as English 300 (College Composition) or Math 100 (Elementary Algebra). The class schedule lists courses offered each semester and how many sections of the course are offered as well.
Identifies the transfer status of a course to the University of California (UC) and/or California State University (CSU) systems.
A course for which units and a letter grade are granted.
A lack of credit in a required course or graduation requirement.
A degree is an official college recognition for the completion of requirements for graduation. Upon completion of all requirements for the degree a petition for graduation must be completed with a counselor.
A student is subject to dismissal when he/she has earned a cumulative grade point average of less than 2.0 in all units attempted in each of three consecutive semesters. A student must see a counselor to petition for readmission.
Courses elected by the student that do not fulfill a major or general education requirement but provide units toward the degree. There courses are "electives," as you "elect" (choose) to take them for interest and/or to fulfill unit requirements for graduation or transfer.
Courses, skill level, or other requirements a student must meet prior to enrollment in a course or program.
One who is enrolled in 12 or more units for the semester.
Certain group of courses required of all degree candidates regardless of their major. These differ from the A.A. and A.S. degrees and for transfer. These courses are listed in the college catalog. A counselor can also explain general education requirements to you.
All grades have a numerical value; that is: "A"=4.0, "B"=3.0, "C"=2.0, "D"=1.0, "F"=0. A grade point is the numerical value multiplied by the number of units. For example, if you get a "C" in a three-unit class, the result is 3 (units) multiplied by 2 (the value of the "C" grade), for a total of 6 grade points.
Once you've calculated the numerical value of each letter grade, (see grades), you can calculate a grade-point average. Add the total points of all the semester's courses you took, divided by the number of units. Let's say you took 12 units (four 3-unit classes). At the end of the semester, you received an "A" in one 3-unit class, a "B" in two others, and a "C" in a third. The "A" gives you 12 grade points, each "B" grade is 9 grade points (18 total), and the "C" is 6 grade points. That adds up to 36 grade points. Then divide by 12 units and your grade-point average (GPA) is 3.0, or a straight "B" average.
Completion of all the requirements in the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum will permit a student who transfers from a community college to a campus in either the California State University or University of California systems to satisfy that university's lower-division general education requirements prior to transfer.
The first two years of college work, i.e., freshman and sophomore years and/or courses.
A major is the name of a group of courses you must take in order to meet the requirements for graduation in a specific field of study. For example, you might major in mathematics, nursing, liberal arts, legal assisting or a number of other programs listed in the college catalog. Each of these majors has required courses that are outlined in the catalog. A grade of "C" or better is required to fulfill a major requirement at a college.
An agreement between the college and each student as to the steps both will take to help ensure the student succeeds.
The secondary field of study a student plans to pursue in addition to the major but with less emphasis. A minor is not required.
Course for which no units are given.
One who takes fewer than 12 units for the semester.
A grading system allowing a course to be taken for Pass or No Pass rather than for a letter grade. A student will be granted Pass if a "C" grade or better is earned.
Also known as an assessment test, this is used to determine your skill levels in math, English writing and reading. The results are used along with other important information to help you select a course for which you have the necessary skills for success.
A course or skill level a student must meet prior to enrollment in a course or program. If required, prerequisites are listed with the course description. (See also Corequisite)
Each college has a process by which any student who does not meet a prerequisite or corequisite or who is not permitted to enroll due to a limitation on enrollment but who provides satisfactory evidence may seek entry into the class. Please consult the college catalog for the campus you are attending for details on this process.
You may be placed on progress probation if half of the units you have taken result in Withdrawal ("W"), Incomplete ("I") or No Credit ("NC"). (See also Academic Probation)
Registration is a process that is commonly also referred to as "enrollment." An action to enroll in a course means that you are asking to be added as a student for a specific class. There are limits on how many students can enroll in a single class, and registration is on a first-come first-served basis. If the class is full you may be able to be placed on a waitlist for the class, and if a space opens up you will be enrolled into the class. Once you are enrolled in the class you must pay your fees or you risk being dropped from the class and another student may take your place.
The State of California recently developed new priority registration rules that permit certain eligible students to register for courses before the open enrollment period. Registration priority periods span approximately 6 weeks. You may find further details on registration priority here.
This is another name for a class that meets on a specific day and time. Many courses are offered at different times and days by different instructors. Each time-and-day possibility is a "section." When you choose a class from the class schedule, you are registering for a section.
The academic year (August-June) is divided in half, resulting in two 16-week periods called semesters. Grades are given at the end of each semester.
In general, a semester unit represents one hour of lecture or three hours of laboratory per week for a semester. Most AA/AS degrees require a minimum of 60 semester units. One semester unit is equivalent to one and a half quarter units.
A transcript is an official copy of your academic record. You will need a transcript when you transfer to another college or university, or to prove to an employer that you have completed certain required courses.
When you transfer, you go to another college or university for advanced education or training. A "transfer course" is any course acceptable at another college or university. These courses are usually numbered 300-499.
College credit is measured in terms of the "unit." You earn one unit by performing three hours of class work per week for one semester, which includes work in the classroom or lab and in outside study. Most lecture classes are three units, which might include three hours in class plus six hours of outside study and preparation time. A full-time student carries 12 or more units per semester; a part-time student takes fewer than 12 units.
The last two years of college work (junior and senior levels). Upper division courses are not available at the community college.
A form must be completed by the student when dropping a class. Failure to properly withdraw may result in failing grades, probation or dismissal. It is the student's responsibility to withdraw from classes.