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Educational Terms

Academic year – Comprised of four quarters at MCC, the academic year runs from Summer quarter through Spring quarter.

Career certificate – A career certificate is awarded for successful completion of a structured sequence of courses that is at least 24.0 and a maximum of 36.0 credit hours in length. (formerly known as specialist diploma)

Census date – Date used by colleges to determine enrollment figures and to determine students’ eligibility for financial aid disbursements.

Certificate of achievement A certificate of achievement is awarded for successful completion of a program of study that is at least 48.0 credit hours in length.

Co-requisite – An academic course required to be taken in conjunction with another course. In some cases, previous completion of the required course is acceptable.

Course description – This is a statement found in the College catalog that identifies the content of a specific course.

Course number – The number following a course subject identifies a specific course, such as BSAD 1000 (Introduction to Business).

Course objective – Each course offered in the College has defined objectives that program faculty have agreed make up the essentials of the course. These objectives are part of the syllabus distributed at the beginning of each class. Individual instructors determine how to best assess the extent to which students have mastered these objectives: tests, homework assignments, presentations, research projects, etc.

Course section – A combination of two characters (can be numerals or letters) that immediately follows a course subject and number. The course section uniquely identifies the location and the time of the course.

Course subject – This four-letter code identifies the area of study, such as Business Management (BSAD).

Credit hour – This is a unit used in giving credit for a course and usually determines the number of hours per week the student is in class.

Degree – The associate degree is offered to a student who successfully completes a two-year program of study. MCC offers associate in arts, associate in science, and associate in applied science degrees.

Diploma – This document indicates successful completion of one of the College’s programs of study.

Elective – An elective class permits students to select a course of their choice to apply toward program requirements.

Full-time student – Students enrolled in 12.0 or more credit hours are considered to be full-time students.

Grade point average – This is the cumulative, numerical average of the grades a student has received. The range may be from a low of 0.0 to a high of 4.0.

Hybrid course – A course that combines classroom learning with a significant online component.

Internship – This is work related to students’ programs of study for which they receive college credit. The internship is generally taken near the end of a program of study.

Major – A major indicates a specific group of classes needed to complete a certificate or degree program. It is also referred to as the program of study.

Non-standard courses – These courses may run for less than the full quarter, more than the full quarter, and/or may have non-standard begin and end dates not within the designated academic quarter dates.

Option – A degree or certificate option is an area of interest within a program of study. A degree or certificate is awarded for the program, not the option.  For students completing multiple options within a program, only one major degree is awarded.  

Part-time student – Students enrolled in fewer than 12.0 credit hours are considered to be part-time students.

Prerequisite – Requirements to enter selected courses have been established; students must complete these requirements before enrolling in the course.

Program of study – A program of study indicates a specific group of classes needed to complete a certificate or degree program. It is also referred to as the major.

Quarter – This is one of four periods of instruction offered at MCC: Fall (FA), Winter (WI), Spring (SP), and Summer (SS). Academic quarters are 11 weeks in length (except for the Summer quarter with one ten-week and two five-week sessions). Students must register and pay for each quarter they attend. Quarters are often referenced in relation to the academic year in which they occur, such as 13/WI for Winter classes in the 2013 academic year.

Specialist diploma – A specialist diploma is awarded for successful completion of a structured sequence of courses that is at least 24.0 and a maximum of 36.0 credit hours in length.  Beginning Fall 2013, specialist diplomas are replaced by career certificates.

Standard courses – Full-quarter classes that begin and end within the designated academic quarter dates (see begin and end dates in the academic calendar).

Syllabus – A document presented to students at the start of the quarter that outlines content, policies, and activities in a class. MCC syllabi follow a standard template that includes the course description, course objectives, assessment policies, the instructor’s expectations of students, learning and technology support, and a schedule of assignments.

Synonym – A unique six-digit number assigned to every course section at MCC.

Transcript – An official record of the grades earned at an institution.

Transfer – The conveyance of a student’s credits from one institution to another.