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2: Learning the Lingo

Here is a glossary of important terms and names that new students should become familiar with:

 


What is a credit (credit hour)?

A standard measure of the amount of instructional time required to successfully complete a course.  (For example, EN 101, College Composition, is a 3 Credit Hour course, which usually means that it will meet for 3 hours each week.  For the length of each class session and lab hours, if any, be sure to check with your advisor or a faculty member regarding specific courses.)

What is a Plan of Study?

A required form to be completed by all degree and certificate students and signed by their advisors in their first semester of enrollment which lists required courses and planned schedule for future semesters. The plan of study is the ticket to registering for the correct courses for subsequent semesters

What is the college Class Schedule?

The class schedule is published in hard copy and online before the start of each semester. It includes the listing of all classes offered with the days, times, classroom, campus, and instructor for each section identified, the semester's calendar, and a list of the registration dates and instructions.
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What is the College Catalog?

The catalog is the official periodic publication of the college that contains all the relevant information about Housatonic Community College.  The catalogue contains descriptions of all programs and courses, information regarding college policies, financial aid, student services, and directories with listings of offices, faculty, and staff. All students are strongly encouraged to pick up a copy at the information desk and read it!
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What is the Student Handbook?

The Housatonic Student Handbook is an annual publication now combined with the College Catalog. It is designed to introduce the students to the various services, college policies and programs.  The handbook is designed to be used in conjunction with the College Catalog and the class schedule.
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What is a registration form?

The registration form is completed by each student when you enroll (sign up) for a course(s).  The form is submitted to the Registrar's office either in person, by mail, by fax, or students can register online at myCommNet. Students must receive a "permit to register" from an advisor.
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Who is the Registrar?

The Registrar is the administrative staff member responsible for overseeing student academic records.  The Registrar's Office oversees all registration activities for credit courses.
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What is a transcript?

A transcript is an official record of your academic history. It shows the courses you have taken, grades received in those courses, and your semester and cumulative grade point averages.
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What is the G.P.A.?

The G.P.A. is a student's grade point average. At the end of each semester, students receive grades in every course in which they were enrolled.  Grades represent various levels of accomplishment.  Except for developmental courses, grades carry certain "grade points" which are numerical expressions used to determine each student's academic standing. Students receive a G.P.A. and a cumulative (all semesters) G.P.A. The following table lists the grades used and their corresponding grade points.
Grade
Grade Points
Definition
A
4.0
Excellent
A-
3.7
 
B+
3.3
 
B
3.0
Good
B-
2.7
 
C+
2.3
 
C
2.0
Satisfactory
C-
1.7
 
D+
1.3
 
D
1.0
Poor
D-
0.7
 

F

0

Unsatisfactory

I
0
 
M
0
(developmental courses & EN 100R)
P
0
(for CEU courses only)
W
0
 
N
0
 
S
0
(Satisfactory progress, mid-term grade only)
U
0
(Unsatisfactory progress, mid-term grade only)
Administrative Marks
AU
0
 
N
0
 

DEFINITION OF GRADES

A-F
Academic Standard Grades. A letter grade of "A" through "F" indicates a student's performance in terms of the quantity and the quality of that work performance. Only these grades are considered in the determination of a grade point average (GPA) for a student.
I
Incomplete. May be awarded by an instructor only when a majority of course requirements and assignments has been successfully completed. The "I" grade is a deferred grade, neither passing nor failing, on the official transcript. Incomplete work must be submitted to an instructor at least 14 days before the end of the current semester so that grades can be submitted no later than the last day of exams.
M
Maintaining progress. An administrative transcript notation used only for developmental courses to indicate that the student is maintaining progress but not at the usual rate. It may be given to a student for a course only twice.
P
Passing. "P" is used for students enrolled in non-credit courses. The CEU is a measurement (one unit equals ten class contact hours) nationally recognized by business, industry and professional organizations for evaluating an individual's effort toward professional growth. When "P" is used, it may reflect performance at any of the passing levels (A, B, C, D). Permanent records of CEUs are kept by the Office of Continuing Education programs.

W
Withdrawal. "W" is used for students who formally withdraw from a course. Students who withdraw through the Registrar's Office within the first two weeks of the semester receive no grade for the course. Students who formally withdraw after the 2nd week, but prior to the end of the 6th week of classes, automatically receive a grade of "W." After six weeks and up to the 12th week of classes, a "W" may be awarded by the instructor only if formal withdrawal is initiated by the student, and at the discretion of the instructor.

N
No Grade. A transcript notation for any situation where there is no grade reported at the end of the traditional semester (i.e., no grade received from a faculty member, courses in progress, or no basis for a grade).

S
Student is not making satisfactory progress towards earning a grade of C or higher for the course.  This grade notation is used as a mid-term grade only.

U
Student is making unsatisfactory progress towards earning a grade of C or higher for the course. Student should seek immediate academic support (advising, tutoring, reduced course load, etc.) in order to improve grades before the end of the term/semester. This grade notation is used as a mid-term grade only.

Administrative Marks

AU
Audit. "AU" is used for students wishing to take a credit course for no credit. Students must pay the regular fees and audit status must be indicated within four weeks of the start of class. The audit student will receive no credit and a grade of "AU" and may not change to a credit basis. The student may in succeeding semesters take for credit any course he/she has previously audited. Audit courses will be reflected on the student's record as "AU." The student may not petition for credit for the audited course.
N
No Grade. A transcript notation for any situation where there is no grade reported at the end of the traditional semester (i.e., no grade received from a faculty member, courses in progress, or no basis for a grade).

 

Enrolled students need to attain a G.P.A. of at least 2.0 to graduate in a degree or certificate program.

What is a syllabus?

A syllabus is a summary or outline distributed by an instructor that states the main topics to be discussed in the course. It usually includes deadlines for assignments, class policies, and grade standards. Students are expected to abide by and follow the syllabus carefully.

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What is the college academic calendar?

The college academic calendar is based on the semester system, usually a fall and a spring term of 15 weeks each. Their is also a winter and summer session which run either 3, 5, 8, or 10 weeks. The calendar is published in the college's catalog, class schedule, and the student handbook. It lists start and end dates of each semester, holidays, and important registration and advising times and dates.
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What is a semester?

A semester (sometimes called a "term") is one-half of an academic year. The semester system divides a school year into two parts, usually a fall and a spring term of 15 weeks each.
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What does it mean to matriculate (matriculation)?

Matriculation is the term that indicates commitment to a plan of study in order to earn a degree or certificate.
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What is a prerequisite?

A prerequisite is a skill or class required for entry into a class or program of study.
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What is myCommNet?

myCommNet is a source of information for all students, faculty and staff of the Connecticut Community Colleges, and provides access to a broad array of personal, academic, and work-related services.
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What is Graduation Honors?

Honors are earned with a G.P.A. of 3.4 to 3.69, High Honors with a G.P.A. of 3.7 to 3.89, and Highest Honors with a G.P.A. of 3.90 to 4.00.

Go to Step 3, Choosing a plan of study ...

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The College reserves the right to modify any statement on the website due to typographical errors, change in policy, etc.
Students are responsible for complying with policies and procedures contained in the official College Catalog.