College speaks a language all its own. What follows is a list of terms that new students should become familiar with:

What is a credit (credit hour)?

Classes are measured in the amount of instruction time required to successfully complete a course. For example, PSY*111, General Psychology I, is a three credit course, which means it will meet for 3 hours each week.

What is a MAT Guide (Plan of Study)?

A MAT Guide is a form which lists all required courses for a particular degree or certificate. It may be used as a planning tool for scheduling classes for future semesters.

What is the class schedule?

The class schedule is available in hard copy and online at before the start of each semester. It lists all classes offered for that semester by subject. It also gives the days and times for each class, along with pertinent information on registration dates and other campus info.

What is a registration form?

A registration form must be completed by the student and signed by an advisor in order to register for classes.

What is a transcript?

A transcript is a student’s official record of academic history. The transcript lists all courses taken, grades achieved, semester taken and cumulative grade point average. The transcript can be accessed by logging onto and following the instructions for student log-in.

What is a G.P.A.?

G.P.A. stands for grade point average. Grades are received for every course at the end of each semester. Each grade is a numerical expression used to determine a student’s academic standing. For example, “A” is equal to 4.0 grade points. The number of grade points received in a course is determined by multiplying the credits attempted by the value of the grade earned. A 3 credit course receiving an “A” would gain 12 grade points (3 x 4.0). The average (G.P.A.) is computed by dividing the total number of quality points by the total number of credits attempted.

For example, a student who takes 12 credits may receive the following grades during a semester:



Grade Point

Earned Grade Point(s)

















Total Credits Attempted = 12 Total Earned Grade Points = 33
Semester Grade Point Average = 33 divided
by 12 = 2.75 G.P.A.

What is a syllabus?

A syllabus is an outline that is given out by each instructor detailing the objectives and requirements for each course. The syllabus will include the main topics of the course, assignments, deadlines, class policies, grading standards and contact information for the instructor. This is the official “rulebook” for your class. Students should read the syllabus carefully, and keep it for reference throughout the course.

What is a prerequisite?

A prerequisite is a requirement for a class prior to entry. For example, a student must take Intermediate Algebra and pass with a “C- or better” prior to taking College Algebra. Intermediate Algebra is the prerequisite for College Algebra.

What is a semester?

A semester is the period of time called the academic term. It is one-half of the academic year. The year is usually divided into two semesters, Fall and Spring, for 15 weeks.

What is an Academic advisor?

An academic advisor is a faculty or staff member who helps students make decisions regarding their academic career. This may include Plans of Study and class selection. Each student enrolled in a degree program or certificate will be assigned an academic advisor.

What is a Student ID # (or Banner ID #)?

Every student is assigned an 8 digit number beginning with @ (ex. @12345678) at the time of admission. This number is used to login to receive academic information and to access use of the computer labs.