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Glossary of Academic Terms

Academic Advising Report (AAR)
A report that identifies the student’s primary program of study, lists the program requirements, and summarizes the progress toward graduation.

Academic Transcript
An official record of a student’s academic history, including student identifying information, degrees, certificates, diplomas, honors received, and grade point average.

Adult High School Program
A program that provides courses of study leading to completion of credits and passing of state-mandated assessments necessary to qualify for a high school diploma.

Advanced Technical Certificate (A.T.C.)
A program of instruction consisting of at least nine credit hours but less than 45 credit hours of college-level courses. The certificate is awarded to students who have already received an Associate in Science or related undergraduate degree and who are seeking an advanced specialized program of study to supplement their degree. Offered as college credit.

Applied Technology Diploma (A.T.D.)
Courses that are part of an A.S. or A.A.S. degree or a Career Certificate and lead to employment in a specific occupation. An ATD may consist of either vocational credit or college credit.

Structured vocational skill training in a given job through a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction.

The bringing together of the various parts or levels of the educational system to facilitate the smooth transition of students.

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.)
Two-year technical degree consisting of a minimum of sixty (60) college credit hours, indicating that a student has trained in a particular field and is prepared for employment.

Associate in Arts (A.A.)
Two-year degree consisting of sixty (60) college credit hours that is designed for transfer. Also known as the university parallel or transfer program.

Associate in Arts Degree Elective
A.A. Elective: A course that a student selects from general education coursework and/or other subject areas to satisfy degree requirements. An A.A. elective may be used to fulfill a common prerequisite and/or a recommended course option within a specific upper-division or baccalaureate transfer program.

Associate in Science (A.S.)
A career education program consisting of a minimum of sixty (60) college credit hours, designed to allow students to pursue careers that require a college degree at the technician or paraprofessional level. Degree contains 15-18 credits of transferable general education.

Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S)
Upper-level degree consisting of one hundred and twenty (120) college credit hours designed for students who have earned an associate degree or higher to accommodate the unique demands for entry and advancement within specific workforce sectors.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Upper-level degree consisting of one hundred and twenty (120) college credit hours for students who have earned an associate degree or higher and wish to further their education.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)
Upper-level degree consisting of one hundred and twenty (120) college credits hours that prepares practicing nurses for evidence-based care and leadership roles in nursing.

Career Certificate
Hands-on career training programs for students planning to enter vocational and technical career fields.

Carnegie Unit
A time-based reference for measuring educational attainment used by American universities and colleges. The Carnegie unit refers to 45 hours of didactic class contact time with an instructor over the course of a semester. This measurement typically breaks down into a single one-hour meeting, three times per week for a total of 15-16 weeks per semester (3 credit hours earned upon successful course completion).

Clock Hour
The unit assigned to courses or course equivalent learning that is part of an organized and specified program leading to a Career Certificate or Applied Technology Diploma. One (1) clock hour is based on the learning expected from the equivalent of thirty (30) hours of instruction.

College Credit
The type of credit assigned to courses or course equivalent learning that is part of an organized and specified college degree and/or program.

College Credit Certificate
Short-term career education program that is part of an A.S. or A.A.S. degree. Also known as a technical certificate at FSCJ.

College Preparatory Studies
Courses designed to enhance skills in reading, writing and/or computation in order to prepare students more thoroughly for success in college level courses. Also known as Developmental Education.

Contact Hour
A regularly scheduled instructional activity of not less than 50 minutes in a course of instruction.

Continuing Workforce Education
The classification of instruction designed to improve the job skills of employed persons. It may be customized to a given employer and job or it may have broader applicability.

Continuous Enrollment
To maintain continuous enrollment, a student must have registration for, and successful completion of, at least one course within a three-term period. After three consecutive terms of no enrollment, the student will be discontinued from the current program of study and will need to apply to FSCJ to reenter under the same program of study. Upon readmission, the student will be assigned to the current catalog of record in the chosen program.

Core Course
Courses that provide the foundation of the degree program and are required of all students seeking that degree.

Courses that are taken at the same time during the same academic session.

Course Equivalent
Seventy-five percent (75%) or more of the learning objectives within a course have to be met. Anything 75% or above is considered equivalent; anything less may be considered for a substitution.

Course Learning Outcome
What students are expected to learn by completing a particular course.

Course Master Outline
The official outline for any college-credit, Career Certificate, adult education/ESOL, or developmental education course taught at FSCJ. Contains the catalog course description, course topics, outcomes and pertinent assessments, and other curricular details.

Course Modality
Course content delivery options for students:

  • Distance Learning Online
    A course in which most or all of the content is delivered online (80% or more) and typically has few or no face-to-face meetings. Some fully online courses require proctored testing at approved testing sites or centers and other outside-the-classroom course activities.

  • Live Online (Synchronous)

    A course in which the instructor meets the class in a group through Canvas at regular, designated times. Some live online courses require proctored tested at approved testing sites or centers and other outside-the-classroom activities.

  • Classroom Instruction (On-Campus Instruction/Web-Enhanced)
    Instructor meets with students “face-to-face” for most of the course instruction; however, some course materials/activities (0-29%) may be online and require some Internet access. Online components may include access to course content, course notes, and exams.

  • Hybrid
    A course that blends online and face-to-face delivery of the course content and instruction. A substantial proportion (30-79%) of the content is delivered online, typically uses online discussions, and typically has a reduced number of face-to-face meetings.

For additional information, please see Class Types Defined.

Credit Hour
Unit of measure for college-credit course work. Except for laboratory, music and studio art courses, a credit hour typically corresponds to 50 minutes of class instruction per week for one semester.

Degree Seeking Students
Students who have been admitted to a degree-awarding program (B.S., B.S.N., B.A.S., A.A., A.S., A.A.S.).

Distance Learning Courses
A combination of televised or computer-delivered lessons, readings in a study guide and textbook, faculty interaction and testing that is an alternative to traditional, campus-based instruction.

A subject or course that a student may choose to take as distinguished from a required course in a program of study.

Any short-term, supervised work experience specifically related to a student’s declared major, for which the student earns academic credit. Externship is typically shorter than internship and is unpaid.

General Education Requirements (GER)
Courses designed to develop knowledge, skills, attitudes and understanding in broad discipline areas: communications, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics.

Gordon Rule
Florida law that requires inclusion of writing requirements and computational skills in certain courses (Rule 6A-10.030).

Independent Study
An academic course that allows students to earn credit for work done outside the regular classroom setting. The reading or research assignment can be designed by the students themselves or with the help of a faculty member who monitors the progress.

Any short-term, supervised work experience specifically related to a student’s declared major, for which the student earns academic credit. Internship may be paid or unpaid.

Limited Access
Admissions policy with specific limitations based on available resources, such as faculty, student-to-instructor ratios, instructional facilities, equipment, state licensure requirements, and/or other related criteria specified by each program. Some limited access programs require additional tests for admission, which may include, without being limited to, specific personal and/or professional background criteria, such as a criminal background check, drug screening, medical examination, and/or professional licensure or certification.

Instruction provided as part of a planned job preparatory program whereby the student is placed on the job for selected occupational experiences under the direct supervision of the teacher or job representative.

A course or condition that a student must satisfactorily complete to establish eligibility to enroll in a more advanced course or program.

Proctored Testing
A testing session overseen by an authorized Assessment and Certification proctor. At FSCJ, proctored testing ensures the test integrity and security of all exams.

Program Learning Outcome
What students are expected to learn by completing a particular program of study.

Selective Access
An admissions process that includes a structured set of criteria that students are expected to include in order to apply to certain programs. These programs may require students to meet specific admissions criteria, such as grade point average (G.P.A.), entrance exam scores, letters of application, and/or letters of reference. Applicants to a selective access program must submit a College application and be accepted according to general College admission requirements, in addition to a separate selective access application.

Semester Hour
A unit of academic credit representing one contact hour of class (such as lecture class) each week for an academic semester.

A form of small group instruction, combining independent research and class discussions under the guidance of a professor.

Teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with academic learning goals and critical reflection to enrich the student learning experience and teach civic responsibility.

Student Hour
The total number of contact hours plus outside study/preparation time for the course.

Study Abroad/Study Away
An opportunity for a student to earn academic credit through international or domestic exposure to or immersion in other countries, cultures and/or global learning.

A document distributed to students enrolled in a course that outlines the material a course will cover, instructor expectations, assignments, due dates, instructor contact information, and relevant college policies. Based on the official master course outline.

Technical Certificate (TC)
College credit program of study designed to provide the basic professional courses of an occupation. Also known as a College-Credit Certificate.

Official record of a student’s academic standing, including biographical and test data.

One (1) semester hour or its equivalent; quarter hour(s) converted to semester hour(s) (APM 09-0206; APM 10-0501).

Work Based Learning
Sustained interactions with industry or community professionals in real workplace settings, to the extent practicable, or simulated environments at an educational institution that foster in-depth, first-hand engagement with the tasks required of a given career field, that are aligned to curriculum and instruction (Perkins V Sec. 3 (55).

Florida State College at Jacksonville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate and baccalaureate degrees. Degree-granting institutions also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Florida State College at Jacksonville may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

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