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Advising Glossary

Academic Advising is a purposeful, developmental, and collaborative teaching and learning process integral to the educational experience at all Kent State University campuses.  Through relationships with professional and faculty advisors, students have access to information, resources, and sustained support, which contribute to self-discovery and personal growth. 

Academic Advisors work in partnership with students to help them develop and pursue meaningful educational plans and activities compatible with their values, abilities, career aspirations, and life goals.  In addition, advisors work within the academic community to enhance the overall learning environment.

Academic Forgiveness Policy pertains only to former Kent State students returning to the university as undergraduate students after a significant absence.  It provides them with an opportunity to have their academic standing reflect the increased maturity and improved level of academic performance gained since the interruption of studies at Kent State.

Academic Standing: Students with a cumulative 2.00 GPA or above are in good academic standing. Students with a cumulative grade point average below 2.00 are placed on academic probation.

Add: The process of increasing an academic course load.

Adult Student is A student who is 21 years or older who has been out of high school for three years or more at the time of his/her first college enrollment.  Further defined as any student whose primary life roles and responsibilities exist independent of the university and which, at times, may take precedence over the role of student.

Advanced Placement (AP) is credit granted by Kent State for satisfactory scores attained through high school participation in this nationally standardized program.

Associate Degree is a two-year degree of a technical or general nature offered only through the Regional Campuses.

Audit is the enrollment in a class for which no grade or credit will be received.

Bachelor Degree is an academic degree conferred by a university or college.  Generally requires a minimum of four years of full-time study.

CAS, or Course Applicability System, is used to determine course equivalencies. CAS was designed to provide a Web-based advising system for potential transfer students and KSU students taking courses as guests at other institutions. Click here to visit the CAS website.

Catalog Year is a term identifying the Catalog that contains the requirements defining a student’s degree program.  Initially, it is the Catalog in force during the student’s first semester at KSU.

Certificate Programs are Kent Campus and Regional Campus network awards certificates to students who successfully complete a course of study designed to meet specific need and that has been designated a Certificate Program and properly approved as such.  These programs consist of no less than 15 credit hours and no more than 30.

CLEP, or College Level Examination Program, – a testing program administered by Academic Testing Services. The completion of these exams may result in college-level credit.

College is the academic organizational division of the university offering curricular programs leading to baccalaureate or advanced degrees (i.e. College of Arts & Sciences).

Concentration is a major area of study within the bachelor degree program usually encompassing several allied disciplines.

COMPASS Test is a computer-adaptive test used to assess mathematics, reading, and writing skills of entering freshmen.  COMPASS results are used by trained academic advisors to place students into appropriate courses and to advise students on course selection.

Co-requisite course(s) requiring simultaneous enrollment in another course.  Example: PHY 13001 is a co-requisite for PHY 13021.

Course Load is the total number of semester hours for which a student registered during any semester.

Course Repeat refers to a series of policies governing a student's ability to retake courses at KSU.  See the undergraduate catalog for more detail.

Course Substitution is a process by which students can substitute an alternate class for a major requirement. Any such substitution must be approved by the academic department. Substitution forms may be picked up in the College Office, Bowman 105.

Course Withdrawal is the process by which student removes a course(s) from his/her schedule subject to the deadlines published in the Schedule of Classes.  A mark of W will be recorded on the student’s transcript if the withdrawal is after the second week of the semester during the fall and spring semesters.  Refer to the Schedule of Classes for the summer sessions deadlines.

Credit Hours are units, acquired for completed coursework, that are applied toward a degree.

Cumulative GPA is the weighted mean value of all grade points a student has earned by enrollment in KSU courses through any delivery system and at any location or through credit examination.

Dean is the head of a division, faculty, college or school of a university.

Dean’s List (Full-Time Students) is the recognition given to students who attained a semester GPA of 3.40 or better during the most recent term and who completed at least 12 graded hours.

Dean’s List (Part-Time Students) is compiled after spring semester grades are issued, the Dean’s List for Part-Time Students will recognize a student with at least a 3.40 grade point average in 12 or more graded hours taken during the previous summer, fall and spring semesters.  Students must have registered for fewer than 12 hours in each of the semesters under consideration.

Department an academic unit within a college or school (i.e. Department of Chemistry).

Dismissal is the process by which a student whose academic performance indicates little chance of obtaining the minimum grades required for graduation is no longer allowed to enroll at the university. Refer to the Dismissal Policy in the General Requirements and Regulations sections of the undergraduate catalog.

Doctoral Degree is the highest degree conferred by a university following advanced graduate study and research.

Double Major is the pursuit of two or more programs of academic study for a single degree within the same college.

Drop is the process of decreasing an academic course load.

Dual Degree is the pursuit of programs of study in two different colleges within the university leading to degrees in both colleges.  Students may also pursue two separate degrees, as available, within the same college.

Elective refers to courses or programs pursued in addition to the collegial, departmental, major and liberal education degree requirements.

FLASHcard the identification card issued to all registered students.

Freshman is an undergraduate student who has earned less than 30 semester hours.

Freshman Forgiveness changed in 2008.  Currently, students may retake lower division (10,000 and 20,000 level) courses at KSU and use only the second grade in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average.  See the undergraduate catalog for all provisions of the Course Repeat policy.

Full-Time Student is any undergraduate student enrolled in the university who is carrying a course load of 12 or more hours per semester.

General Requirements are requirements for Arts and Sciences students that include the university’s Liberal Education Requirement (LER) plus additional college-specific requirements, which vary depending on a student’s major.

GPA, or Grade Point Average, determined by the number of hours attempted at KSU and the grades received.

GPS, or Graduation Planning System, refers to a new Flashline-based system for students in the 2010 undergraduate catalog-forward that tracks student progress to graduation.  It is comprised of the student's degree audit, which includes all requirements for earning a degree in the declared program.  It also includes an individualized plan of study (the Plan), which is created in consultation between the student and advisor and approved by the advisor, outlining the requirements the student must complete in order to remain on track for graduation.

Graduate Student is a student who is pursuing a graduate program of study, i.e., a master’s or doctoral-level degree.

Holds are actions taken by University offices to restrict a student's registration ability or prevent the student from receiving a transcript or diploma. Holds are usually placed for academic, financial, health, or conduct reasons.

Humanities are the branches of learning having primarily a cultural character such as art, philosophy, history, music, English and foreign languages.

Individualized Major is an individually designed program of study developed in consultation with the dean of the college and with faculty recommendations. See the College Office for more details.

Individual Investigation is a method of independent study that, if approved by the appropriate university authorities, allows the student to pursue topics of interest in a flexible time frame.

Interdisciplinary refers to a course or program of study involving two or more major areas and departments of study.

Internship is a work experience in a position related to the academic field of preparation.

Junior is an undergraduate student who has earned between 60-89 semester hours.

KAPS, or Kent Academic Progress System, is an automated degree audit system to monitor students’ progress towards completion of degree requirements.

Late Registration is the process of initial class enrollment for a given term once the term has begun. A late registration fee is assessed beginning the second week of classes. Refer to the Schedule of Classes for summer session deadlines.

LER (Liberal Education Requirements) are courses in liberal arts and sciences that are typically introductory and provide students with general knowledge and reasoning ability rather than specific skills for employment or specialized knowledge required for a major.

Lower Division is a student with freshman or sophomore standing; also may refer to a course whose number begins with a 1 or 2.

Major is the subject area leading to a degree or certificate in which a student chooses to concentrate his/her academic work.

Master’s Degree the academic degree conferred by a university for completion of an integrated program of study at the graduate level beyond the bachelor’s degree; usually involves one or more years of work and completion of a research project or thesis.

Matriculation is the process of being admitted into a group, especially a college or university.

Minor is the secondary field of study represented by a set of department-determined courses, generally between 18 and 24 credit hours.

Natural Sciences are any of the sciences that deal with matter and energy and their interrelations and transformations, or with objectively measurable phenomena, such as physics, chemistry, or biology.

Ombuds, a Swedish term meaning “representative,” is a person appointed by the university to assist students in resolving concerns, complaints and grievances through established channels.

Overload is enrollment for class hours in excess of 18 during fall or spring semester, in excess of 6 hours during Summer I or III, or 10 hours during Summer II.  An overload requires permission from the academic advising office.

Part-Time Student any undergraduate student enrolled in the university who is carrying a course load of less than 12 hours per semester.

PASS, or the Placement, Advising and Scheduling System, provides a one-day orientation to KSU for new freshmen and their families.  The program is designed to acquaint participants with the campus and provide academic advising and course registration services to new students.

PASS-FAIL is the system by which undergraduate students can take elective courses for a grade of pass or fail in lieu of a letter grade.

Placement Test Results are used to place students at the appropriate entry level with respect to reading, writing and mathematical skills. ACT/SAT scores determine whether or not a student is required to take a placement test or tests after he/she is admitted and before registering for classes.

Practicum is a school or college course, especially one in a specialized field, designed to give the students supervised practical experience.

Prerequisite is a course(s) or condition(s) required before enrollment in a more advanced class.  Example: Chemistry 10060 is a pre-requisite for Chemistry 10061.

President’s List is the recognition given students who attained a semester average of 4.00 during the most recent term and who completed at least 15 graded credit hours (all of which must have regular letter grades).

Probation is a warning to students who fail to maintain semester and/or an overall grade point average of 2.00 or better.  Failure to improve the academic record within a specified time may result in academic dismissal.

Quality Points are the number of points assigned per credit hour for each letter grade: A=4 points, A-=3.7 points, B+=3.3 points, B=3 points, B-=2.7 points, C+=2.3 points, C=2 points, C-=1.7 points, D+= 1.3 points, D=1 point, F=0 points.

Registrar’s Office is the university office that plans and oversees registration activities, academic record maintenance, transcript preparation and degree audit system. Click here to visit the KSU Registrar's website.

Registration is the process of initial class enrollment for a given term.

Regional Campuses are the network of seven distinct campuses within the university, whose mission is to extend access to the quality higher education programs and services of Kent State University. Click here for more information on KSU Regional Campuses.

Reinstatement is the process by which a student may gain reentry to the university after dismissal. 

Requirement a course or condition that must be fulfilled as part of a particular program.

Residence Requirement a requirement that refers to completion of the minimum of 30 credit hours required for the awarding of an academic degree by Kent State University.

Schedule Adjustment is a change to a class schedule for a student who has already enrolled in at least one course for the term. Deadlines for schedule adjustments are published in the Schedule of Classes.

School the term applied to academic units within a particular college or to a single academic unit offering curricular programs leading to a baccalaureate or advanced degree.

Semester is the school term (about 16 weeks long) that is one-half of the academic year.

Senior is an undergraduate student who has earned 90 or more semester hours and has not received a baccalaureate degree.

Sequence the courses that must be taken in a definite order.

Social Sciences a science dealing with a particular phase or aspect of human society such as sociology, psychology, political science, or economics.

Sophomore an undergraduate student who has earned between 30-59 semester hours.

Submajor is a subset of program requirements within a major where two or more explicitly designated choices share a common core. The submajor can contain three levels: concentration, option, emphasis.

Syllabus is the outline or a summary of the main points of text, lecture or course of study.

Transcript is the accurate and complete record of a student’s academic coursework attempted at an institution, presented in either electronic or paper format.

Transfer Module, Developed by the Ohio Board of Regents, is a specific subset or the entire set of a college or university’s general education requirements.  A Transfer Module completed at one Ohio college or university will automatically meet the requirements of the Transfer Module at the receiving Ohio institution, once the student is accepted.  Students may be required, however, to meet additional general education requirements that are not included in the Transfer Module.

Transfer Student is any student applying to KSU who has attended any institution of higher learning since leaving high school.

Transient Coursework is coursework approved for KSU students who attend another accredited institution.

Transient Student is any student enrolled in another college or university who will attend KSU for one term.

Undergraduate is a term applied to freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are pursuing a baccalaureate degree.

University Exit the withdrawal from all university coursework by a specified deadline, as published in the Schedule of Classes, in a given semester or summer term. 

Upper Division is a student with junior or senior standing; also may refer to a course whose number begins with a 3 or 4.

Writing-Intensive Requirement is a graduation requirement for all undergraduate students requiring completion of at least one upper-division course designated as “writing intensive,” with a grade of “C” (2.0) or better.

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