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Glossary of Academic Terms

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Academic Advising
Advising helps students clarify their life/career goals, reach their maximum educational potential and achieve academic success.  It promotes academic success by addressing student needs related to learning, personal development and career aspirations; recognizes and responds to diverse individual needs and differences among students; and helps students plan and implement academic programs of study in a manner that will ensure timely progress toward graduation.

Academic Forgiveness Policy
Pertains only to former Kent State students returning to the university as undergraduate students after a significant absence. It provides them 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.

Academic Year
The academic year consisting of two 16-week semesters – fall and spring.

An external review process by which experts authorize or give credentials indicating that standards and expectations have been met by academic programs or institutions.

Admissions Office
Undergraduate admissions applications are available from this office, as is official acceptance to the university.

Adult Student
A student who is 21 years old or older and 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
Credit granted by Kent State for satisfactory scores attained through high school participation in this nationally standardized program. Contact the Honors College for information.

Professional advising staff member or a faculty member who provides students with information concerning courses, programs of study and other aspects of academic life.

Attempted Hours
Students' total credit-hour registration, either for a specific term or cumulative for all terms. Attempted hours include courses for which students have received either a letter grade or other administrative mark (AU, IN, IP, NA, NF, NR, SF, W, etc.)

Audit is enrollment in a class where no grade or credit is received.

Board of Trustees
The board is made up of 11 trustees, two of whom are students at Kent State University. Trustees are appointed by the governor to proved for the proper maintenance and successful, continuous operation of the university (as specified by the Ohio Revised Code).

Board Plan
Food service plan operated by the university. Participation is mandatory for freshmen and sophomores living in residence halls.

Bursar's Office
The university office where payments of tuition and fees are made.


Career Services Center
The university office providing assistance with career employment, career counseling, student employment and academic testing.

Catalog Year
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 Kent State University.

Certificate Programs
Certificates are awarded to students who successfully complete a course of study designed to meet a 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.
Undergraduate Certificates
Graduate Certificates

Formal "licensing" of a professional program according to the standards of an external professional body.

Center for Student Involvement
The Center for Student Involvement (CSI) offers an array of resources that provide opportunities for leadership and participation in student- initiated projects and organizations.

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

Academic organizational division of the university offering curricular programs leading to baccalaureate and advanced degrees.

An academic seminar on a broad topic usually led by a different lecturer at each meeting.

Commuter Student

Unless you live in a residence hall, you are a commuter student. More than 75 percent of students commute to school every day.

Complete Term Withdrawal
Withdrawal from all courses is permitted through the published deadlines found on the University Registrar's website.

An area of focus within a major usually encompassing several allied disciplines.

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

Course Load
Total number of semester credit hours for which a student is registered during any semester. 

Course Withdrawal
Process by which a 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 transcripts if the withdrawal is after the second week of the fall and spring semesters. Refer to the schedule of classes for the summer deadlines.

Credit earned in selected approved courses by taking a departmental examination to test knowledge already possessed without previous course enrollment. Contact Academic Testing Services.

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

The head of a division, faculty, college or school of a university.

Dean's List

In recognition of academic excellence, a Dean's List is compiled each academic semester. To qualify, students must have a grade point average in the semester of 3.40 or greater and must have completed 12 or more regular letter-graded credit hours by the end of that semester. This notation will be printed on the students' official transcript.

  • Associate Degree: Two-year degree of a technical or general nature offered only through the Regional Campuses.
  • Baccalaureate Degree: Academic degree conferred by a university or college.
  • Combined Baccalaureate and Master's Degree Programs: Programs of study available to students with outstanding undergraduate records or exemplary professional credentials.
  • Master's Degree: Academic degree conferred by a university for completion of an integrated program of study at the graduate level beyond the bachelor's degree; usually involved one or more years of work and completion of a research project or thesis.
  • Educational Specialist: Post-master's practitioner program. This is not an interim step between the master's and doctoral degrees, but provides preparation for a specialty position within the field of professional education.
  • Doctoral Degree: Highest degree conferred by a university following advanced graduate study and research.
Academic unit within a college or school.

Destination Kent State
Is a three-part orientation program designed for first-year students to familiarize them with Kent State University, and provide them with the tools necessary to enjoy a successful journey to graduation.

Specific area of study; formally organized body of knowledge.

Students who fail to make adequate progress toward completion of a program of study or whose academic performance indicates little chance  of obtaining the minimum grades required for graduation is no longer allowed to enroll at the university.

Distance Learning
Distance learning is any type of interactive education in which students work on their own at home or at the office and communicate with faculty and other students via e-mail, electronic forums, video conferencing or another form of computer-based communication.

Diversity Course Requirement
Coursework required of all undergraduate students. Normally students must complete two courses from the list of approved diversity courses, including at least one from the diversity list within the Kent Core program.

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

Dual Degree
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.

Classes pursued in addition to the collegial, departmental, major and liberal education degree requirements.

Faculty Senate
Faculty governing body that is primarily concerned with matters of university educational policies, curriculum, academic and professional standards, and the establishment, discontinuance and major alteration of academic programs. Possesses shared responsibilities and advisory responsibilities. May consider other matters pertaining to the welfare and mission of the university.

Financial Aid
Financial assistance for an eligible student; available in the form of grants, loans, scholarships and federal work-study employment.

FLASHcard (Identification Card)
Identification card issued to all registered students. It is used for admittance to athletic, cultural and social events; borrowing of library materials; and purchasing goods and services on the Golden Flash debit plan or the Food Services board plan.

FLASHcash is a prepaid purchase plan for students, faculty, staff or anyone who frequently visits Kent State University. It works like a credit card in reverse. You make an initial deposit to your account and charges are deducted as you make purchases. For more information visit

FlashLine is the web-based portal (entryway) for Kent State students, faculty, staff and alumni. For help with FlashLine, contact the university Helpdesk at 330-672-HELP or visit the FlashLine information website.

First-Year Experience Course
Program designed to familiarize new students with the university, their college and university policies and procedures.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Financial information document submitted by an applicant for student financial aid; supplies information concerning income, assts, expenses and liabilities.

An undergraduate student who has earned fewer than 30 semester hours.

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

General Requirements
General requirements address a broad range of matters such as degree requirements, requirements for graduation, residency requirements and academic standing.

GPA (Grade Point Average)
Grade point average is determined by the number of hours attempted at Kent State University and the grades received.

Graduate Student Senate
Represents the concerns of the graduate student community of Kent State University and serves as an allocation body by providing funding to graduate students and graduate organizations for speakers, workshops, social events and professional travel.

Graduation Planning System (GPS)
A program that provides students with a roadmap to degree completion which includes a real-time degree audit and an individualized educational plan.

Grant (Financial Aid)
A nonrepayable award to an eligible student based upon determined financial needs and program criteria.

Incomplete (IN grade)
An administrative mark that may be given to students who are unable to complete the last three weeks of a semester because of factors beyond their control.

In Progress (IP grade)
A grade given to indicate that research, individual investigation or similar efforts are in progress and that a final grade will be given when all the work is completed.

Individual Investigation
A method of independent study that, if approved by the appropriate university authorities, allo9ws the student to pursue topics of interest in a flexible time frame.

Individualized Major
Individually designed program of study developed in  consultation with the dean of the college and with faculty recommendations.

Activities involving two or more colleges or universities.

Course or program of study involving two or more major areas and departments of study.

International Student
A student who is not a citizen of the United States and who has entered the United States on a temporary basis for the purpose of enrolling in an educational institution.

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

An undergraduate student who has earned between 60-89 semester hours.

Kent Academic Progress System (KAPS)
An automated degree audit system to monitor students' progress toward completion of degree requirements.

Kent Core
The Kent Core is the foundation of the university's mission to prepare students to live in today's complex, global society. It broadens intellectual perspectives, fosters ethical and humanitarian values and prepares students for responsible citizenship and productive careers. Through this learning experience, students develop the intellectual flexibility they need to adapt to an ever-changing world. 
Kent Core Coursework
″    Composition
″    Mathematics and Critical Reasoning
″    Humanities and Fine Arts
″    Social Sciences
″    Basic Sciences
″    Additional Courses

Late Registration
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.

Liberal Education Requirements (LER) (Replaced by Kent Core fall 2010)

In five areas to be completed during the first two years of study, the LER are designed to provide a common nucleus and an appropriate breadth of inquiry, understanding and perspective to the Kent State undergraduate education experience. It is essential, therefore, that students consult the Catalog descriptions for their college degree program.

Formal "permission" of a professional program according to the standards of an external professional body—for example, the certification of graduates in approved curricula of the College of Education, Health, and Human Services.

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

A subject of focus for academic study in which a student pursues a prescribed curriculum and is a formal degree candidate.

The process of being admitted into a group, especially a college or university.

Subject of focus for academic study in which a student pursues a prescribed curriculum and is a formal degree candidate.


Courses or programs for which no academic credit is given.

Student who has not established status as a resident of Ohio as defined by Ohio Board of Regents. Refer to the policy on Ohio Student Residency in the Fees and Financial Aid section of this Catalog.

Office of Student Conduct
Responsible for addressing the adjudication of students who are accused of violating campus rules or policies, state laws, federal laws, and/or municipality disputes.

OIG (Financial Aid)
Ohio Instructional Grant; a nonrepayable award made by the Ohio Board of Regents to an eligible undergraduate student who is an Ohio resident. The OIG is applied to the cost of tuition and fees.

Swedish term meaning "representative." Person appointed by the university to assist students in resolving concerns, complaints and grievances through established channels.

Enrollment for classes hour 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.

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

System by which undergraduate students can take elective courses for a grade of pass or fail in lieu of a letter grade.

Pell Grant
A nonrepayable financial aid award provided by the federal government directly to an undergraduate student.

A student with a baccalaureate degree who is enrolling in additional undergraduate-level classes.

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

Preparation for professional training through undergraduate programs of study.

Course(s) or condition(s) required before enrollment in a more advanced class. Example: Biology 10181 is a prerequisite for Biology 10182.

President's List
In recognition of an extremely high level of academic excellence, a President's List is compiled each academic semester. To qualify, students must have a grade point average in the semester of 4.00 and must have completed 15 or more credit hours (all of which have regular grades) by the end of that semester. This notation will be printed on the students' official transcripts.

Probation (Academic)
A warning to students who fail to maintain a semester and/or overall grade point average of 2.00 or better. Failure to improve the academic record within a specific time may result in academic dismissal.

Plan of academic study.

Vice President of Academic Affairs; chief academic officer of the university.

Quality Points
The number of points assigned per credit hour for each letter grade.

Registrar's Office
The university office that plans and oversees registration activities, record maintenance, transcript preparation.

Process of initial class enrollment for a given term.

Process by which a student may gain reentry to the university after a dismissal.

Repeat for Recalculation
Students may repeat lower-division (10000-20000 level) courses, and the university will use only the highest grade in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average.

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

A roadmap is a list of course requirements that must be met for you to graduate with a specific major. It is presented in a semester-by-semester layout for easy understanding. Roadmaps also identify courses and other milestones that are critical (they are in boldface and shaded) for students to complete in a particular semester to be on track for timely graduation.


Reserve Officers Training Corps—program leading to commission as officer in military service in either the Air Force or Army.

Schedule Adjustment
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.

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.

A nonrepayable award to an eligible student based upon academic achievement and determined financial need or, in some cases, based upon academic achievement alone.

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

Semester Hour
Each unit of academic credit assigned to a course as the credit value for that course under the semester system is known as the semester hour. Generally, semester hours of credit for a course are directly equivalent to the number of classroom contact hours per week.

An undergraduate student who has earned 90+ semester hours.

Courses that must be taken in a definite order.

An undergraduate student who has earned 31-59 semester hours.

Student Legal Services
Is a non-profit law firm whose purpose is to explain and assist in resolving legal issues that a student may face.

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

A meeting or conference for discussion of topic, especially one in which the participants form an audience and make presentations.

The accurate and complete record of a student's academic coursework attempted at an institution, presented in either electronic format or paper format.

Transfer Module
Developed by the Ohio Board of Regents, a specific subset or the entire set of a college or university's general education requirements (Kent Core). 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
Any student applying to Kent State University who has attended any institution of higher learning since leaving high school.

Transient Coursework

Coursework approved for Kent State University students who attended another accredited institution.

Transient Student
Any student enrolled in another college or university who will attend Kent State University for one term.

A fee for instruction, especially at a formal institution of learning.


Person providing special study skills and assistance in a particular subject or academic program.

A term applied to freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors who are pursing a baccalaureate degree.

Undergraduate Student Government
Primary vehicle by which the undergraduate student body provides its input into the university community.

Upper Division
Upper-division courses are numbered 30000-49999 and expect both greater familiarity with the subject matter and greater intellectual sophistication. Students must complete the appropriate prerequisites in specified lower-division courses before entering upper-division courses. In general, baccalaureate degree programs require the successful completion of at least 39 upper-division semester hours of coursework.

See Course Withdrawl

A credit or noncredit activity that focuses on a participant's professional tasks. Instructional emphasis is given to mastery and applications of knowledge, skills and attitudes that address a narrowly defined range of problems or issues related to practice. All credit workshops are graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U). 

Work-Study (Financial Aid)
An employment program based upon determined financial need. An eligible student may be employed on campus for not more than an average of 20 hours per week to earn money to help pay for educational costs.

Writing-Intensive Course Requirement
A graduation requirement for all undergraduate students requiring completion of at least one upper-division course designed as "writing–intensive" with a grade of C (2.0) or better.

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