Terms to Know

These are the terms which apply to college and university activities. They are common to institutions of higher learning throughout the country.

Academic Probation: A student whose cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0 after a semester is placed on academic probation.

Academic Term: A length of time in which a course is taught. Academic terms can vary from 2 weeks, 5 weeks, 8 weeks, or 16 weeks in length. Students may register for several different academic terms within one semester.

Admission: The process of filling out forms, filing documents, and taking tests prior to registering for classes.

Assessment: A test used to determine a student’s skill levels in math, English, and reading. The results are used to ensure that students are meeting basic skills before enrolling in college-level courses.

Catalog: A document published annually which includes policies and procedures, courses of study, degrees and certificates offered, admission and enrollment procedures, financial aid, student life and activities, and a variety of other information students need to know.

College: When capitalized, the term “College” means Victoria College.

College Official: Includes any person employed by Victoria College while performing assigned administrative or professional responsibilities.

College Premises: Includes all land, buildings, facilities, and other property that is owned, used, or controlled by the College.

Course: The organized subject matter in which instruction is offered within a given period of time. Courses can either be for credit or can be designated as non-credit.

Course Prerequisite: The preliminary requirement that must be met before a certain course can be taken.

Credit Hours: Courses taken in college are measured in terms of credit hours. To earn credit hours, a student must attend a class for one classroom hour (usually 50 minutes) per week for the whole semester (usually 16 weeks). 
Curriculum: A group of required courses leading to a degree or certificate; also refers to course offerings of a college as a whole.

Elective: A subject or course which a student may choose to take as distinguished from a required course.

Enforced Withdrawal:
Students who have been placed on Academic Probation and are unable to increase their GPA to a 2.0 or higher within the following semester will be placed on Enforced Withdrawal and suspended from the College.

The procedure by which students choose classes each semester. It also includes the assessment and collection of fees.

Full-Time Student: A student who takes twelve or more credit hours during a semester.

Grade Point Average: Determined by dividing the total grade points earned by hours attempted. Credit hours for a course in which a grade of W, S, SA, SB, SC, Q, U, or UF is earned will not be counted as hours attempted for the purpose of cumulative GPA calculation.

Hold: Refers to the indicator placed on a student’s official record, preventing registration and/or issuance of a transcript until the student meets the requirements of the College office placing the indicator on the account.

Major: The specific subject area in which a student determines to devote the most effort in college; 24-30 semester hours of work in a specific subject are usually required. Half or more of these courses usually are in the junior and senior year at a 4-year college or university.
Member of the College Community: Includes any person who is a student, visitor, faculty, staff member, College official, or any other person employed by the College.

Minor: A student’s secondary subject choice. It usually consists of 18 or more semester hours in a specific subject area.

Noncredit Courses: Courses that are for students who can learn a new skill for career training, upgrade or recertify existing skills, gain general knowledge, or develop personal interests. Upon completion, students receive a Victoria College Certificate of Completion. Students are not required to apply for admission to the College or take entrance exams for noncredit courses. No college credit is granted for these courses.

ORD (Official Reporting Date): The 12th class day of a 16-week term, the 6th class day of an 8-week term, and the 4th class day of a 5-week term

Part-Time Student: A student who takes 11 or fewer hours during a semester.

Payment Plan: A method available to pay tuition and fees. Under the plan, one half of the tuition and fees must be paid at the time of registration. For the fall and spring semesters, the balance is due in two payments. For summer, the balance is due in one payment. During certain early VIP registrations, the College will offer a payment plan that requires one-fourth down and three payments. There is a $20 service fee to use the payment plan.

Pirate Portal: A secure, personalized gateway where VC students can access important College information, check email, access Canvas, register for courses, check grades, and more.

Prerequisite: A defined set of criteria that must be met to enter a program.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): Used to define successful completion of coursework to maintain eligibility for student financial aid. Students must maintain established minimum standards in the areas of GPA, completion rate, and maximum time frame to be eligible for Federal Title IV funds (any of the federal student aid funds).

Semester: An academic term within the academic school year typically lasting 16 weeks or the combination of both summer sessions typically lasting 10 weeks collectively.

Schedule of Classes: Designated courses offered each semester which includes classes by department, course number, class days and times, building names and room numbers, and the instructors’ names.

Student: Any person taking any credit or noncredit course(s) offered by the College.

Syllabus: An outline of the important information about a course. Written by the instructor, it usually includes important dates, assignments, expectations, and policies specific to that course.

Texas Core Curriculum: Passed by the Texas Legislature in 1987, the Texas Core Curriculum is a 42 semester credit hour curriculum for all undergraduate students in Texas. The elements include six core objectives and nine common component areas.

Texas Success Initiative: Legislation requiring assessments in reading, math, and writing before attending public colleges or universities in Texas.

Transcript: A student’s academic record.

Transfer Course: Any course offered that is listed in The Community College General Academic Course Guide Manual.

Transfer Institution: A college or university to which one may transfer for advanced education or training after attending a community college.

Tuition and Fees: Charges levied for enrolling in classes and for the use of College facilities. See the College catalog and/or semester schedule for additional information.

Tutoring: Free services which provide additional academic assistance for all students.