Glossary of College Terms

Academic Advisor: A faculty member, counselor, or professional advisor assigned to help you plan a class schedule, choose a major, develop a degree plan, or answer other questions about college. (Get to know this person well as he/she can be very helpful.)

Academic Probation:  A student who has earned a grade point average below a 2.0 at the end of the semester is placed on academic probation. A student on Academic Probation may register for classes for the following semester.

Academic Suspension:  A student who has earned a grade point average below a 2.0 for two consecutive semesters will be placed on Academic Suspension. A student on Academic Suspension may not register for any credit courses at the college during the suspension period.

Accreditation:  Colleges and schools must meet requirements in such things as academic programs, facilities, and teaching to be certified by accrediting agencies. Usually, colleges must be accredited for their students to receive financial aid.

Accuplacer: An academic evaluation tool that assesses academic preparedness in math, English, and reading. Starting July 7th, 2014 Accuplacer testing will be at the San Juan College Testing Center located in the Information Technology Center Room 7120D

To schedule an exam appointment and complete the preregistration, go to the Testing Center webpage ( ). In the blue box, click on ACCUPLACER. Follow the step-by-step instructions. If you have any questions please contact the Testing Center at 505-566-3139.

Articulation Agreement:  A formal agreement between San Juan College and other New Mexico colleges and universities. This agreement allows course credit to be transferred between two schools.

Associate Degree:  Awarded for satisfactory completion of a two-year program (generally). The typical amount of class work to complete an Associate Degree in two years is 14-16 semester units or a total of 60 semester units if a student begins college level English and math. 

Associate of Arts or Science Degree: A degree designed for students who will be transferring to other colleges or universities to acquire a bachelor’s degree. 

Associate of Applied Science Degree: A degree designed to provide the educational skills needed to enter an occupational field upon graduation. This degree is not meant to transfer to acquire a bachelor’s degree.

Audit:  You may choose to take a class just to review, but not to receive a grade. Auditing does not allow you to earn college credit for the course and will not affect your grade point average.

Bachelor’s Degree (baccalaureate degree):  Awarded for satisfactory completion of a four year degree program.

College Catalog: A book describing requirements for admissions, degrees, certificates, course description, policies, and services offered.

Certificate:  A document issued to a student signifying completion of a specific series of skill courses. A certificate program is one year or less in length.

CLEP: A College Level Examination Program that permits students to earn college credit by successfully completing that national standardize test. Contact the Testing Center.

Co-requisite:  A course that must be taken simultaneously with another course

Counselor: A licensed professional available to help students with personal issues. This service is offered in the Advising and  Counseling Center, and is free and confidential.

Credit hour:  A unit of measuring a college course applicable toward a degree based on the number of classroom hours per week throughout the semester. It is usually measured in semester hours.

Dean:  A college administrator such as an academic dean who might head a college, overseeing degree programs and having the authority to grant exceptions to academic policy.

Degree Plan:  A list of required courses for a specific certificate or degree located in the college catalog. 

Drop/Add:  The procedure whereby a student may change his/her class schedule. This procedure usually occurs during the first week of the semester. 

Elective Course:  A course numbered 110 and above which may or may not fulfill a degree requirement. See advisor for recommended classes.

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid): A required application for federal, state, tribal, and institutional financial aid.  Students must file their applications for each school year for the college the student plans to attend.  Applications are located in the Financial Aid Office and at .

Financial Aid: Money from a variety of sources (grants, scholarships, work study, and loans) which helps pay for college expenses.  The "packages" of funds is determined by the family financial aid need and the availability of funds.  The awarding of grants is based on financial need.  Loans are awarded for educational needs and are paid back at a reasonable interest rate over a period of time.  Work study is a federally funded program that makes part-time jobs available to students with financial need.  Financial aid information is available in the Financial Aid Office.

Financial Aid Office: The office where financial aid applications and information are available; and administers and records financial aid information.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): A required application for federal, state, tribal, and institutional financial aid. Students must file their applications between January 1 and March 1 of each school year to the college the student plans to attend. Applications are located at the Financial Aid Office.

Freshman: Students having successfully completed 30 semester hours or less of college-level classes.

Full-Time Student:  A student enrolled for 12 or more credits per semester. Written permission must be obtained by the academic Dean to enroll in more than 19 semester hours during any regular semester.

General Education Coursework:  Courses which represent the common areas of knowledge and skills which offer a coherent and broadly comprehensive academic foundation.

Grade Point Average (GPA):  A system for evaluating the overall scholastic performance of a student. A student's GPA is calculated by dividing the sum of the grade points by the total number of course work credits. Grades are measured on a four-point scale in which four equals `A,' three equals `B,' etc. This is called grade points. Total points are found by multiplying the number of hours for a course by the student's grade point.

Hybrid Classes: These classes are a mixture of on-line classes and in person classes. For more information contact the on-line advisor in the Counseling Center. 

In-State Resident:  A legal resident of New Mexico for a minimum of one calendar year.

Learning Skills Courses (LRNS):  Basic courses in math, English, and reading to prepare a student for college-level study. These courses will not count towards a degree or certificate but will review your skills.

Major:  The main course of study. A set of courses that awards a student a certificate or associate degree which will prepare the student to enter the work world or transfer to a degree program at a four-year college. 

Mid-Term Grades:  Mid-term grades are indicators of a student's progress.  Mid-term grades are not recorded on official transcripts.

On-line classes: These classes are offered on-line and internet access is needed. They may meet up to four times in person. For more information contact the on-line advisor in the Counseling Center. 

Out-of-State Residents:  Legal resident of a state other than New Mexico, or of a foreign country.

Part-Time Student:  A student enrolled for fewer than 12 credits per semester.

Pell Grant: Financial aid from the Federal Government available to students with financial need to be used at many types of colleges and vocational schools. Applications are available at the Financial Aid Office.

Prerequisite:  A course that a student must successfully complete for background information before enrolling in a particular course.

Registration: The act of enrolling in classes. Students who have earned less than 24 credit hours must meet with their advisor before being able to register for classes.

Semester Hour: Credit earned by a student for taking one hour of academic class work each week for a semester.

Sophomore: Students having successfully completed 31 semester hours of college-level courses.

SMART Lab: A lab which contains a number of computer programs students can utilize to review or enhance their skills. A computer program called PLATO is available to students to build their skills in reading, writing, mathematics, chemistry, physics and other sciences. Other programs include ELLIS software for English as Second Language students. The language lab also offers multimedia instructional support of the college’s language courses. The lab is located in the Student Success Center.

Syllabus: A document that lists a course's objectives and requirements. Each instructor distributes a syllabus at the beginning of the semester.

Transcript (student record):  A student's official academic record maintained by the Record's Office. It shows all academic work attempted and grades earned, as well as transfer credits accepted from other schools.

Transfer Credit: Credit from coursework taken at a previous institution which is accepted by Admissions to apply toward a degree requirement at San Juan College.

Tuition: A fee that is paid for instruction in a school, college, or university.

WithdrawalThe process of discontinuing enrollment in a course or courses. A grade of "W" is recorded on the student transcript. No refund of tuition is given. Forms for course withdrawal is available at Admissions and Records.

Work Study: The federal/state program that makes part-time jobs available to students with financial need.  The work study program is located in the Financial Aid Office.