Glossary of College Terms



Academic Success Center: Location for academic assistance for students needing individualized help with classes, general skills review or encouragement. Located inside the library on each campus.

Academic Year: The school year; comprised of term I (August-December), term II (January-May), and term III (May-August). A catalog is issued for each academic year; e.g., 2016-2017.

Advising: Help from a professional staff member about program planning, course selection and transfer requirements.

Application for Admission: The form that begins college life at PHSC; results in a letter of admission for eligible persons. It is a prerequisite to orientation. There is a one-time nonrefundable fee of $25.

Applied Technology Diploma (ATD): A diploma offered either for technical credit or for college credit. Students entering an ATD program must have a standard high school diploma or a GED. The ATD allows the student to gain advanced standing toward an AS degree. When the ATD program articulates into an AS degree, the credit awarded will be college credit. These AS degrees may be offered at any college in the Florida College System.

Articulation: The process of establishing formal educational agreements between educational institutions for the purpose of allowing seamless transitions for student transfers.

Associate in Arts (AA) degree: A degree designed to prepare students to transfer to a four-year institution; satisfies General Education Requirements and common prerequisites for entrance at the junior level as approved by the state articulation agreement; requires 60 credit hours.

Associate in Science (AS) degree: A degree planned to prepare students to transfer to specific bachelor's degree programs and for job entry upon completion; program lengths vary for AS degrees.

Attempted Hours (Credits): The number of college credits (hours) a student is enrolled in after the drop/add period each term.

Audit: A college credit status in a course with no grade assigned; may be selected before the drop/add period ends and results in no penalty for the number of attempted classes. Classes audited after the drop/add period will count in the number of class attempts. Attendance is still required in class; results in grade of "X.


Bachelor's degree: A degree awarded upon satisfactory completion of a planned program of one hundred and twenty (120) college credits, after demonstration of the attainment of predetermined and specified performance requirements. The bachelor's degree must include thirty-six (36) college credits of General Education coursework and foreign language competence.


Catalog and Student Handbook: An online document published annually. It contains the college calendar, policies, procedures, regulations, programs and course descriptions. This document may be modified during the academic year.

CLEP: College- Level Examination Program; a way to earn certain college credits based on prior independent learning; not to be confused with Credit by Examination.

Clock Hours: The unit of study for technical courses. In these areas, a technical credit equals 30 clock hours in class during the term; two technical credits equal 60 clock hours.

College Credit Certificate: A college-credit program designed to prepare students to enter technical areas. College Credit Certificate programs, which vary in length, are part of AS degrees.

College-Level Credit Courses: Courses numbered 1000 or higher and are used when calculating the GPA.

Collegiate High School: A program for dually-enrolled high school students in 11th or 12th grade who meet certain grade point average (GPA) requirements who may enroll at the College as full-time students pursuing the Associate in Arts (AA) degree or Career and Professional Education (CAPE) certification. Eligible students first must gain admission to the College by submitting a completed "Application for Admission: Collegiate High School Student," as well as official high school unweighted grade point average (GPA) documentation through their assigned high school. The Collegiate High School program is only open to Pasco and Hernando County public school students.

Continuing Education: Noncredit courses designed to meet specific technical and personal needs.

Corequisite : A course that must be taken in conjunction with another course during the same term.

Counseling: A conversation with a professionally trained staff member about educational goals, career choices or personal concerns; available to all students upon request.

Course Substitution: The exchange of one course for another course required in a degree program; justification and permission are required.

Credit By Examination: College credit earned by successfully passing a comprehensive test prepared by the appropriate PHSC academic division. Exams are not available for every course. Specific criteria apply to each exam.

Credit Hour: Unit of college work and the same as a semester hour in AA and AS programs. Generally, the number of credit hours in a course equals the number of lecture hours in class each week.


Drop/Add: Refers to the short period after terms or classes begin when a student may drop or add classes. Dates are published in the online schedule of classes and the College Catalog and Student Handbook . Fees are refunded only for classes dropped during the drop/add period and not after that period ends.

Dual Enrollment: High school dual enrollment means the student is enrolled in high school and simultaneously enrolls in college or specific technical credit courses, which are counted toward high school graduation. Eligible students first must gain admission to the College by submitting a completed "Application for Admission: Dual Enrollment High School Student," as well as official high school unweighted grade point average (GPA) documentation.


Financial Aid: Sources of monetary assistance for students seeking to enroll in a college or university. Typically, financial aid includes such help as grants, loans and on-campus employment.

FOCUS2: A computerized career exploration program available through Career and Testing Services that assists students in making career plans through assessments linked to matching educations and occupational choices.

Full-Time Student: A student registered for 12 or more college-credit hours in a fall, spring or summer term.


Gordon Rule: The state requirement that, within the general education core, students must demonstrate writing and mathematics competencies through multiple assignments. This requirement will be satisfied by students completing the rigorous writing assignments in communication, humanities and social and behavioral science courses at PHSC and a minimum of six semester hours of math at the level of college algebra or higher. Required for awarding of the AA degree and junior standing at Florida's public universities.

Grade Point Average (GPA): Grade average calculated by dividing the total number of quality points (A=4, B=3, etc.) by the total number of hours of credits attempted.

Graduation Application: The form necessary to obtain a degree or certificate; due in student's last term of enrollment.


Late Registration: Registration during the drop/add period for the term; begins on the first day of classes in a term and requires payment of a special $20 late fee. Academic progress may be hindered by starting late in a course.

Library: This location houses print, nonprint and electronic resources to assist students with academic endeavors and personal enrichment.


Matriculation: The act of enrolling or registering in courses at PHSC and progressing toward a degree, certificate or diploma.

myPHSC: PHSC student portal that provides access to student email, all enrolled courses, links to web registration, information and more.


Part-time Student: A student enrolled for fewer than 12 credit hours in a fall, spring or summer term.

PERT (Postsecondary Education Readiness Test): A computerized test of reading, writing and math used to determine placement into college-level courses for nonexempt students.

PHSC: Pasco-Hernando State College; also referred to as "the College."

Prerequisite: A course or placement test score requirement that must be satisfactorily completed before a student enrolls in the next higher level in a related course.

Program Change: A change of goals from one degree or certificate to another degree or certificate. Students should talk to an advisor about the effect on credits, VA benefits, etc. This process is accomplished officially with a new Program Declaration form.

Program Declaration: A required form on which the student officially declares an educational goal, such as nursing, business administration, general AA, etc. Students must complete a Program Declaration form each time they change their major.

Purge Date: The date by which students who have signed up for classes must pay for those classes. Students who do not pay all required fees by this date will be removed automatically from all classes for which they have not paid. Students should consult an advisor to find out specific purge dates for each term.


Registration: Not to be confused with advisement; a process by which students enroll in courses. Students are enrolled officially only when all tuition and applicable fees are paid.


Schedule: The online list of courses offered each term, usually available about two weeks before registration begins.

Semester Hour: The official unit of measure of college credit work. Used in all Florida public colleges and universities; equates to one credit hour in AA and AS degree programs.

Semester-Session-Term: Used interchangeably. See Academic Year.


Technical Certificate Program: Designed to provide certain job-entry skills in a short period of time. Program lengths vary. Enrollment in technical certificate programs does not result in college credit.

Tuition: Cost of courses based on the number of credit hours attempted plus any special course fees. Tuition is classified as in-state tuition or out-of-state tuition.

Transcript: The official educational record sent directly from a high school or previous college to PHSC's Office of Admissions and Student Records. Also, the official educational record sent directly from PHSC to another college or to the requesting student. A signed request form is mandatory when asking that transcripts be sent from PHSC.


Veterans Benefits: Financial assistance from the government to certain qualifying veterans and dependents of veterans to provide for educational training toward a career.


WISE (Web Information System for Education): Pasco-Hernando State College's web portal that allows students to use the Internet to access important student services such as: applying for admission, registering for courses, printing class schedules, checking grades, reviewing unofficial transcripts, paying fees and other obligations, viewing financial aid awards, reviewing any restrictions on their record, reviewing degree audits and more. New and first-term transfer students must meet with an advisor before using WISE for registration.

Withdrawal: Action taken to remove a student from a course after the drop/add period, up until the deadline date listed for the term; withdrawal may be initiated by a student or instructor by completion of forms provided by the Office of Student Affairs and will result in a grade of "W." No refund of fees. Withdrawals may have an effect on a student's financial aid or Standards of Academic Progress as explained elsewhere in this publication. Signature of the instructor and the official last date of attendance are required on the Withdrawal form.