Last updated 5/14/2012
The following terms or phrases are ones you may not be familiar with, but are unique to the academic world. Students may encounter them in conversations with faculty and staff, in our catalog, or in other college publications.
Academic probation: A state-mandated process to identify a student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 2.0.
Academic year: Two semesters (fall and spring), plus summer session and examination periods.
Admission: Your acceptance for enrollment.
Advisor: A BHC employee who is available to assist you with clarifying life/career goals and developing educational plans. This person may be an educational advisor, counselor or faculty member (instructor/professor).
Associate degree: Awarded for (generally) completing a two-year program. The typical amount of classwork to complete an associate degree in two years is 14-16 semester credit hours or a total of 64 credit hours if a student begins college eligible for college-level English and math. Black Hawk College has the Associate of Applied Science (AAS), the Associate of Science (AS) and the Associate in Liberal Studies (ALS). The AA and AS degrees are designed to transfer to a four-year college or university. The AAS and ALS degrees are intended to lead to employment and not designed to transfer.
Black Hawk College also has Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT) degrees that prepare community college students to transfer to an upper-division teacher education program in an Illinois college or university. The AAT degrees available at Black Hawk College are Associate of Arts in Teaching Early Childhood Education; Associate of Arts in Teaching Secondary Mathematics; and Associate of Arts in Teaching Special Education.
Baccalaureate: A level of education (degree) marked by the completion of the equivalent of four or more years of full-time education. Also refers to the institution granting this degree.
Bursar’s Office: An office where you pay your tuition, fees and fines, or make payment arrangements including a deferred payment plan.
Cash registration: Period in registration just prior to the start of classes for the semester. During cash registration you have two business days to make payment on your account. No bills will be sent. Once classes begin, payment is due at the time of registration.
Catalog: The catalog is your comprehensive guide to programs and expectations at Black Hawk College.
Certificate programs: Short-term career training programs are intended to lead to employment upon completion. Also called career programs, the college catalog lists the programs and their options.
Co-requisite: A course or other requirement that must be completed at the same time another course is taken. Co-requisite requirements are listed in the BHC catalog.
Course Reference Number (CRN): Each course is assigned a five-digit code, along with a three-digit section number to use when you sign up for classes. Example: CRN 80766 will allow you to register for ENG 102- 011 (Composition II). Since BHC offers the same courses at different times, with different instructors, each class has a three-digit section number to designate the specific class time (011).
Credit hours: The amount of credit you receive for completing a specific course. Credit hours are based upon the number of hours a class meets per week that are then equated to college credit.
Cumulative GPA: Refers to the average grade point earned when all college courses attempted are computed into an overall average. You must earn a 2.0 GPA to graduate or continue receiving financial aid.
Curriculum (program): Courses required for a specific degree or certificate.
Dean: An administrator in charge of a division of a university or college. BHC has deans in the following areas: Instruction and Academic Support, Student Support Services and Instruction, and Student Learning.
Distance learning: A way to teach courses to several sites at a time by means of the interactive television system.
Drop and add: You may change your schedule by dropping or adding classes. Check the academic calendar for the drop/add deadlines for each term or check with enrollment services.
Developmental courses: Non-credit courses that are intended to improve skills (writing, reading, math) to enable success in college-level courses.
Elective: Classes you choose to take that are not specifically required for graduation, but will increase your knowledge and help meet the remaining credit hours for a college degree.
FAFSA: Stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is the standard form used to apply for any form of financial aid.
Financial aid: Various types of financial help including scholarships, work-study jobs or grants to eligible students.
Full-time student: Anyone taking 12 credit hours or more during the fall or spring semester.
GED (General Education Development examination): An examination to show high school diploma equivalency.
General Education requirement: A group of courses a student chooses from in specific categories to earn a degree; provides a broadly based education.
Grade Point Average (GPA): The total number of points per credit hour earned (A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0) divided by college-level credit hours attempted.
IAI – Stands for Illinois Articulation Initiative. This is an agreement that was created to make it easier to transfer from one Illinois institution to another.
Major: A concentration of courses in a specific educational area.
Major requirements: Courses which meet graduation requirements as determined by the student’s major.
Minimester: Courses offered between the fall and spring semesters. They are scheduled over a short period of time and generally require intensive studying on a daily basis.
Online courses: Courses a student takes through the Internet.
Part-time student: Anyone taking 11 credit hours or less during the fall and spring semesters.
Prerequisite (aka prereq): Specific courses you must successfully complete with a “C” or better before you can enroll for another specific course. Students must satisfy prerequisites and any other stated conditions before enrolling in a course.
Registrar: The official at most colleges and universities who is responsible for maintaining student records.
Registration: The process of selecting courses, completing college forms, and paying fees, all of which must be completed prior to the beginning of classes each semester.
Semester: The period of time in which courses are scheduled. Semesters at BHC last approximately 16 weeks. The summer session is either a four-week or eight-week session. Also referred to as a term.
Study Unlimited: Courses that don’t have traditional class meeting times. Students use study guides, textbooks and sometimes audio or video clips. These classes must be completed within a designated timeframe, which usually coincides with the college semester or summer session.
Syllabus: A document that lists a course’s objectives and requirements. Each instructor distributes a syllabus at the beginning of the semester.
TBA: A designation in the schedule that indicates classes meeting times are “to be arranged.” Students will need to contact instructors to make arrangements for completing such classes.
Transcript: This document is a complete record of all courses taken and grades received at Black Hawk College. It’s available in the Enrollment Services Office for a small fee. Official Transcripts are sent from college to college.
Transfer programs: Curriculum that can be applied toward bachelor’s degree programs at four-year colleges and universities.
Tuition: The cost of college classes based on the student’s residence and how many credits the student enrolls in for any given semester. Additional fees may apply.
Tunnels: On the Quad-Cities Campus, a system of walkways and skyways used to navigate between buildings.
Withdrawal: The process of discontinuing enrollment in a course or courses. A grade of “W” is recorded on the student transcript.
Work-study: A financial aid program where students work part-time at the college or other non-profit organizations to gain work experience.