learning the lingo

Posted : August 4, 2003
Last Updated : April 9, 2015

learning the lingo

College is a time to expand your mind and learn new ideas along the way, but it can be overwhelming for a first-year student. As an entering freshman, you will be experiencing many new activities and meeting a variety of people. On top of this, you will also be hearing several new words that you probably haven't heard before. So, to help you look like a college veteran, commit the following vocabulary to your memory. This way you won't be lost when your professor tells you to buy a blue book or your advisor tells you to pick more electives.

Advisor: A faculty member who assists students in planning their college courses and helps them determine their academic goals.

Academic Probation: A student goes on academic probation whenever he/she is not making good grades. If the student does not improve his/her GPA, the school may have to dismiss him/her for a year.

Add/Drop: At most schools, a student may add an additional course during the first ten days of class and withdraw from a class through the sixth week of the semester. Check with your school for more details.

Blackboard: An online course management system that allows faculty and students to communicate and share resources relevant to their courses.

Blue Book: A blank booklet that many professors require for an essay test. It can be purchased at bookstores on campus.

Commuter: A student who lives off campus and drives to class.

Core Classes: Required classes that students take that pertain to their major.

Course Number: A designated number given to each class which must be used during registration to insure proper class placement.

Electives: Optional classes that do not have to pertain to your major.

Fees: Charges that cover costs not associated with the student's course load, such as costs of some athletic activities, clubs, and special events.

Freshman Fifteen: Weight gained during a student's freshman year. Stress, lack of exercise, and late night binges can contribute to the freshman fifteen.

Full-Time Student: A student taking at least 12 credit hours in a semester.

Independent Study: A program where students can take a course under the direction of a professor and receive credit. However, the student is not required to attend classes.

Major: A student's concentrated field of study.

Minor: A student's secondary field of study.

Midterms: Tests given halfway through the semester to determine students' progress.

Plagiarism: Using someone's ideas or phrases as your own. Many colleges have a code of honor that students have to sign saying that they will adhere to the rules and not plagiarize. Make sure to use your own words when writing papers or taking essay tests.

Resident Advisors (RA): Upperclassmen who live in dorms and enforce housing rules. These advisors also assist students with any problems they may have.

Resident Director (RD): Main person in charge of dormitory housing. Resident directors are usually not undergraduate students. Resident advisors report to the RD.

Registrar: School office that maintains student transcripts and keeps record of various student accomplishments.

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

Transcript: A document that shows a college student's classes, grades, and honors.

Work-Study Program: A program that provides part-time employment to undergraduates and graduates to help with college expenses. There are two different kinds of work-study: Federal Work-Study (awarded to students who demonstrate financial need) and non-Federal Work-Study (not based on financial need). Work-study jobs can be found on and off campus.


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learning the lingo

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