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Glossary of College Terms

AB540 A CA law that allows students who have completed three years in a CA high school and earned a diploma or equivalent to qualify for in state fees even if they are not current CA residents. This applies to both undocumented students and US citizens who were previously CA residents.

Assessment/Placement TestThese are math and English placement tools to determine what level math and English classes students are ready to take. Placement can occur either on campus or at high schools during scheduled sessions.

Associates Degree This is a two year degree usually earned at the community college level. This includes two years of general education and courses to meet major requirements.

Bachelors Degree This is a four year degree earned at four year colleges and universities. This requires general education, lower division major courses, and upper division (junior and senior level) major courses and electives.

BOG Board of Governors' Fee Waiver is the community college program that waives enrollment fees for eligible students. BOG applications are available in Financial Aid.

EOPS Equal Opportunity Programs and Services provides services for low-income and educationally disadvantaged students. California public colleges and universities have these services, which provide students with additional assistance.

ESL English as a Second Language. These are courses offered to non-native English speakers with various levels of ability. Placement is generally done to determine what level best suits students' needs.

General Education Requirements Or GE as they are also known, are usually the courses one takes the first two years of college that are not part of the major. These classes give students an overview of different subjects from several different areas; for example, Language, Natural Science or Humanities courses.

FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is an online application that requires students to enter their financial information to be considered for federal financial aid. Parent tax information is the usual type of data community college students need to file the FAFSA.

Financial Aid the department that helps students pay for college either through scholarships, grants, loans, or fee waivers.

International students Students from foreign countries visiting the United States to study. International students enter the U.S. with a student (F-1) visa with specific conditions for remaining in the United States.

Major A major is the academic area students choose to earn a degree or certificate. All students need to declare a major who intend to earn a degree, certificate, apply for financial aid, or transfer.

Minor A minor is an academic area with fewer course requirements than a major. Minors are not required to earn a certificate, degree, or to transfer.

Orientation A scheduled program introducing new students to college services and academic processes, such as registration, course planning, etc.

Quarters vs Semesters Colleges and universities either have quarter or semester terms. Quarter terms are generally 10-12 weeks, three quarters per academic year. Semester terms are generally 16-18 weeks, two semesters per academic year. Both quarter and semester schools generally offer summer sessions of varying lengths.

Support ProgramsAny services created to help students succeed. These can be tutoring, financial, transfer, community or other departments or programs that provide services specifically for students outside of the classroom.

TransferThe process of leaving a community college to attend a 4 year university. Transfer may or may not involve earning an Associates Degree, but generally includes two years' of community college work (freshman and sophomore years) to meet general education and lower division major requirements.

Transferable Course A course that another university accepts as meeting its degree requirements when transferring there. Some community college units are not transferable as they are below college level, not equivalent to another class at a 4 year university, etc.

UnitA way of calculating student attendance in a class. 1 unit is generally the same as 1 hour of class lecture time.

Building: Seminar (SEM 3)
Contact: Outreach
Phone: 408.864.8327

Hours:  M-F 8:30am-4:30pm 


Last Updated: 6/2/08