Understanding College Terminology

College has a language all its own, and in order to be a successful student, you’ll need to learn the lingo.

Here are some basics to get you started:

Academic Advisor

This person will help you select the correct courses, review course prerequisites, assist with transfer information and help you with academic problems you may encounter. The advisor will also assist you in creating a Graduated Learning Plan (GLP).

Contact or meet with an advisor »

Academic Calendar

The College's Academic Calendar contains dates for the start of classes, holidays, exam days, registration dates, drop/audit deadlines, important dates for financial aid, and other related activities. It can also be be found in the College Catalog and the Schedule of Classes.

Academic Probation

All colleges require students to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) to remain in school. Any student not maintaining satisfactory progress toward his/her educational goals will be placed on probation.

Academic Suspension

A student on Academic Probation may be placed on Academic Suspension if he/she fails to maintain or achieve the minimum GPA required. A student placed on suspension will be dismissed from the college for a specific time period — usually one year.

Associate Degree

The associate degree is earned by the completion of a program of study of a minimum of 60 credits. CCBC offers several different associate degree programs.

Learn more about the associate degree requirements »

Associate of Applied Science

This degree is conferred upon students who successfully complete a program designed to lead the individual directly into employment in a specific career. Many of the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) programs at CCBC also have articulation agreements with local four-year institutions.

Associate of Applied Science


A student who does not want to receive credit in a course but still wants to stay in the course to learn the material may audit the course. A student may switch from credit to audit after the semester starts. Check the academic calendar for the final date to switch to audit.


CCBC’s catalog provides all types of information students need to know. It lists all the programs of study offered as well as the requirements for those programs. You will find information on CCBC’s admission procedures, philosophy and mission statements, financial aid, policies and procedures, student life, student services, general education requirements, etc.


The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) can be administered to students who desire to obtain college credit by taking proficiency tests for specific courses.

Co-Curricular Activities

These are non-classroom activities that can contribute to a well-rounded education. These can include activities such as athletics, clubs, student government, social organizations and events, and volunteer and community service opportunities.

Co-Curricular Activities

Credit Hours

Courses taken in college are measured by credit hours. To earn one credit hour, a student must attend a class for one classroom hour (usually 55 minutes) per week for the whole semester (usually 16 weeks). More time is required to earn a credit hour in lab classes. Classes are offered in 1-5 credit hour increments.

Drop and Add

Students are permitted to drop courses from their class schedules and/or add other courses. This can only be done during specific times in the semester so be sure to check the academic calendar or semester schedule of classes for these important dates. Dropping courses can also have an effect on your financial aid so you will want to check with the financial aid office before dropping a class.

Non-Credit / Developmental Courses

You may be required to take non-credit courses in math, reading and/or English to build on your skills to prepare you for college level courses. This will be determined by your placement test, SAT or ACT results. CCBC also offers many non-credit courses through the School of Continuing Education. Through Continuing Education students can gain job skills, explore new areas of interests, develop potential or enrich life experiences through cultural and/or recreational studies.

Prerequisite Courses

A course you are required to take before another course. It may be a developmental course or a credit course. These will be listed at the end of each course description in the catalog and in the schedule of classes.

Schedule of Classes

The CCBC Schedule of Classes is available online. It includes a list of courses being offered and their times, locations, specific dates and sometimes the instructor’s name. The schedule of classes will also give you important dates you may need to be aware of throughout the semester.

Success Navigator

Success Navigators Success Navigators assess students’ needs and help secure appropriate referrals, through CCBC and community resources, so students can receive timely help. This voluntary referral process is intended to be pro-active, rather than situationally reactive. We strive to provide resources of support as early as possible to help ensure our students’ success throughout the semester.

Contact a Success Navigator »


A syllabus is an outline of important information about a course. This document is written by the instructor and includes important dates, assignments, expectations and policies specific to the course. These are usually given to you during the first class meeting. The link describes a common course outline which offers a glimpse of what will be covered by the individual syllabus.