Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get more detailed information?

I have a research project that I would like to conduct at CCBC. How do I get IRB approval?
See IRB page.

How do I get demographic information about the area?
See the Baltimore Metropolitan Council.

What do all the those research terms mean?

Academic year

A period of time extending from end August through end May. Summer terms are split between fiscal years and are considered separate.


A process of recognizing educational institutions for meeting standards of performance, integrity, and quality. In the United States, regional accreditation is administered by nongovernmental, voluntary institutional or professional associations.

Adjunct Faculty

Non-tenure track faculty serving in a temporary or auxiliary capacity to teach specific courses on a course-by-course basis by contract.


An ongoing process aimed at understanding and improving student learning.

Assessment Cycle

The cycle refers to the calendar cycle of planning and assessment that includes annual submittal of plans from academic and administrative units and the follow-up assessment review.


The loss of students through means other than graduation.


A criterion-referenced objective; "performance data" that are used for comparative purposes.


Continuing Education

Census Date

The official reporting date for institutional data. Provides a statistical portrait of the institution at a fixed point in time. Data collected on the census date are reported to internal and external authorities, e.g. the board of trustees, state coordinating boards, private college associations, and the Federal government. There are a number of census dates during the year for the collection of different types of information, e.g. enrollment counts, financial statements, or graduation reports.

Census Enrollment

Enrollment figures include all students registered for at least one credit-bearing course as of the third week of classes.


A formal award certifying the satisfactory completion of a postsecondary education program.

CIP (Classification of Instruction Programs) Discipline Code

These codes represent a nationally used, common taxonomy for the classification of higher education degree programs. This classification was originally developed by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The CIP is the standard method for reporting academic programs to the Federal government.


A specific group of students established for tracking purposes.

Common Data Set (CDS)

A collaborative effort among data providers in the higher education community and publishers as represented by the College Board, Thomson Peterson's, and U.S. News & World Report. The combined goal of this collaboration is to improve the quality and accuracy of information provided to all involved in a student's transition into higher education, as well as to reduce the reporting burden on data providers.


Students who are enrolled in courses for credit and are recognized by the institution as seeking a degree or formal award.

Division / Departmental Assessment

The assessment of Academic Divisions and Administrative Departments.

Ethnic / Racial Classification

A racial or ethnic category that is chosen by the student. International students (non-resident aliens) are not classified by racial/ethnic category, but are included in the total number of students when calculating percent minority.

Fall Cohort

The group of students entering in the Fall term established for tracking purposes. For the Graduation Rates component, this includes all students who enter an institution as full-time, first-time degree or certificate-seeking students during the fall term of a given year.

Financial Aid

Grants, loans, assistantships, scholarships, fellowships, tuition waivers, tuition discounts, veteran's benefits, employer aid (tuition reimbursement) and other monies (other than from relatives/friends) provided to students to meet expenses. This includes Title IV subsidized and unsubsidized loans made directly to students

First Time Student

An undergraduate student who has completed less than the equivalent of one full year of undergraduate work that is, less than 30 hours.

Fiscal Year

A 12-month period running from July 1 through the following June 30. Fiscal years are designated by the year in which the FY ends, not the year in which the FY begins.

FTE (Full-Time Equivalency)

Refers to either faculty or student load, and is used to calculate enrollment and budget figures.

FTE Employee

A numerical designator for an appointment based on 100% for full-time. An FTE for a full-time employee is 1.00. (Two people each serving in half-time faculty positions would equal, together, one FTE faculty position.)

FTE Student

A measure of student enrollment calculated on the total number of student credit hours. Every 30 credit hours at the undergraduate level equals 1.0 FTE.

Full Time Faculty

Benefits-eligible employees identified by the institution as such and typically those whose initial assignments are made for the purpose of conducting instruction as a principal activity. They may hold academic rank titles of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, lecturer or the equivalent of any of those academic ranks.

Full Time Student

Students enrolled for 12 or more credit hours.


General Education courses.

General Education Assessment

Assessment of the college's General Education program/curriculum.


A statement about general aims or purposes that are broad, long-range intended outcomes.

Institutional Assessment

Broad assessment of the institutional Strategic Goals.

Institutional Effectiveness Plan

The institution’s documented assessment plan that includes reporting plans of annual goals and objectives and follow-up assessment reports of designated departments. The “plan” encompasses the college’s policies and procedures for Assessment and the reporting the results of assessment.

IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System)

IPEDS is the core post-secondary education data collection program in the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). It was designed to help NCES meet its mandate to report full and complete statistics on the condition of post-secondary education in the United States. It is a single, comprehensive data collection system developed to encompass all institutions and organizations whose primary purpose is to provide post-secondary education. The IPEDS system is built around a series of interrelated surveys to collect institution-level data in such areas as enrollment, program completions, faculty and staff, and financing.


A system of parameters or ways of quantitative and periodic assessment of a process that is to be measured, along with the procedures to carry out such measurement and the procedures for the interpretation of the assessment in the light of previous or comparable assessments.

Metrics are usually specialized by the subject area, in which case they are valid only within a certain domain and cannot be directly benchmarked or interpreted outside it."

MHEC (Maryland Higher Education Commission)

A state agency that is charged by state law to represent the broad public interest in higher education. The following link leads outside of this site to the MHEC website.

New Transfer Student

An undergraduate student newly enrolled at CCBC who was previously enrolled in a postsecondary degree program at another institution. Fall enrollment counts of new transfers include students newly admitted and enrolled in the previous summer.

Non-Resident Alien

A person who is not a citizen or permanent resident of the United States and who is in this country on a visa or temporary basis and does not have the right to remain indefinitely.


A specific measurable step in the plan to accomplish a goal.


The desired results of instruction expressed as intended cognitive affective gains from the instructional experience. Outcomes may be expressed at the course, program or division level. A specific type of performance that students are expected to demonstrate at the end of instruction.

Part-Time Student

Undergraduate students enrolled for 1-14 credit hours.

Pell Grant program

(Higher Education Act of 1965, Title IV, Part A, Subpart I, as amended.) Provides grant assistance to eligible undergraduate postsecondary students with demonstrated financial need to help meet education expenses.

PEP (Parallel Enrollment Program)

A program through which high school students (juniors and seniors) may enroll in college courses while still enrolled in high school. Students are required to meet criteria set by the high school to participate.

Perkins Loan program

(Higher Education Act of 1965, Title IV, Part E, as amended, Public Laws 89-329, 92-318, et al; 20 USC 1087aa-1087hh.). Formerly known as National Direct Student Loans NDSL, the Perkins Loan program provides low interest loans to eligible postsecondary students (undergraduate, graduate, or professional students) with demonstrated financial need to help meet educational expenses.

Program Review

An in-depth review and analysis of specific degreed programs which occurs on a rotating basis of 3-5 years or more.

Program / Degree Assessment

Assessment of a "degreed" program.

Retention and Graduation Rates

These rates are calculated using cohort survival analysis. The cohort is typically defined as the first-time full-time freshmen entering in the fall semester. The term "first-time" means that the student was not previously enrolled in a postsecondary institution, and the term "full-time" means that the student enrolled for a minimum of 15 units in the entering semester.

Retention Rate

The percent of students remaining within an institution once matriculating through the institution.

Returning Students

Students returning to CCBC after an absence of at least 1 semester.

School(s) Assessment

The assessment of a school within CCBC.

SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences)

A software program used for statistical analysis.

Stafford Loans

(Higher Education Act of 1965, Title IV-B, as amended, Public Law 89-329; 20 USC 1071.) Provides guaranteed loans for educational expenses from eligible lenders to vocational, undergraduate, graduate, and first-professional students at eligible postsecondary institutions.

Unduplicated count

The sum of students enrolled with each student counted only once during the reporting period.