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Common Advisement and Career Terms - Glossary

This Glossary will provide you with the definitions to some important terms. More details are available through the web, the catalogue and the Miami Dade College website. In some cases, links are provided below

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

A.A. (Associate in Arts) Associate in Arts Degree. A degree awarded to students with a 2.0 or higher G.P.A., who have completed a minimum of 60 credit hours, including a general education core of 36 credit hours. The Associate in Arts Degree is a transfer degree which prepares students for upper division study  and satisfies the general education requirements for all upper division public universities in Florida.
A.A.S. (Associate in Applied Science) Associate in Applied Science Degree. The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree is a two-year degree that leads to employment and is not intended to transfer to a four-year institution.  Allied Health programs have selective admissions requirements and offer courses in specialized study as well as general education.
A.S. (Associate in Science) The two-year Associate in Science degree programs are offered for those who wish to prepare for careers requiring specialized study at the college level. There is an ever-increasing demand for supporting personnel in scientific and technical fields and business areas. Although specifically tailored for immediate entry into the business or industrial world, these programs include many courses which may be transferred to a university if the student decides to work toward a four-year degree.
Academic Year MDC's academic year is divided into 3 semesters. We begin with the fall semester, followed by the Spring semester. Each one of those is 16 weeks long. We also have a Summer semester which is 12 weeks long. ( The length of courses may vary. In the summer we offer 6 week courses and in the major semester some courses are mini-term and may also be shorter.) Please check on the start and end dates of a course in order to determine the length of the course.
Accreditation Accreditation is approval granted by an organization, government agency or other entity, which certifies that an educational institution meets specific approved operating and educational standards. MDC is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools which the regional accreditation body for colleges in the southeast.
Alumnus An alumnus is a person who has graduated or attended a school, college or university. MDC has an organization for its graduates, former students and friends.
Audit An enrollment option for a credit class. No credit is earned for audited courses. A final grade of "X" (designating Audit) will appear on the transcript. Students must select this option within a specified time period.
Bachelor's Degree The degree awarded by four year colleges and universities. Miami Dade College offers a Bachelor's Degree in Education. Get more information on the Bachelor's Degree in Education.
Catalog The Miami Dade catalog describes the college's policies, procedures, services, learning programs and courses. It also lists the college's full-time faculty and administrative and professional staff. The catalogue is printed once a year.
Catalog Year The college periodically publishes catalogs with dates corresponding to specific academic years. Students follow the programs and program requirements as outlined in the catalog in effect at the time they initially enroll. The exception to this rule is  if a student has been our of the college for more than one academic year, the catalog in place when he/she returns is the one he/she must follow. It is very important to consult with an academic advisor to determine how a new catalog may impact specific course prerequisites, transfer requirements and other important academic requirements.
Certification Certification is a credential granted by an external organization or company confirming that an individual has specific skills in a certain area. Certification is often awarded as a result of testing. In some cases, some combination of experience, instruction and testing may also be required. Certification is different than licensing in that a license is almost always granted by a local, state and/or federal government agency while certification is granted by companies and organizations. MDC has several programs that lead to certification. Various Computer Support Technology and Network Administration Programs prepare students for exams such as the CompTIA i-Net+, the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), Microsoft Office User Specialist (MOUS) and others.
Change of Information Form Used to officially change a student's name, address, phone number, social security number, e-mail, or emergency contacts.
Change of Major Form Used to officially change a student's learning program or program option. Must be signed by an advisor. Download the Change of Major form.
College-Level Courses These courses may count toward degree requirements at Miami Dade College and may generally be used as transfer credits to other colleges and universities. They are numbered 1000 and above.
Commencement Commencement is the ceremony marking graduation. Students can be awarded diplomas following the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters, MDC's commencement ceremony takes place in May, immediately following the end of the Spring semester.
Corequisite A corequisite is a course that must be taken with enrolling in another course. For example, Anatomy and Physiology (BSC2085) must be taken with Anatomy and Physiology lab (BSC2085L).
Course Prefix Course Prefixes are alphabetic abbreviations for the subject areas - for example, the course code for English is ENC, the code for Biology is BSC and so on. A full listing of course codes is available in the catalog.
Course Fee Course fees are charged for some courses to cover the specific costs of their required instructional materials and supplies. Course fees vary for course to course.
Course Number A three-digit number that identifies a specific course within each subject. EX: English classes may be numbered ENC-1101, ENC-1102, etc.
Credit/Semester Hour A credit (sometimes called a semester hour) is a unit of measurement applied to college coursework. One credit equals approximately one hour of classroom instruction per week. Most college courses are three credits. Credits are also used to calculate tuition and are a factor in a student's grade point average.
Credit Load A credit load represents the number of credit hours a student has registered for in a given semester. A full time students takes 12 credits.
Developmental/College Preparatory Courses These courses teach reading, writing, or math skills that prepare students for college-level coursework. They are numbered in the 0000s, (i.e., ENC-0021 or MAT-0002) and are required for students who place into them. The credits earned for these classes count toward a student's GPA (Grade Point Average). They can be covered by financial aid, but are not transferable and do not count toward degree requirements.
Elective Courses Courses that a student may choose to take as part of his/her major and that count towards graduation requirements. The elective section for an AA degree should ideally be courses towards one's major. Students should see a faculty advisor in their area in order to pick courses for the AA elective section.
FAFSA Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA is the form used to apply for federal financial aid. English and Spanish versions are available. Print copies are available at MDC's Financial Aid office. Visit the FAFSA website for more information.
Financial Aid Scholarships, grants, loans and work assignments, which are awarded to a student to help pay for all or part of college costs. Visit the Financial Aid website for more information 
Financial Aid Office The MDC office that administers student financial aid services, including federal and state financial aid, scholarships, loans and work study programs. Get more information on Financial Aid.
Full-Time Enrollment in 12 or more credits in a major term (Fall or Spring).
Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) The GPA is the ratio of grade points earned to the number of credit hours attempted. Grades of A, B, C, D, and F are part of the GPA calculation. To compute the GPA, add all the grade points earned and divide this sum by the number of semester hours attempted. Calculate your GPA now.
Grade Points Also referred to as quality points. The numerical value of a grade multiplied by the credit hours for a course. (A=4 pts.; B=3 pts.; C=2pts.; D=1 pt.). EX: A student earning an A (4 points/credit) in a 3 credit course will earn 12 grade points.
Honors College The Honors College is designed to meet the needs of academically talented goal oriented students. Get more information on the Honors College and apply.
International Student International Students are students attending MDC on a Student Visa. Get more information about attending MDC as an International Student.
Incomplete Grade An incomplete grade is submitted when the student's work in a course is incomplete, and the student has obtained the instructor's permission to finish the course. An Incomplete is normally given only where extenuating circumstances exist, or where research or performance needs to be extended beyond the normal limits of the term. For more information please read the MDC catalog.
Independent Studies The Independent Studies program includes all general education core courses and a wide variety of distribution and elective courses. A minimal number of visits to the campus are required for course completion, so this program is particularly suited to students who want flexible schedules. You can reach the department at 305-237-2337 for more information
Life Lab Life Lab is an interdisciplinary, competency-based program at MDC's Wolfson Campus. This academic program was designed to help students learn on their own time, to participate more fully in their learning processes, and to develop skills and tools for self-motivation. Students can take from one to four courses per term, attending one peer group meeting each week during the term. Enrollment for the Life Lab program can be done right at the orientation session. Call (305) 237-3274 for more information.
MEED Program MEED stands for Microcomputer Education for Employment of the Disabled Program. This is a program at M-DC's Wolfson campus.
Non-Credit Courses Non-Credit Courses are courses for which the student will not earn college credit.
Non-Degree Student Non-Degree Students are students which do not plan to pursue a degree program at MDC. Students must be degree-seeking in order to receive financial aid.
New World School of the Arts New World School of the Arts is a program specifically geared to students in the fine arts. Students in New World College can receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (BFA). New World also encompasses a high school. Admission to New World is selective and contingent upon a portfolio or audition. Get more information on New World School of the Arts.
Official Transcript A printed record of a student's academic history, issued by the Registration Office, that is stamped and/or marked "Official" and is enclosed in a sealed envelope marked "Unofficial if Opened". Official Transcript are generally mailed by MDC to the college you wish to send it to.
Open College Open College offers college credit courses through independent study. Our task is to provide you with educational programs that will enable you to achieve your educational goals while accommodating your busy schedule. Courses are designed so that you can complete assignments and examinations without having to attend traditional class sessions. Students are required to attend a minimum of two on-campus exams. Sessions are scheduled evenings and on Saturdays. Call (305) 237-3123 or visit their website and get more information on Open College.
Part-Time Enrollment in fewer than 12 credits in a major term (Fall or Spring).
(PTK) Phi Theta Kappa Phi Theta Kappa is the national two-year college honor society. MDC's chapter of Phi Theta Kappa is Alpha Alpha Sigma. To be invited to join students must accumulate at least 12 credits in 100- and 200-level courses during a Fall or Spring semester and have at least a 3.5 cumulative grade point average with no F, L, or W grades.  
Placement Tests These are computerized tests such as the CPT that assess students' skills in English and math and place them into developmental or college-level courses. Their purpose is to ensure that students are equipped with the best possible skills for academic success. Test exemption may be possible based upon prior college level coursework or certain SAT, ACT, AP or CLEP scores.
Prerequisite A course required before enrolling in another course. Ex: MAC2311 - Calculus I must be taken prior to enrolling in Calculus II.
Quality Points See Grade Points.
Quality Point Average See Grade Point Average.
Required Courses Courses that are needed to complete a student's learning program.
Semester Hours See credit hours.
SGA (Student Governemnt Association) Student Government Association. The SGA is the official voice of MDC's student body and enables students to be involved in the development and administration of college policies.
Syllabus A summary or outline of specific course objectives, assignments, and the grading formula distributed in each class at the beginning of the semester.
Transcript A copy of a student's academic record. Official copies may be obtained from the Office of Records and Registration. Students may print unofficial copies from the MDC website.
Transfer Credit Coursework completed at another accredited college. For courses to be evaluated for MDC credit an official transcript must be submitted to the Office of Admissions.
Unofficial Transcript A printed record of a student's academic history that contains all courses both past and current, but is not stamped and/or marked "Official" and is not enclosed in a sealed envelope marked "Unofficial if Opened".
Virtual College If you have a work schedule or a personal situation that prevents you from attending regular classes, and if you have ready access to a computer and the Internet, then the Virtual College may be for you. Virtual College courses are designed so that students can complete them without having to attend a class at a fixed time or place. Get more information on the Virtual College.
Withdrawal Period Period of time after the Drop/Add period, but well into the semester, when a student may withdraw from a class. A grade of W will appear on his/her transcript. Refunds are not available. Refer to the Schedule of Classes each semester for the first and last day to withdraw. Withdraw dates will differ for classes that meet less than the entire semester.

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution which does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
disability, veteran’s status, ethnicity, pregnancy, sexual orientation or genetic information. Additional information may be obtained by contacting the
Office of Equal Opportunity Programs/ADA Coordinator/Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577.