Congratulations! You are on your way toward self-discovery, career exploration and career planning for your future! Along the way, you will likely encounter unfamiliar words, terms, phrases and acronyms (letters than stand for a word or phrase) This Glossary is a list of all of these terms together with their meanings to help you in your career exploration process.

Academic Majors - At MDC, if you are pursuing an A. A. or A. S. degree, you do not pursue an “academic major.” Instead, you follow a developed Course Sequence Guide designed for an Academic Program of Study. Visit the Academic Programs website for information regarding the over 300 programs of study at MDC.

Advisement and Career Services Department (A&CS) at every Campus and Outreach Center facilitates an effective decision-making process regarding educational programs, employability skills, career exploration and transfer planning. Advisors work with students beginning in high school and into their middle semesters at MDC, after which time students are transferred to College Mentors in their program of study. Advisors promote appropriate course selection and assist students with referrals to MDC and community resources and support services. And once you have chosen a career path, advisors will provide you with important information regarding academic program information, required courses, and your graduation status. A skilled and dedicated staff of full-time A&CS Advisors representing diverse educational and professional backgrounds provides these services that enable you to establish and fulfill your educational and career goals. Visit the Advisement and Career Services' website for more information including locations and hours of operation.

Alternate (Career) Pathways include the many different types of jobs and careers that are associated with particular interests, skills, values, education and training. Consider alternate pathways that may be associated with your Career Clusters and skill sets as you engage in career exploration.

A Career is more than a way to make money and pay one’s bills. A career involves the pursuit of one’s lifelong goals, learning and aspirations in the area of work. The development of a career generally involves training, learning, evolution, and the development of expertise through an individual’s working life. Anecdotal evidence suggests that individuals change careers an average of three times during adulthood for varied reasons.

Career Exploration is the process of the life-long pursuit of one’s career desires, related educational needs, and work-life values. Various components of career exploration include taking and considering results of career assessments, evaluating one’s own skill sets, interests, educational background, and training, exploring needed skill, training and education needs, reviewing current and future work and career trends, career preparation practices, including resume and interviewing preparation, interviewing individuals in a desired field, engagement in internships, employment, development of transferable skills, consideration of and developmental action related to performance evaluation, and potential shifts in career trajectories based on continual self-reflection and evaluation. Use the resources of this Career Exploration website for your own career exploration.

Career Exploration Tools include the following:

  • Career Clusters and Meta-Majors are groups of jobs, careers and industries that share similar skill needs, involve the production of similar products, and/or involve similar work experiences. Sixteen career clusters have been identified on the US Department of Education Career Clusters website. Visit the Florida College System for more information.
  • FOCUS2 is a self-paced online, interactive, self-guided career and educational planning system that you can access and take for free through MDC’s Testing Center that can help you select a program of study based on your interests and aspiration, discover opportunities matching your personal preferences and attributes, map out your career plans, and make informed career decisions. Visit the Starting Your Career Exploration page of this MDC Career Exploration Guide to complete your FOCUS2 assessment.
  • Holland’s Career Theory is based on work by John Holland, who identified six “work personality types.” Visit the Starting Your Career Exploration page of this MDC Career Exploration Guide to discuss Holland’s Career Theory and its relevance to your career exploration.

Certificates, Certificate Programs and MDC Stackable Credentials are connected, career-focused credentials of documented awards indicating achievement outcomes and employable skills that create a coherent academic and career pathway with multiple entry and exit points. Miami Dade College acknowledges each credential that you earn while progressing toward your goals. Stackable Credentials at MDC include industry certificates, career technical certificates, college credit certificates, an earned associate degree, and advanced technical certificates. Earning credentials as you learn may help you start or advance your career while still in school. Visit Mapping Stackable Credentials to learn about the various types of certifications available at MDC.

Civic Engagement is involvement in the public life of a community in an informed, committed and constructive manner in order to address a critical community need. A critical community need is something that must be addressed now and in our local area. Civic engagement requires an understanding of critical community needs in order to plan solutions. It enhances academic learning as it directly and intentionally prepares students to be active participants – particularly in taking leadership roles - in a diverse and democratic society. Civic engagement can also help a student investigate a career.

Civic engagement has several elements.

  • Volunteerism is the willingness of people to work on behalf of others without pay or other tangible reward. This type of service is not linked to a specific course and can be performed by individuals, groups, student clubs/organizations and even family members. It may or may not address a critical community need. Such service is a great way to get involved in your community because as a result, you may see yourself as part of the community and develop a vested interest in protecting, empowering and improving the circumstances of which your fellow “citizens” live, work and play.
  • Community Service is considered as those acts by a person that benefits the local community by addressing a specific critical community need. It may not be connected specifically to any particular course or program of study. Community service that is related to your career interests may also help you learn more about that career.
  • Academic Service-Learning (sometimes called Service-Learning) is the combination of community service and classroom instruction, with a focus on critical reflective thinking and taking personal civic responsibility. An academic service-learning project will be an assignment within a course which helps the community while also providing you with a better understanding of the course material through working hand in hand (i.e. via experiential learning) with an MDC approved Community Partner.

MDC’s civic engagement activities are coordinated College-wide by the Institute of Civic Engagement & Democracy (iCED). Visit their website for more information.

Co-curricular Activities are those activities that you engage in outside of the classroom that are associated with your education and learning experiences. These experiences may be directly arranged by a course instructor (e.g., field trips, participation in campus activities for credit) or may be self-selected activities that you engage in that are sponsored by the College and relate to your education and learning experiences. Co-curricular engagement immerses students in activities that often help students find connections between curriculum and “real life,” and students often report that these experiences helped them in identifying their careers of interest.

Communities of Interest (COI) represent a network of students with similar academic interests and career goals in order to promote student engagement and development, enhance program persistence resulting in completion of a certificate or degree, and promote global citizenship and lifelong learning. Visit the Communities of Interest website in order to learn about MDC’s established Communities of Interest.

Continuing Education and Professional Development (CE) in The MDC Office of Work-Force Development offers non-credit courses for individuals who want to enrich their cultural experiences or improve their professional or occupational skills. Visit the School of Continuing Education and Professional Development website in order to learn about MDC’s established non-credit course opportunities.

Course Sequence Guides (CGS) are full-enrollment plans that guide student enrollment for individual programs of study. Course Sequence Guides are accessible through Advising and Career Services, the department, discipline or program office for your identified program of study, or through your College Mentor. Your Degree Audit is available through the MDC student portal.

A Degree Audit (a.k.a. Academic Requirements) is a record of your current academic progress and program requirements. Access / review your Degree Audit on your own and with an advisor on a regular basis throughout your time at MDC to ensure that you are meeting all academic and graduation requirements for your program of study and for the College. Your Degree Audit can be accessed through your Student Portal.

Degrees are rewarded after the completion of all requirements of a program of study. MDC currently awards an A. A. or Associate of Arts degree, A. S. or Associate of Science degrees, and B. A. S. or Bachelor of Applied Science degrees. Visit the Academic Programs website to identify specific degree requirements by degree.

  • A.A. Degree - Associate of Arts Degree is designed to allow for student transfer to four year colleges and universities. At Miami Dade College, we have one A. A. Degree; we do not have A. A. degrees in specific disciplines or programs of study. If you are pursuing an A. A. Degree at Miami Dade College, you will follow a Course Sequence Guide (see Course Sequence Guides) that is associated with your particular area of interest and Associate of Arts Pathway Program at MDC. Visit the Academic Programs' Associate Degree website to review the Associate of Arts Pathway Programs at MDC.
  • A. S. Degrees - Associate of Science Degrees are awarded to students who are pursuing programs of study typically designed to prepare for immediate employment as well as to facilitate student transfer to four year colleges and universities. Visit the Academic Programs' Associate Degree website to review the Associate of Science Pathway Programs at MDC.
  • B. A. S. Degrees - Bachelor of Applied Science Degrees are degrees for programs that are designed with the unique demands for entry and advancement within specific workforce sectors. B.A.S. degree programs are also included within MDC’s articulation and / or transfer agreements with other institutions. Visit the Academic Programs' Bachelors’ Degree website to review the programs of study awarding B. A. S. degrees at MDC.

A Discipline is a concentrated area of General Education (e.g., Arts & Humanities, English & Communications, Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Social Sciences). Visit the Academics website to examine different schools, programs and disciplines at MDC.

Entry Requirements (also see Academic Programs, Articulation Agreements) are requirements that must be met for admission into MDC’s and other institutions’ programs of study. Visit the Academics website to determine specific entry requirements for the MDC programs of study. Visit the MDC' Transfer Planning website to determine specific entry requirements to institutions with which MDC have created articulation agreements.

Visit the MDC Idea Center to learn about support, workspaces, mentoring, expertise and programs to guide people with innovative ideas through all stages of the entrepreneurial process.

Internships are career-specific paid and unpaid opportunities to experience work activities and work environments in your areas of scholastic or career interest.

Job Outlook refers to current data and trends in job growth, job salary expectations, and career and job growth that will help you in career planning and exploration. Visit the Career Resources page of this website to access this information.

The MDC Transfer Planning Guide provides a one-stop resource for students planning for transfer after graduation.

My Academic Plan (MAP) is a term-by-term educational plan for your entire program of study. Your MAP combines General Education requirements with specific program requirements. MAPs can be completed with the assistance of your Academic and Career Advisor, your College Mentor, and / or discipline and / or program advisors.

Transfer Institutions and Articulation Agreements – Transfer Institutions are institutions to which you plan to move to complete additional course work and degree requirements. MDC has formal Articulation Agreements that have been made with numerous local and in-State public and private four-year institutions and other institutions in the US and abroad. If, as a part of your career planning, you will transfer to another institution for further degree completion, review MDC articulation agreements early in your time here at MDC with your assigned advisor or college mentor as many of these specifically identify courses and requirements needed at both MDC and the related transfer institutions to help facilitate your transfer success. Visit the Academics' Transfer Planning website to review MDC Articulation Agreements with transfer institutions.

Transferable Skills are skills that you have or will obtain through activities related to life experience, coursework, co-curricular involvement, and / or volunteer, civic, and / or service learning engagement. These skills may be required skills for numerous jobs across numerous occupations. Examples of transferable skills are second language writing, reading and / or speaking skills, general and specific program-related technology skills, active listening skills, and record keeping. Developing your own transferable skills may enhance your employability for jobs, may strengthen your opportunities for job movement within the same occupation, across occupations, and may enhance your plans for career attainment. Transferable Skills should be included in resumes.

Veterans’ Affairs at MDC are coordinated through the office of Miami Dade College’s Military and Veterans Services (MILVET). Visit Veteran Student Information to find information regarding educational opportunities and assistance for current military and veterans at MDC.