College Prep Name_____________________________________
College Search Vocabulary Date______________________Block___________
Accelerated study — This program allows you to graduate in less time than is usually
required. For instance, by taking summer terms and extra courses during the academic
year, you could finish a bachelor’s degree in three years instead of four.
Accreditation and/or Accredited: An accrediting body, (The Middle States Association
of Colleges & Schools for example), will periodically review the academic standards at
colleges and universities to determine whether educational excellences is being
maintained. Approval or Accreditation by a regional accrediting body is vital to a
Associate Degree: A degree granted by a college or university after the satisfactory
completion of a two-year full-time program of study or its part-time equivalent. In
general, the associate of arts (AA) or associate of science (AS) degree is granted after
students complete a program of study similar to the first two years of a four-year college
curriculum. The associate in applied science (AAS) is awarded by many colleges upon
completion of technological or vocational programs of study.
Baccalaureate Degree: A degree received after the satisfactory completion of a four or
five year, full-time program of study (or its part-time equivalent) at a college or
university. The bachelor of arts (BA) and bachelor of science (BS) are the most common
Branch campus: A campus connected to, or part of, a large institution. Generally, a
student spends the first two years at a branch campus and then transfers to the main
campus to complete the baccalaureate degree. A branch campus provides a smaller and
more persona environment that may help a student mature personally and academically
before moving to a larger and more impersonal environment. A branch campus
experience may be a good idea for a student who wants to remain close to home or for an
adult learner who wishes to work and attend college classes on a part-time basis.
Career and Placement Services: A range of services, including (often) the following:
coordination of visits of employers to campus; aptitude and vocational testing; interest
inventories, personal counseling; help in resume writing, interviewing, launching the job
search; listings for those students desiring employment and those seeking permanent
positions; establishment of a permanent reference folder; career resource materials.
Career-Oriented Program: A program of study designed to prepare students for a
specific job upon its completion. Such a program may extend for less than a year or for
as long as two or three years with students achieving either a Certificate, Diploma, or an
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College: A post-secondary institution that offers high school graduates a two or four
year educational program that culminates with an Associate (2 year) or Baccalaureate
Degree (4 year).
College Transfer Courses: Courses and credits earned at one institution that are
accepted by another institution as part of its program requirements.
Combined Bachelor’s/Graduate: A program to which students are accepted for study
at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The program usually can be completed in
less time than two individual programs.
Community or Junior Colleges: Community colleges offer a degree after the
completion of two years of full-time study. They frequently offer technical programs that
prepare you for immediate entry into the job market.
Commuter: A student who lives off campus in housing that is not owned by, operated
by, or affiliated with the college. This category includes students who commute from
home and students who have moved to the area to attend college.
Control: A college or university can be under public or private control. Publicly
controlled universities are dependent on state legislatures for their funding, and their
policies are set by the agencies that govern them. Private colleges and universities are
responsible to a board of directors or trustees. They usually have higher tuition and fees
to protect the institutions’ endowment.
Cooperative Education (COOP): A college program in which a student alternates
between periods of full-time study and full-time employment in a field related to a
specific major. Typically, five years are required to complete a bachelor’s degree under
the COOP plan.
Degree Program: A program of studies leading to a particular degree, e.g. Associate,
Double major: Available at most schools, the double major allows a student to complete
all the requirements to simultaneously earn a major in two fields.
Emphasis: An area of concentration within a major or minor; for example, an English
major may have an emphasis in creative writing.
External degree program: A program of study whereby a student can earn credit
through independent study, college courses, proficiency examinations, distance learning,
or personal experience. External degree colleges generally have no campus or classroom
facilities. They are sometimes referred to as ―colleges without walls.‖
Graduate Degree: A degree achieved beyond the undergraduate degree i.e. Master’s
Degree or Doctoral Degree (Ph.D)
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Honors program: Honors programs offer an enriched, top-quality educational
experience that often includes small class size, custom-designed courses, mentoring,
enriched individualized learning, hands-on research, and publishing opportunities. A
handpicked faculty guides students through the program.
Humanities: Courses usually in liberal arts curriculum. They include Classics,
Literature, Arts, Theology, Music and Philosophy.
Internships: Short-term, supervised work experiences, usually related to a student’s
major field, for which the students earn academic credit. The work can be full or part
time, on or off campus, paid or unpaid. Student teaching and apprenticeships are
examples of internships.
Liberal Arts College: A college offering a 4-year program for students emphasizing a
broad education including the arts, humanities, social science, and sciences. A student
picks a particular major and can also pursue a pre-professional training like pre-medicine
Major: Concentration in one subject area that requires a specified number of credit
Matriculation: A point in college admission when a student is formally admitted into a
curriculum, under standard college procedures. A student must be matriculated in order
to apply for financial aid and/or try out for intercollegiate athletic programs.
Military Schools: The federally funded military academies (West Point, US Air Force
Academy, US Naval Academy) are 4-year undergraduate programs that prepare students
for officer positions in the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Other military schools include
the US Coast Guard, the Citadel, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Norwich University,
US Merchant Marine Academy, Virginia Military Academy.
Minor: An area of concentration with fewer credits than a major. The minor can be
related to the major area of concentration or not; for example, an English major may have
a minor in theater.
Nursing Schools: Prepare students for a career as a Practical or Registered Nurse. Most
are affiliated with particular hospitals and many with two or four year colleges.
Private Colleges: Private colleges and universities are responsible to a board of
directors or trustees. They usually have higher tuition and fees to protect the institutions’
Public Colleges: The tuition tends to be less expensive, particularly for in-state
residents. They are funded primarily from the state and local government.
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Religiously-Affiliated Colleges: Some private colleges are affiliated with a religious
faith. The affiliation may be historic only or it may affect day-to-day student life.
Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC): Programs conducted by certain colleges in
cooperation with the United States Air Force, Army and Navy. In exchange for a certain
number of years on active duty, students can have their college education paid for up to a
certain amount by the armed forces. Local recruiting offices of the services themselves
can supply detailed information about these programs, as can participating colleges.
Residency requirement: The term has more than one meaning. It can refer to the fact
that a college may require a specific number of course to be taken on campus to receive a
degree from the school, or the phrase can mean the time, by law, that is required for a
person to reside in the state to be considered eligible for in-state tuition at one of its
public colleges or universities.
Retention rate: The number and percentage of students returning for the sophomore
Single-Sex: All four-year public colleges and most private schools are coed. In terms of
single-sex colleges, there are about 50 specifically for men and about 70 specifically for
women. Some may enroll a few men or women.
Study Abroad: Any arrangement by which a student completes part of the college
program – typically the junior year but sometimes in a semester or a summer – studying
in another country. A college may operate a campus abroad, or it may have a cooperative
agreement with some other U.S. college, or an institution at the other country.
Teacher Certification Program: Program designed to prepare students to meet the
requirements for certification as teachers in elementary, middle/junior high, and
Transfer program: This program is usually found in a two-year college or in a four-
year college that offers associate degrees. It allows a student to continue his or her studies
in a four-year college by maintaining designated criteria set down at acceptance to the
two-year program. It is not necessary to earn an associate degree to transfer.
Universities: Generally, a university is bigger than a college and offers more majors and
research facilities. Class size often reflects institutional size and some classes may taught
by graduate students.
Trimester Calendar System: An academic year consisting of 3 terms of about 15
Virtual visit: This is the use of the Internet to investigate various colleges by looking at
their home pages. A student can ―tour‖ the college, ask questions vie e-mail, read school
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newspapers, and explore course offerings and major requirements on line. It is not a
substitute for a live visit.
Vocational and Technical Schools: These institutions offer occupational education
certificates and diplomas that prepare students with entry-level skills and training for
employment in fields such as computer or engineering technology, culinary arts, and
automotive mechanics. The length of the programs varies from a few months to up to
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