Glossary of Terms

Glossary of College Terms

Academic Advisor: A member of Dalton State College’s faculty or staff, who assists students in their transition to college, guides students in making well-intentioned decisions, advises students on course selection, helps students understand college procedures and policies, and helps guide their academic progression to graduation.

Academic Calendar: An academic year is typically broken into terms for the annual school year. The academic calendar contains start dates, withdrawal dates and drop deadlines along with other important dates. The calendar can be found on the web page.

Academic Renewal: The academic renewal policy allows the University System of Georgia degree-seeking students who have experienced academic difficulty to make a fresh start and have one final opportunity to earn an associate's or bachelor’s degree. Students may be eligible for Academic Renewal as either a student readmitted to a USG institution or as a student transferring to a USG institution. Former students may apply only if they have not been enrolled (not on dismissal) at any higher education institution in the previous three years and if they have successfully completed all learning support requirements prior to the commencement of the three-year period of absence. The granting of academic renewal does not supersede financial aid policies regarding satisfactory academic progress. Receiving Academic Renewal does not guarantee admission or readmission to an institution. All students, including those granted Academic Renewal, must meet the Board of Regents and institution admission requirements. Students must apply for academic renewal within the first year of re-enrollment. Contact the Office of Enrollment Services for more information and to request an application for academic renewal.

Academic Standing:

Academic Warning: When a student’s Institutional or current term GPA drops below 2.0, the student’s status is automatically changed from Good Standing to Academic Warning. Students with Academic Warning status are permitted full enrollment privileges but are encouraged to take lighter course loads and to retake classes in their program of study that will improve their Institutional GPA. 

Academic Probation: Students in Academic Warning status who do not earn a 2.0 or higher term grade point average will have their status changed to Academic Probation. Students who are in exceptional academic difficulty (term GPA below 1.0) will have their status changed from Good Standing to Academic Probation. Careful consideration in consultation with an advisor should be made in choosing classes for the next semester. Students will be reinstated to Good Standing when they achieve an Institutional GPA of 2.0 or greater.

Academic Suspension: Students in Academic Probation status who do not earn a 2.0 or higher GPA in their most recent semester of enrollment will have their status changed to Academic Suspension. Students on Academic Suspension cannot enroll for the subsequent Fall or Spring semester. To initiate an appeal of an academic suspension, the student must complete an Academic Suspension Appeal Form. The Office of Academic Affairs will review the appeal and email the student with a decision.

Academic Dismissal: If a student on Academic Suspension does not earn a 2.0 or higher term GPA, the student will be placed on Academic Dismissal. The student cannot enroll for one calendar year. The student will need to be readmitted through the Admissions office.

Academic Year: Annual period during which a student attends and receives formal instruction. At Dalton State, the academic year runs from August – July and is divided into three semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer).

Accommodations: Academic or physical adjustments made to ensure students with qualifying disabilities have equal access to courses and programs provided on or by Dalton State. Reasonable academic and/or physical accommodations are provided to students through Disability Access. Students must self-disclose, register, and request accommodations.

Accuplacer: A suite of computerized tests that determines knowledge in math, reading, and writing as a student prepares to enroll in college-level courses. The results of the assessment are used by academic advisors to place students in first-year classes. The Accuplacer can be taken on campus through the Testing Center and should be taken before starting college classes.

Associate's Degree: An undergraduate degree awarded by Dalton State College upon successful completion of a program of study, usually requiring two or more years of full-time study. Some Associate degrees prepare students to continue their studies to complete a Bachelor’s degree. Other Associate degrees prepare students to move into a specific occupation.

Audit: To sit in on a class to gain knowledge about a subject, but without receiving credit toward a degree. Tuition is charged to audit a class, and Financial Aid does not cover audit classes.

Bachelor's Degree (Baccalaureate): An undergraduate degree awarded by Dalton State College upon successful completion of a program of study, typically requiring at least four or more years of full-time study (approximately 120-128 credit hours).

Bursar: An officer in charge of funds. The Office of the Bursar is responsible for the billing of student accounts for tuition and fees and other charges accrued. This responsibility involves sending bills, receiving and applying payments, and making payment plans.

Catalog (Academic Catalog & Student Handbook): Document of authority on College policies and procedures, graduation requirements, and curriculum requirements for all degrees, majors, minors, and certificates offered by the College.

Certificate and Mini Certificates: A document granted by Dalton State College to indicate that a student has successfully completed specified courses and requirements that prepare a student to enter the job market in health or technical fields. 

Class Load: A normal load consists of 14-16 credit hours per semester. A student regularly employed outside of college twenty hours or more per week should enroll for twelve or fewer semester hours of academic work. The College reserves the right to limit the class load of students who have received below-average grades. Other terms that are associated with class load follow:

  • Full-Time: If a student is enrolled in 12 or more credit hours for a term
  • Full-Load: If a student is enrolled in 14-16 credit hours in the fall and spring terms
  • Part-Time: If a student is enrolled in fewer than 12 credit hours is a term.

Classification: Students are classified as freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors. At the beginning of each term, those with credit for fewer than thirty semester hours are classified as freshmen; with thirty to fifty-nine hours, as sophomores; with sixty to eighty-nine hours, as juniors; with ninety or more hours as seniors. Classification for tuition purposes might be different.

Commencement: A graduation ceremony where students officially receive their degrees. Dalton State holds commencement in December and May. 

Concentration: Some majors (degree programs) require an area of concentration to focus the classes in a specific area.

Core Curriculum: Areas A-E in a program of study represent the core curriculum for each degree. The courses in these areas differ from degree to degree. To determine the core curriculum for your degree, please consult the current catalog or DegreeWorks for this information.

Corequisite: A course that must be taken during the same term as another course.

Counselor: Professional counselors are practitioners who have advanced degrees to provide assistance in resolving personal, social, or psychological programs or difficulties. A counselor is NOT the same as an academic advisor, admissions counselor, or financial aid advisor.

Credit by Exam: Course credit received for specific courses based on official exam score reports for but not limited to Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), International Baccalaureate (IB), DANTES Subject Standardized Test (DSST) and departmental course examination for advanced standing. Official exam scores must be sent from the test administrator.

Credit Hours: Units that a school uses to indicate that a student has completed and passed courses that are required for a degree.

CRN (Course Reference Number): A five-digit number used to identify each course section offered in a term. This code is used to register for a specific section of a course for a given term. Fall semester CRNs begin with an 8. Spring term CRNs begin with a 2. Summer semester CRNs begin with a 5. 

Dean: The head of a division of the college. (i.e. Dean of the School of Arts & Science).

Dean of Students: Administrator that oversees the majority of things that relate to students when it comes to their experiences outside of the classroom. The Dean of Students is an advocate for the student.

DegreeWorks: An academic planning tool to show your progress toward degree completion. Provides a clear picture of degree requirements to help a student navigate the most effective path to graduation. It is accessed through your Roadrunner Portal account.

Double Major: A program of study that allows a student to complete the course requirements for two majors with the same degree at the same time (i.e. a Bachelor of Science with majors in Biology and Chemistry). Students need to be aware of the impact of Financial Aid. Double majors are only permitted in certain programs of study. Students seeking a double major must graduate with both in the same semester.

Dropping and Withdrawing:

  • Drop/Add: Switching classes or sections before or during the first week of classes for the semester and/or part of the term. Students who drop a class during this time frame do so at 100% as though never registered for the class.
  • Drop with a W: Dropping one or more, but not all classes, with a final grade of W. After the drop/add period, students must request permission to adjust their schedule from their advisor. During the two weeks after the drop/add period, students must submit a Schedule Adjustment form to the Office of Enrollment Services. After the 3rd week of class, students can drop classes online via the Roadrunner Portal before the deadline date posted in the Academic Calendar.
  • Total Semester Withdrawal: Dropping all classes for the semester specified by the student on the form. Students must complete the online Schedule Adjustment Form (Drop ALL classes for the semester). All classes will be dropped for the semester specified on the form. The form must be submitted by the ‘drop with a W’ date listed in the Academic Calendar for that term to receive W grades. If the form is submitted after the last day to drop for the part of the term, classes will be dropped with a grade of WF. Dropping all classes may result in a repayment of financial aid. If the form is submitted for a future semester for which the student has preregistered, classes will be dropped at 100% as though never registered.
  • Hardship Withdrawal: The Hardship Withdrawal request is filed if extenuating circumstances require students to withdraw from coursework after the official drop date for the term. Students who experience an unexpected occurrence such as a serious illness or major life event that interferes with their ability to complete their coursework in a given term may petition for a Hardship Withdrawal. Hardship situations must be non-academic in nature. Acceptable reasons for hardship withdrawals include health, military service, or job conflict. All extenuating circumstances must be fully documented. Dropping all classes may result in a repayment of financial aid.

eCore: Fully online courses that are designed and taught by faculty from throughout the University System of Georgia. eCore classes are designed for students to take courses within the core curriculum. eCore courses may operate under a different academic calendar than other DSC courses and may incur different tuition and fees. Students must complete an online introductory quiz before they are able to register for eCore classes.

Elective and Required Courses: A required course is a specific class that a student must take to complete a degree/certificate. An elective is a course where the student may choose from a group of classes to satisfy a requirement for a degree/certificate. 

eMajor: Fully online degrees that are designed and taught by faculty from throughout the University System of Georgia. eMajor courses may operate under a different academic calendar than other DSC courses and may incur different tuition and fees. Students must complete an online introductory quiz before they are able to register for eMajor classes. Dalton State offers 2 eMajor degrees – Criminal Justice and Organizational Leadership.

Enrollment Services: The office offers a one-stop service for students with Admissions, Financial Aid, and Registrar/Records related questions.

Faculty: The teaching body of the College. Often referred to as the ‘Instructor’ of a class.

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid): Application used by U.S. citizens and permanent residents to apply for financial aid from U.S. federal and state governments. International students are not eligible for U.S. government aid, but schools may ask international students to submit a FAFSA to determine financial need. FAFSA must be completed to receive HOPE or loans. The FAFSA must be completed annually.

FERPA: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is legislation that protects students’ educational and personal information by institutions of higher education.

Financial Aid: All types of money offered to a student to help pay tuition, fees, and other educational expenses. This can include loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study jobs. Such aid is usually provided by various sources such as federal and state agencies, colleges, high schools, foundations, and corporations.

First Generation College Student: Also referred to as “First-Gen”. Usually defined as a student whose parents did not graduate with a Bachelor’s degree from a college or university. These students are the first in their immediate families to earn a bachelor’s degree.

GPAs (Grade Point Averages):

  • Overall GPA: The Overall GPA is computed by dividing the total number of quality points earned at any institution by the total number of academic semester hours attempted in which a grade of A, B, C, D, F, or WF has been received. Students are expected to achieve an overall GPA of 2.0 or higher for graduation.
  • Institutional GPA: The institutional GPA is computed by dividing the total number of quality points earned at Dalton State College by the total number of academic semester hours attempted in which a grade of A, B, C, D, F, or WF has been received. If a student repeats a course, only the most recent attempt will be figured in the institutional GPA calculation. The institutional GPA is used to determine a student’s academic progress (probation, suspension, and exclusion) and for graduation. Students are expected to achieve an institutional GPA of 2.0 or higher for graduation.
  • HOPE GPA: For purposes of calculating HOPE Scholarship eligibility, the total number of quality points earned at every higher education institution attended since high school graduation is divided by the total number of academic semester hours attempted at all institutions in which a grade of A, B, C, D, F, or WF, has been received.
  • SAP GPA: The SAP GPA is calculated by the total number of quality points earned at every higher education institution attended divided by the total number of academic semester hours attempted at all institutions in which a grade of A, B, C, D, F, or WF has been received. ALL coursework is calculated into this GPA.

Greek Life: Also referred to as Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL). Greek Life is a group of social sororities and fraternities with shared goals that include academic excellence, community service, and brotherhood and sisterhood.

Hybrid Class: A course that is taught both online and on campus. Students enrolled in the class might attend one scheduled class per week and complete/submit other assigned coursework online. Students are required to participate in both portions of the hybrid class.

Incomplete: A temporary grade given to a student who was doing satisfactory work but, for non-academic reasons beyond the student’s control, was unable to meet the full requirements of the course. If the instructor approves an Incomplete, the student will be given specific instructions for completing the missing work. The Incomplete must be resolved before the end of the next term enrolled or within one calendar year if the student does not enroll within that year. An incomplete that is not resolved will become an F grade on the student’s academic record.

Independent Study: An arrangement that allows a student to earn college credit through individual study and research, usually planned with and supervised by a faculty member.

Internship: An experience that allows students to work in a professional environment to gain training and skills. Internships may be paid or unpaid and can be of varying lengths of time. Some fields of study use the terms Practicum and Field Experience instead of Internship.

Major: Specialization in one academic discipline or field of study.

Minor: A second field of study that is designed to complement and strengthen a major, which usually consists of 15-18 credit hours. Students must be enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree program before they may add a minor to their undergraduate studies.

Online courses: A method of taking courses through the computer which allows for more flexibility and convenience to the student. Students are still expected to meet the requirements and deadlines of the class.

Part-time student: A student, who is enrolled in fewer than 12 credit hours in a given term. Some forms of financial aid may require a minimum number of credit hours.

Pathway: A guide showing degree requirements by semester. Critical milestones for the major are also provided.

Plagiarism: Deliberate or unintentional use of someone else’s work without acknowledging their work. Plagiarism is different from cheating. See the Student Handbook for more information.

Prerequisite: A required course that must be completed before a student is allowed to enroll in a more advanced course. Often prerequisites have a specific minimum grade requirement as well.

President: A person that provides leadership for the overall operation of the College.

Provost: The senior academic officer of the College who typically oversees all academic policies and curriculum-related matters.

Purge of Schedule: This describes an event where a student’s previously scheduled classes are dropped for a term. At Dalton State, class schedules may be purged due to non-payment or non-attendance. 

Registrar: The college official who is responsible for registering students and maintaining their academic records, such as transcripts.

Registration: The process in which students choose and enroll in courses to be taken during the academic year (Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters). Students must meet with an advisor each semester to be released to register for classes.

Residential Housing Contract: The legally binding agreement between a student, The University System of Georgia, and Dalton State College to provide on-campus housing for a specific duration of time.

Residential Life: The department that handles on-campus living accommodations. This department consists of the Director, Assistant Director, Office Manager, Student Resident Assistants (RA), and Student Office Assistants (OA). Students should refer to the Residential Living Guide for detailed information.

Roadrunner Portal: The online portal that allows students access to relevant information such as their academic transcripts, registration, DegreeWorks, student account, finances, and more.

Semester: Dalton State College operates on the semester system, with each of the academic year semesters extending over a period of approximately sixteen weeks. Courses may be scheduled as A Session courses, which are taught over the full length of a semester, or as B or C Session courses, taught during the first or second half of the semester, respectively. Summer classes are accelerated, so they are offered in half of the length of time for each part of the term.

Student: An individual who has been accepted for admission to Dalton State College and maintains a continuing relationship with the College by enrolling in classes or being eligible to enroll. Students also include but are not limited to New & Transfer Orientation participants, dual enrollment students, post-baccalaureate & transient students, and international students.

Student Conduct: Educates students about their rights and responsibilities as members of the Dalton State community when referred for alleged violations of the Student Code of Conduct.

Disciplinary Warning: A written notice intended to draw attention to the fact that the behavior under review was not in accordance with Dalton State policy.

Disciplinary Probation: A written reprimand for violation of a specific policy. Probation is for a designated period of time. If the student is found to violate any College policy during the probationary period, more severe disciplinary sanction(s), such as suspension or expulsion, will be imposed.

Disciplinary Suspension: This is a temporary separation from Dalton State for a designated period of time or until the satisfaction of certain conditions or both. Suspended students cannot be enrolled in any classes (including online) during their suspension. If a suspension is imposed in the middle of the term, all grades for that period will result in "F(s)," and no classes can be dropped or withdrawn. Suspended students cannot benefit from the privileges of current students, such as the use of the gym, library, or campus housing. 

Disciplinary Expulsion: This is a permanent separation from Dalton State. Students who are expelled are no longer part of the Dalton State community in any way and cannot regain such status at any point in the future. If expulsion is imposed in the middle of the term, all grades for that period will result in "F(s)," and no classes can be dropped or withdrawn. Expelled students cannot benefit from the privileges of current students, such as the use of the gym, library, or campus housing. 

Student Handbook: Often referred to as the Catalog

Student Loan: A type of financial aid that is given to someone for a period of time, with an agreement that it will be repaid later.

Syllabus: An outline of a course that includes a description of the course, schedule of assignments, projects, and exams, course policies, rules and regulations, and required textbooks and software. It is a contract between the student and faculty of course expectations and grading requirements.

Transcript: Documentation of a student’s permanent academic record. A transcript reflects all classes enrolled, grades received, GPA, honors, and degrees conferred. Official transcripts are requested through the Registrar.

Transient: Dalton State student who wishes to take coursework at another institution and have that coursework accepted for credit at Dalton State College. Consortium agreements are required for financial aid to be used.  

Tuition: A sum of money charged by a school per term, per course, or per credit, in exchange for instruction and training. Tuition generally does NOT include the cost of textbooks, room and board, and other fees associated with enrollment. Rates may vary between residents and non-residents, and online and on-campus.

Veteran: A person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.

Waitlist: Waitlisting is a function that allows students to add themselves to a waitlist for a course that is full/closed. If a seat becomes available in that section, students will be moved into the class in the order that they were placed on the waitlist. Students will be notified to their Dalton State email if they are moved from the waitlist into a class. Waitlists are removed at the end of the 2nd business day of each part of the term. Once waitlists are removed students can ask for permission from the instructor to be added to a course during the drop/add period.

Work Study: A financial aid program funded by the US Federal Government that allows students to work part-time on campus. Students must complete the FAFSA to be eligible.