Transferring to Post Secondary Education can be difficult to navigate, here are some definitions of terms you may run into on your journey:
College – Colleges are often small institutions that emphasize undergraduate education in a broad range of academic areas. Often seen as more “hands-on.”
University – Is an institution that offer a variety of both undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Many are committed to producing research.
Academic Year – Academic year is as defined by the post secondary institution but will not be less than eight months duration, usually covers the period September to April.
Term – A full term is usually Fall/Winter (September to April) and Spring/Summer, May through to August. Terms are then divided into semesters.
Mid-Term – Through half of each term. Usually after “Mid-Term” Exams.
Semester – Semester refers to a part of the academic year as defined by the post secondary institution. Semesters usually cover the periods from September to December (Fall Semester), January to April (Winter), and May to August. (“Spring semester” is from May through June and Summer Semester lasts from July to August.)
Program – A series of courses & requirements that lead to a degree or other qualification.
Deadline – The latest time or date by which something should be completed.
Course – Is a subject or a unit of study which lasts for a specific time and deals with a particular aspect of a subject.
Full Course – Usually lasts the entire academic year, commonly from September to April and credit is given as one full course
Half Course – Runs for one semester, and half credit if given.
Prerequisites – Important courses you need before you can get into an upper-level course.
Elective – Something that’s elective is optional — you can choose to do it, or not. An elective course in school is one you take because you want to learn more about it, you need a prerequisite/involves your future plans.
Official Transcript – In education, a transcript is a certified record of a student’s full enrollment history including all courses attempted, grades earned and degrees and awards conferred. (Types: Typical transcript types include official, unofficial, graduate, undergraduate, NCAA, and continuing education.)
Full time – Most students take the equivalent of five full courses each academic year.
Part time – Most students take fewer courses than that of a full-time student.
Certificate – An academic certificate is a document that certifies that a person has received specific education.
Diploma – A type of certificate awarded by an educational establishment to show that someone has successfully completed a course of study.
Academic Degree – An academic degree is a qualification awarded to students upon successful completion of a course of study in higher education, usually at a college or university. There are four major categories of degrees available for postsecondary students: associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.
Associate’s Degree – Associate-level programs offer different degrees for a variety of careers. These 2-year programs may provide the necessary training to prepare students for entry-level positions in fields like nursing, graphic design, and other vocational areas. Associate degree programs are most commonly available from community colleges and technical schools. Completing an associate degree program may qualify graduates to enter the workforce. Transferable associate degree programs cover the general education requirements needed to continue a student’s education at a 4-year university.
Bachelor’s Degree – A Bachelor’s degree program is an undergraduate program that usually takes four years to complete. Enrolling in a bachelor’s degree program requires that students choose a major area of study, such as finance, history, communications, or biology. A bachelor’s degree is also usually required for admittance into a graduate program.
Master’s Degree – Master’s degree programs are graduate programs that let students specialize in an area of study. They typically take 1-2 years to complete. Many master’s degree programs require a thesis or capstone project for graduation. A master’s degree is also required for entrance into some doctoral programs.
Doctoral Degrees – The highest college degrees are doctoral degree programs, also known as Ph.D. programs. Because they are the most advanced type of degree program available, admittance into a doctoral degree program may require individuals to hold a master’s degree, although several programs accept candidates who only hold bachelor’s degrees. Additional requirements to be accepted into these programs may include submitting standardized test scores and sending in letters of recommendation. Completing a Ph.D. program usually takes several years, and often involves the completion of a dissertation and a major research project.
Skilled Trades – Specialty in a particular occupation that requires work experience, on-the-job training, and often formal vocational education.
Apprenticeship – Is an agreement between a person who wants to learn a skill and an employer who wants to train someone to be a skilled worker. It provides long term training, can last from two to five years. It’s conducted both in the workplace and in a community college.
Eligibility – The state of having the right to do or obtain something through satisfaction of the appropriate conditions.
Priority – Priority comes from the word prior, which means to come before something else. A priority is the concern/interest that comes before all others.
Academic Probation – When the student is not maintaining the MFNED PSE or institution’s minimum academic requirements, they may find themselves in academic probation.
Academic Suspension – A student will only receive academic suspension in the event that, that student, has outstanding information/documents or debt/payments.
Withdraw – If a student decides to stop participating in a course AFTER the deadline, it is defined as withdrawing from a course. If a student withdraws from a course, the course will be included on their transcript with a ‘W.’ This ‘W’ indicates to transcript reviewers that the student attempted the course but eventually withdrew prior to completing the course for a letter grade. ‘W’s do not count towards a student’s GPA.
Dropping Out – If a student decides to stop participating in a course BEFORE the withdrawal deadline, it is defined as dropping a course. If a student drops a course, the course will not be included on their transcript.
Academic Upgrading – Provides adult learners with the opportunity to improve their mathematics, communications, science, and computer skills up to college-entry level.
Mature Student – A “mature student” is usually applicants who are over 19 years old and do not have a high school diploma or GED. Adults can apply to attend colleges or universities as mature students. Applications by mature students are evaluated differently from applicants who have just finished high school. Many schools recognize that mature students have life experience that younger students may not have, such as work experience, experience as a parent or independent learning. Schools consider this experience and any academic credentials you have when you apply for admission.
Scholarship – See our Other Funding page.
Bursary – See our Other Funding page.
Loan – A loan is when you receive money from an institution in exchange for future repayment of the principal and interest.
Grant – Grants are non-repayable funds or products disbursed or given by one party (grant makers), often a government department, corporation, foundation or trust, to a recipient, often (but not always) a nonprofit entity, educational institution, business or an individual.
Credit Transfer – The term credit transfer simply means getting credit for courses completed at one institution or in one program, when switching to another. Courses taken in one program can be transferred to the same program at another institution, or to a different program at either the same institution or a new one. (Link for more info)
Academic Bridging – A bridging course is a university-preparation course with an academic curriculum that is offered to mature students as a means of preparing for the intellectual challenges of a university education, successful completion of which is recognized as a basis of admission to the University.
Alumni – is a formal student or pupil, commonly but not always, a graduate of a educational institute; college or university.