Academic Sequence Courses – Those which must be taken in designated order of sequence. Completion of a lower-numbered course is a requisite in order to master subject matter presented in the next higher course. Each department designates sequence courses within its department. Placement tests may be used to determine where a student begins a sequence.

Academic Year – That period beginning with the fall semester and includes winter session, the spring semester, and concludes with the session.

Adjusted (Internal) Grade Point Average – A student’s grade-point average computed by subtracting the hours and quality points earned in all previous attempts in a repeated course from the overall number of hours and quality points.

Audit – To pay fees and register for a class or classes as an observer only and receive no credit for it.

Census Date – The date on which university enrollment statistics are reported to the Board of Regents. Class days corresponding to Census date are as follows:

  • Fall and spring semesters – 14th class day
  • Summer session – 7th class day

Certification – Process by which Louisiana State Department of Education grants licensure.

CLR – Computer Literacy Requirement

Clinical Practice – Student teaching or internships that provide candidates with an intensive and extensive culminating activity. Candidates are immersed in the learning community and are provided opportunities to develop and demonstrate competence in the professional role for which they are preparing.

College – An academic unit of the university, administered by a dean and staffed by faculty members, which provides an academic program.

Concentration – An alternative track of courses within a Major or Option, accounting for at least 30% of the Major requirements. Concentrations may be instituted by the affected system and campus without prior approval by the Board of Regents.*

Co-requisite – A concurrent requirement; usually a course or some other condition that must be taken or met at the same time as another course.

Credit – A measurement of course work completed satisfactorily. Ordinarily, one semester hour credit is given for one hour of class attendance per week for a period of one semester. However, in some courses, such as laboratory courses, two or three clock hours of attendance per week are required to earn one semester hour. A specified number of credits must be earned for a degree. Some colleges and universities, unlike Nicholls, operate on a quarter basis; that is, they divide the year into four quarters and give quarter credits. Quarter credits multiplied by two thirds equal semester credits. Semester credits multiplied by one and one half equal quarter credits.

Curriculum – A description of required and elective courses for a Degree Program.*

Degree – The title of the award conferred on students by a college, university, or professional school upon completion of a unified program of study (e.g., Associate of Science, Bachelor of Arts).*

Degree Program – Any grouping of campus-approved courses and requirements (e.g., minimum GPA required, comprehensive examinations, English and Math proficiency) which, when satisfactorily completed by a student will entitle him or her to a degree from a public institution of higher education.*

Degree of Subject Area – The primary discipline which constitutes the focus of a Degree Program. When a student satisfactorily completes a Degree Program, he/she will be entitled to a degree in the appropriate subject area (e.g., Biology, History, Music, Mathematics).*

Degree Title – The complete label of a Degree Program, consisting of a Degree Designation (e.g., Bachelor of Science) and the Degree Subject Area (e.g., Biology).

Department – The unit of instructional organization in a particular discipline.

Developmental Course – One designed to enable students to develop the skills required to do college-level work.

Dispositions – The values, commitments, and professional ethics that influence behaviors toward students, families, colleagues, and communities and affect student learning, motivation, and development as well as the educator’s own professional growth. Dispositions are guided by beliefs and attitudes related to values such as caring, fairness, honesty, responsibility, and social justice.

Distance Education – A formal education process in which the majority of the instruction in a course occurs when students and instructors are not in the same place. Instruction may be synchronous or asynchronous. A distance education course may employ correspondence study; or audio, video, or computer technologies (from SACS-COC Distance Education Policy Statement).

Elective – A course chosen by the student, as opposed to a required course. The term “elective,” without a qualifier, will be understood to be a free elective, chosen by the student at his or her option from all the courses offered by the university for degree credit, with due regard for prerequisites. An “approved elective” is not open to the free choice of the student.

Equivalent – When used in a course prerequisite, this term means either credit in a comparable course or adequate preparation by other experience. Determination of equivalency is at the discretion of the individual departments.*

Fine Arts – The Board of Regents recognizes the following disciplines as Fine Arts courses: music, visual arts, applied arts, theatre, dance, and interdisciplinary.

GER – General Education Requirement

Good Standing – The status of a student who is eligible to continue in or return to the university.

GPA – Grade Point Average. See “Adjusted (Internal)” and “Official (External).”

Graduate Student – A student who has received a baccalaureate degree and has been officially admitted to Graduate Studies.

Humanities – The Board of Regents recognizes the following disciplines as Humanities courses: literature, foreign languages, history, communications, philosophy, and interdisciplinary.

International Student – A student who is a citizen and resident of a foreign country and who is attending Nicholls on a visa from the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Licensure – The official recognition by a state governmental agency that an individual has met certain qualifications specified by the state and is, therefore, approved to practice in an occupation as a professional.

Major – That part of a Degree Program which consists of a specified group of courses in a particular discipline(s) or field(s). The name of the Major is usually consistent with the Degree Subject Area. A Major usually consists of 25% or more of total hours required in an undergraduate curriculum. Establishment of a Major requires prior approval by the Board of Regents.*

Major Professor – A member of the graduate faculty who closely advises and counsels a graduate student.

Minor – That part of a Degree Program which consists of a specified group of courses in a particular discipline(s) or field(s), consisting usually of 15% or more of total hours required in an undergraduate curriculum. Minors may be instituted by the affected system and campus without prior approval by the Board of Regents.*

OCR – Oral Communication Requirement.

Official Cumulative (External) Grade Point Average – A student’s grade point average based on the total number of quality points earned divided by total number of quality hours attempted. This is the official GPA posted on the transcript and used to determine academic honors and class standing.

Option – An alternative track of courses within a Major, accounting for at least 50% of the Major requirements. Establishment of an Option requires prior approval by the Board of Regents.*

Pathway – Chosen field of certification.

Prerequisites – A course or courses to be completed or conditions to be met before a student is eligible to enroll in a more advanced course. Prerequisites are listed in each course description.

Primary Certification – Consists of a specified group of courses in a particular discipline which provides expertise.

Quality Points – Result obtained when the numerical value of a letter grade (A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0) is multiplied by the credit hours for the course.

Registration – The process by which a student, upon payment of required fees, is enrolled in one or more classes.

Residence Credit – Credit earned by a student in residence by virtue of enrollment in university day or evening classes conducted on campus.

Resident – A student whose home or legal residence, as defined by the policy of the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System, is in Louisiana and is therefore not required to pay the out of state fee.

Semester – A period consisting of about four months.

Semester Average – A student’s grade-point average based on the total number of quality points earned divided by total number of semester hours attempted in a given semester.

Semester Hour – The unit by which course work is measured. The number of semester hours assigned to a course is usually determined by the number of hours the class meets each week.

Social and Behavioral Sciences – The Board of Regents recognizes the following disciplines as social and behavioral sciences: economics, geography, government, psychology, and sociology.

Student Schedule – The courses in which a student is enrolled.

Transfer Student – One who has attended another college or university before entering Nicholls.

Transition Points – A point in the education program where the progress of each candidate is reviewed and evaluated.

Undergraduate – A student who has not yet received the baccalaureate degree.

Unregister – Action taken by student to cancel registration and scheduling of classes prior to the start of classes.

Upperclass student – A sophomore, junior, or senior.

UR – University Requirement

*As defined by Board of Regents.


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