Take Note

Ellison Lecture: Frank X Walker

Thursday, February 22, 7:30 p.m., Smith Recital Hall

Academic Terminology – Academics

Baccalaureate 2016 photo


Academic Affairs: The Office of Academic Affairs, located in Flowers Hall, houses the office of the provost and her assistant. This office deals with student questions that have not been resolved through meetings with the student’s academic adviser, instructor, department chair, or school dean; hires and evaluates faculty; assesses programs and students’ progress; determines teaching schedules and faculty governance; and enforces and governs academic policies, among other responsibilities.

Add/Drop: During the first week of classes each semester, you have the opportunity to drop a class without it appearing on your permanent record, or to add a class with the permission of the instructor and your adviser. Be sure that, if you are a full-time student and you receive financial aid, or if you are an intercollegiate athlete, scholarship recipient, or campus resident, you do not fall below 12 credit hours of course work if you drop a class. Twelve credit hours is the minimum load for full-time students, and falling below this level may mean the loss of financial aid or scholarships, housing privileges, or the opportunity to play an intercollegiate sport.

Adviser: Every student is assigned an academic adviser, who is usually a faculty member who teaches in the student’s chosen major. Undeclared students (those who have not yet selected a major) meet with advisers from the Staton Center for Learning Enrichment. You will meet with your adviser as you prepare to register each semester in order to plan your classes, track your progress toward graduation, discuss career possibilities, and plan your future. If you plan to enter a field such as medicine, law, teaching, or engineering, you may also meet with a specialized adviser for your selected Track Program to be sure you are preparing well for admission to a professional program or for educator preparation in your area of interest. If you double-major (have two majors), you will meet with advisers from each major.

Baccalaureate: This is a religious service for pending day program graduates and their families held the evening before Commencement Exercises each spring.

Catalog: The Catalog issued for the year you enter is your guidebook for completion of the courses necessary to earn your bachelor’s degree. The Catalog describes academic policies, degree, major and minor requirements, the academic calendar, and the courses available in each department, among other important information. Always refer to your Catalog when you meet with your academic adviser.

Colloquy: A colloquy, or colloquium, is an academic discussion, usually with a small group of people, regarding a specific topic of interest. Periodically, Huntingdon offers Dean’s Colloquies or Presidential Colloquies during which visiting lecturers or persons of note can enlighten the participants and an exchange of dialog can take place. Some colloquies are open to anyone interested in attending, others are by invitation.

Convocation: A convocation is a formal College event in which there is sometimes an academic processional and academic regalia is worn. Full-time students are expected to attend all Huntingdon convocations.

Core Curriculum: The core curriculum is the basic set of courses completed by every Huntingdon student. Because every student takes these courses, it is the signature of the Huntingdon liberal arts experience, designed to be broad in scope in order to introduce you to a wide variety of topics as you learn your interests, strengths, and aptitudes.

Credit: One semester hour of credit is given to every three hours of class time. In addition, every hour of class time requires approximately three hours of preparation or outside work. For example, a 3-credit-hour class may meet three times per week for an hour per meeting and require about nine hours per week of homework.

Dean: At Huntingdon, academic programs are grouped in departments. Each department has a department chair. Huntingdon also has a Dean of Students, and the Provost serves as the Dean of the College.

FERPA: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal policy setting forth requirements regarding the privacy of student records and governing both the release of educational records maintained by an educational institution and access to those records.

Major: A major is the subject in which most of your credit hours will be earned for completion of your bachelor’s degree. Majors at Huntingdon require between 33 and 75 hours of course work, depending upon the subject and combination of major courses with elective courses. Major requirements are outlined in the Catalog.

Minor: A minor is a secondary emphasis of study, requiring completion of at least 18 credit hours in a particular subject.

Prerequisite: A prerequisite is a course or preparation that must be completed before you may enroll in a more advanced course. Check the prerequisites (listed with the course description in the Catalog) as you register each semester to be sure you have met all requirements.

Provost: The provost is a title that usually describes the chief academic officer of a college or university.

Registrar’s Office: The Registrar’s Office is the place where academic records are kept, transfer coursework is evaluated, course offerings are planned, syllabi are stored, and students register for classes. When you are a second-semester sophomore, it’s a good idea to check with the Registrar’s Office to make sure you are making progress toward your degree, and to double-check any remaining requirements for degree completion so that you don’t have late surprises. After you graduate, the Registrar’s Office is your contact for obtaining transcripts of your course work, as well as your diploma.

Registration: You will register for classes each semester by meeting with your academic adviser and completing the procedure required of you to choose and then enroll in classes for the coming semester. Part of the registration process is receiving financial clearance from the Office of Student Financial Services, so be sure your account is up-to-date by the time registration occurs.

Syllabus: A syllabus is the blueprint for each course you take, describing the instructor’s expectations and requirements for attendance, grading, and work completed. You will receive a syllabus from each instructor/course on the first day of the course, and you should keep these in a safe place and refer to them often throughout the semester. Sometimes faculty members will make assignments in their syllabi that they do not mention in class, and will expect you to read the syllabus and complete the work as part of the course.

Transcript: A transcript is the permanent record of the courses in which you have enrolled at Huntingdon College, indicating the credit hours completed and grades earned for each course. Transcripts are issued by the Office of the Registrar upon written request from the student or former student. Official transcripts bear the seal of the institution and are mailed directly from the institution to their destination (without the student viewing or opening them). To apply for admission to graduate or professional school, you will need official transcripts to be sent to your schools of choice. After the first transcript is issued free of charge, subsequent requests require a processing fee per transcript. In order for a transcript to be released, your student account must be up-to-date or paid-in-full.

Undeclared: If you have not yet chosen a major, you are considered an “undeclared” student.

Withdrawing from a course: After the Add/Drop period, you may still exit an academic course within a certain timeframe by “withdrawing” from a course. Usually, either a “W,” a “WP” (Withdrawn/Passing), or a “WF” (Withdrawn/Failing), appears on the permanent transcript.

Note: Other academic terminology is explained in the Catalog.