Jul 21, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog 
2022-2023 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Glossary of Terms



Associate in Arts Degree (AA): An undergraduate degree awarded after a course of postsecondary study; it is a level of qualification between a high school diploma or GED and a bachelor’s degree.

Academic Support Centers: Math, reading, and writing support centers for scheduled classes, referrals, and drop-in students needing help with academic reading, writing and math projects.

Accreditation, Regional: Certification that a college meets a set of criteria established by one of six private, nonprofit, voluntary regional accrediting associations.

Add/Drop: The procedure used to alter class schedules after initial registration and through the first week of the semester. During this time, students can adjust their schedule by dropping or adding a course without financial or academic penalty.

Advanced Placement (AP): A national examination through which credit may be awarded in specified subjects. A minimum passing score is required for the awarding of credit applicable toward a degree. Information is available in the Testing Center at all campuses and the Hendry/Glades Center.

Associate in Science Degree (AS): A two-year program of instruction consisting of college level courses to prepare for entry into employment. All AS courses are advanced and professional or post-secondary vocational courses.

ACT-Enhanced (ACT-E): American College Testing Program. One of the assessment tests accepted for entry/placement at Florida SouthWestern State College.

Articulation Agreement: State Board of Education rules that establish provisions to facilitate the smooth transition of students through the secondary, community college and university educational systems.

Advanced Technology Certificate (ATC): An ATC is available to students who already have been awarded an Associate in Science degree and wish to upgrade their skills.

Audit: A college credit course taken for informational instruction only. College credit is not earned and regular fees are assessed. Testing and course pre-and co-requisites apply.

Baccalaureate (Bachelor’s): A degree obtained by completing 120 credit hours. The first 60 hours are usually made up of general education and elective classes and the final 60 hours consist of major specific coursework.

Catalog: A resource of academic policies, procedures, college and degree requirements, faculty and course descriptions, published yearly (but subject to change).

Career Certificate:  Career Certificate program is a job preparation option leading directly to a specific vocation based on clock hours instead of credit hours.

CLAS (College Level Academic Skills): Beginning July 1, 2011, CLAS will no longer be an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree graduation requirement.

CLEP (College Level Examination Program): CLEP is a national examination through which credit may be awarded in specified subjects. Meeting the minimum passing score is required for awarding of credit applicable toward a degree. Information is available in the Testing Center at all campuses and at the Hendry/Glades Center.

College Credit Certificate (CCC): A CCC focuses on a specific job or set of skills. These programs require few credits than an associate degree. Credits completed in a CCC will apply to the related AS degree.

Commencement: The ceremony held once a year at the close of the spring semester for graduates from all campuses to celebrate their academic achievement. Students have the option of participating. If the student chooses to participate, then he or she must complete the commencement application, available via the student portal. There is no cost to participate other than the cost of the required cap and gown, which can be purchased at any FSW bookstore. (Please Note: participating in the Commencement ceremony does not ensure graduation. Graduation requirements must be satisfied for graduation to be completed and a diploma issued).

Continuing Education: A variety of non-credit subjects offered to the community through Florida SouthWestern State College.

C.E.U. (Continuing Education Unit): One C.E.U. is awarded for every ten contact hours of instruction in an organized continuing education/noncredit course.

Civic Literacy Competency:  In accordance with State Board of Education Rule 6A-10.02413: Prior to the award of an associate in arts or baccalaureate degree, first-time-in-college students entering a Florida College System institution in the 2018-19 school year, and thereafter must demonstrate competency in civic literacy as outlined in the General Education Program Guide.

Co-requisite: A course which must be taken at the same time as another course; the courses are co-required.

Course Substitution: The process through which a student petitions the College for a replacement of a required course with a course that meets a minimum of 70% of the course learning outcomes. The course must be completed at a regionally-accredited post-secondary institution with evidence of common content and learning outcomes.

Course Transfer: The process of bringing in an identical, or nearly identical, course from another accredited post-secondary institution to replace a required course at Florida SouthWestern State College. The transfer evaluation process is guided by the Florida Common Course Numbering System or catalog descriptions and a syllabus.

Course Waiver: Occurs when the applicant has credits in the subject area that are above and beyond the requirements of the waived course.

Credit by Examination: A program that enables students to earn college credit for introductory-level courses by achieving satisfactory scores on subject-specific tests. The award of credit is based upon the demonstration of knowledge of prior learning. Examples include: Advanced Placement (AP), Cambridge Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, and more.

Credit Hour:  A Credit Hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates to:

A. Not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours out of class student work   each week for approximately fifteen (15) weeks for one semester hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time, or

B.  At least an equivalent amount of work as outlined in item “A.” above for other academic activities including laboratory work, internships, practica, field work, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

Faculty develop syllabi for courses in accordance with the most recent Curriculum Committee Manual and any additional guidelines provided by the department/school and college.  Consistent with this policy, the syllabus must document in-class instruction, out-of-class assignments, and/or other formal course activity that contribute to the determination of appropriate credit for the course.

Developmental Learning Assistance Course: A non-credit skill development course.

Degree-Seeking Status: A student whose admission requirements have been fully met and who is working toward a degree.

Degree Verification: Official verification that a student has met all the degree requirements. Degree Verifications Letters can only be provided once all degree requirements have been completed and the student is pending formal degree conferral.

Drop: A student may drop a course during the drop period and receive a refund. A dropped course does not appear on the permanent record. This may be done online via the student online portal or the appropriate form may be submitted to the Office of the Registrar before the established deadline. Drops after that date may be granted only through established college procedures.

Dual Enrollment: A student enrolled at two educational institutions (a high school and a college) concurrently. See your high school counselor for information.

Early Admission: Full-time enrollment at Florida SouthWestern State College by eligible high school students. Permission of the high school principal or designee is required.

Educational Plan: A plan of required courses prepared by an academic advisor to assist students in reaching their academic goals.

Effective Catalog: Contingent upon a student’s continuous enrollment, the catalog in effect at the time a student first enrolls, and for five years with continuous enrollment, governs the student’s graduation requirements.

Enrollment Verification: Is an official verification of a student’s enrollment status, credit hours, and/or proof of attendance. Enrollment Verification Letters cannot be provided to students with outstanding financial obligations to FSW and are available after the official add/drop date of the correlated semester.

Fee: A non-refundable financial charge for services rendered, such as laboratory fees or special tests.

Financial Aid Transcript: Official record of financial aid funds received by a student. This is required of all students who transfer from another institution and apply for financial assistance at Florida SouthWestern State College.

First Year Experience (FYE) Program: A comprehensive blueprint for preparing any student entering college for the first time to become a self-reliant learner. The FYE Program will include advising, orientation, our first year college experience course, and academic support for students as well as training and development for faculty.

Foreign Language Competency:
In accordance with Florida Statute 1007.25, students initially entering a Florida College System Institution in 2014-2015 and thereafter must demonstrate competency in foreign language pursuant to guidelines set in Florida Statute 1007.262.

The Foreign Language Competency Requirement may be met by:

  • 2 years of the same High School Foreign Language, or
  • Documented foreign language proficiency through testing (for example, CLEP), or
  • 2 semesters of the same College Level Foreign Language (level II proficiency), or
  • Level II proficiency- this criterion occurs when a student has completed the second course of a sequence of college foreign language without completing the first course. For example, if a student has successfully completed a college-level Spanish II but not Spanish I, then the student has met the Foreign Language Competency requirement.

FSW Online: The systematic effort to reach potential learners who may be excluded from the traditional classroom by constraints of time, place, and/or circumstance.

Full-time Status: Enrollment in 12 or more credit hours in a Fall, Spring, or Summer semester.

General Education Hours: A specific number of semester hours of basic liberal arts courses required as foundation in the Associate in Arts degree program.

Gordon Rule: State Board Rule 6A-10.030 states the following: Six (6) semester hours of English coursework and six (6) semester hours of additional coursework in which the student is required to demonstrate college-level writing skills through multiple assignments. Each institution shall designate the courses that fulfill the writing requirements of this section. These course designations shall be submitted to the Statewide Course Numbering System (SCNS). An institution to which a student transfers shall accept courses so designated by the sending institution as meeting the writing requirements outlined in this section. Within the mathematics area, completion of specific courses is required.

Grade: Alphabetical measures of academic success ranging from excellent (A) to failure (F).

Grade Forgiveness: A method by which students may repeat courses a limited number of times to improve their grade point average. Grade forgiveness is limited to courses in which the student earned a “D” or “F” grade. Students are limited to two repeats per course. Upon a third attempt, the grade issued is the final grade for that course.

Grade Point Average (GPA): The calculation of credits attempted, credits earned and grades earned.

Graduation: Is the term used to refer to the actual completion of a student’s degree or certificate requirements, and the official awarding of the degree or certificate to the student which is then indicated on their academic record.

Grant: Non-repayable financial aid funds awarded for college expenses to qualified students.

International or Diversity Designated Courses: Courses assigned the International designation provide students with a better understanding of the interconnectedness of the wider world socio-economically, different global cultures and languages, global scientific developments, or international relations. 

Courses assigned the Diversity designation emphasize the experience of traditionally-marginalized people in the United States and around the world with a focus on the setbacks faced, triumphs achieved, and contributions made by those groups culturally, politically, scientifically, and economically.

International Student: A student who has entered the United States on a non-immigrant visa (F1) (most often an individual on a student visa).

Limited Access/Enrollment: A designation given to programs that require additional admission requirements (i.e., higher GPA, higher test scores, completion of certain coursework). Admission is granted to a limited number of applicants.

Major: A group of related courses that constitute a focused program of study in a specific area of knowledge.

Mini-Semester: A short semester of credit instruction. Also referred to as Fall A or B, Spring A or B and Summer A or B.

Mutual Exclusivity:  Courses are mutually exclusive when their learning outcomes are too similar to earn credit for both (or all). Students may not enroll in a mutually exclusive course if they have completed any prior, corresponding mutually exclusive course with a passing grade, except in certain circumstances. Should a student wish to take a subsequent mutually exclusive course, s/he must gain approval and a mutual exclusion registration override from an academic advisor.

Native Course: A college-credit course offered through Florida SouthWestern State College.

Non-credit: A course for which college credit is not granted.

Official Transcript:  The official record of a student’s coursework, which may include: Course grades, in-progress grades, and/or transferred courses, GPA computations, and any certificate or degrees that have been conferred. The official FSW transcript must be requested online, via the website or via the student portal. Official transcripts from external colleges, universities, or other institutions of higher learning must be mailed directly from institution-to-institution or sent electronically via a secure, third party vendor (such as Credentials Solutions, Inc. or Parchment). If mailed, a transcript is official if it arrives to FSW in a sealed envelope issued by the sending institution. Official transcripts bear the authorizing school’s signature as well as the official seal of the issuing institution. Students must request a separate official transcript from each institution previously attended.

Part-time status: Enrollment in 11 or fewer credit hours in a Fall, Spring, or Summer semester.

PERT: The Post-Secondary Education Readiness Test” is an academic assessment used for placement into either college level classes or college preparatory courses.

Placement Testing: Initial testing and subsequent evaluation of students to aid in placement and progress in reading comprehension, writing, English, arithmetic and algebra.

Preparatory Course: A non-credit skill development course.

Prerequisite: A course which must be satisfactorily completed before entering a related course; a pre-required course

Quality Points: The value, ranging from “4” to “0” for grades “A” to “F” multiplied by the number of credits; i.e., 3 credits x A(4pts.)=12 quality points for all courses completed. These points are used to determine grade point average (GPA).

Registration: The systematic process that reserves seats in particular classes for eligible students; this may be accomplished in person or online via the student portal.

Residency: The determination of residency for tuition purposes affects whether a student pays in-state or out-of-state tuition. Out-of-state tuition is higher than in-state tuition. The Office of Admissions determines a student’s residency status based on the information the student provides.

Scholarships: Financial assistance for college expenses granted by donors to qualified recipients.

Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT): An academic assessment used for placement into either college level classes or college preparatory courses.

Semester (Term): Refers to the way an academic year is divided. The academic year consists of three semesters or terms (Fall, Spring, and Summer), each lasting approximately 16 weeks.

Semester Hour: See credit hour.

Student Classification: Pertains to full-time, part-time, audit, credit, or non-credit.

Student Government Association (SGA): Official representatives of the student body to the administration in matters concerning student life.

Withdrawal: A student may withdraw from a course within the published withdrawal period. A withdrawal results in a ‘W’ grade, which is not computed in the GPA, but counts as an attempt. Financial aid may be impacted where applicable.