Glossary of Common College Terms


my.CSMD - Online portal providing students with access to Online Services, myLearning, library resources, etc.
Online Services - Online system providing students with a convenient method to register for classes, access account information including bills, financial assistance, schedule of classes, and other student services
Articulation Agreement - An agreement between two schools that allows course credit at one school to be accepted or transferred and applied toward a degree or certificate at another school.
associate Degree - associate Degree granted by colleges after students complete full-time program of required courses or its part-time equivalent (minimum of 60 credits). These degrees (AA, AS, ASE, AAT) prepare students to work and/or transfer to 4-year colleges to get Bachelor's Degrees. We also offer AAS Degrees which prepare students to work immediately upon graduation.
Audit - Registration and participation in all functions of a class except tests and other graded assignments. No grades are issued, and no credit is earned for audited courses. Students can only audit sections by completing paperwork at a CSM campus. Students pay full tuition and fees for registration.
Bursar - The office in charge of money at a college. Students pay the Bursar for tuition and fees.
Connect to Student Support - The One-Stop page in myLearning where all the support services are listed.
Credit Hour - One hour per week spent in class (3 credit class = approx. 3 hrs. a week of class time). This chart can help you determine how many credit hours you should take:
Work Hours Academic Credits Courses
40< Up to 4 1-2
30-35 Up to 6 2
20-30 6-9 2-3
10-20 9-12 3-4
<10 12-18 4 or more

Note: Knowing individual strengths and weaknesses are helpful when choosing the number of courses to take. Students wanting to complete a degree in approximately 2 years should take 15 credits a semester. Contact an Academic Advisor for program planning.

Developmental courses - Courses that prepare students for college level work; required based on placement exams.
Division Chair - The highest administrator of an academic department.
Drop - Students may “drop” a course from their schedule through the first week of classes. A dropped course will not show on a student’s transcript. A refund is determined by the drop date in the schedule of classes.
Elective Courses - Courses that a student may choose to complete as part of his/her learning program which count towards graduation requirements.
Financial Aid - In myServices, where students view their Financial Aid information; offices on each campus
Full Time - A class schedule of 12 or more credits during the fall or spring semester; part time is less than 12.
General Education Requirements (GenEd) - Every major requires students take some credits which are a broad-based sample of Humanities, Social Sciences, Arts, Cultural and Global Awareness, Math and English which provides students with a well-rounded education.
Guided pathways - CSM's approach to student success where students are guided through their educational experience with academic and career choices, as well as program maps which tell them what courses to take in what sequence (these are the courses listed in order in the college catalog) .
myLearning - Online learning platform where you can find materials/information about courses - syllabus, grades, assignments, due dates, etc.
Office hours - Faculty set-aside hours to meet with students outside of class to assist them.
Outlook - CSM's email system; All students have access to email now through O365. The IT Help Desk can help with questions.
Prerequisite - A course that must be completed before you can take another course (ex. ENG 1010 must be completed before ENG 1020 can be taken). These appear with an asterisk (*) in the catalog.
Preview week - The week before classes start, students may view course information online in MyLearning to be prepared.
Program - Set of required courses for a degree in a major area of study.
Registrar - Person (or office) in a college who manages academic records.
Required Course - Courses that are needed to complete a student’s Program of Study
Section - A 5-digit number (following the course number) that designates the time, day, and place that a particular class is offered.
Semester - A full 14-week period in which 14- or 7-week sessions may be offered during fall, spring, and summer.
Student Finance - In myServices, where students view and pay their bill.
Student Planning - A software program where students plan the sequence of their courses semester by semester and where they register. If they register for a course off their plan, Financial Aid WILL NOT PAY for those courses.
Syllabus - An outline of course objectives, schedule of class activities, assignments, grading policy and contact information provided by the course instructor.
Transcript - An official record of your academic courses. It lists your completed courses, grades, and GPA.
Withdraw - Students can withdraw from classes for any reason before the final semester withdraw date (check the schedule of classes) and receive a grade of “WD” on their transcript. A withdrawal will have no impact on your GPA and you will not receive any money back for the course.
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