Jul 13, 2024  
Elizabethtown College 
Elizabethtown College

Glossary of Terms

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Our glossary definitions are intentionally brief.   Refer to the Academic Policies section of the catalog for more information on many of these terms and/or academic policy references.


Academic Calendar

Our Academic Calendar is comprised of Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer.

Academic Standing

Students are in good academic standing if they maintain a minimum 2.0 in their undergraduate studies.   Some programs require higher minimums due to accreditations.   Graduate students must maintain a 3.0 in their students to remain in good academic standing.

Academic Probation

Students are placed on Academic Probation when they are in danger of being dismissed from the College based on academic performance.  Classifications of probationary status are outlined in the catalog.

Accelerated Program

A course of study that allows a student to earn a degree within an accelerated timetable.  


Class attendance policy is determined individually by faculty members.  Students are expected to attend all scheduled class times, and for courses offered in different modalities to participate in all activities throughout the course.  Students are responsible for knowing the attendance policy for each course and consulting with professors in the case of absences due to illness or other personal problems.


See https://catalog.etown.edu/ for our online Catalog(s).  The requirements specified in each Catalog apply to students who began their studies with Elizabethtown College, are continuously enrolled, during a particular academic year.  

  • Undergraduate Catalog - On-campus, in-person undergraduate programs
  • Graduate Catalog - On-campus, in-person graduate programs
  • Graduate and Professional Studies Catalog – Undergraduate and Graduate hybrid and online programs offered in an accelerated format.


A certificate is a coherent course of study that results in the development of specific proficiencies/competencies worthy of recognition.

  • Transcribed: A defined list of courses offered by an undergraduate or graduate academic unit that appears on the transcript as a separate credential.
  • Stackable: A set of certificates that may be “stacked” together to be applied towards a degreed program.

Class Attendance

Class attendance policies are determined individually by faculty and outlined in their course syllabus.  A full explanation of the attendance policy is outlined in the academic policies section of the catalog.   A long-term absence may result in mandatory withdrawal for the course, by action of the faculty, or after 15 consecutive class absences form all classes may result in mandatory withdrawal from the College.

Class Standing

Students are classified academically based on the number of earned, or completed, credits. Membership in each class is based on the identified credit minimums.


Some programs, like Business and Engineering, provide an opportunity for student to work in a related industry while receiving academic credit in their program of study. 


A series of undergraduate courses required to satisfy the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s definition of General Education.


A course defines the curriculum and content of a field of study in a single semester or sub-term. Course (s) are comprised of components that identify discipline, academic level (100, 200, etc.), and section.   Graduate level begins at the 500-level.

Course – Audit

Enrolled students in good academic standing (2.00 or better) may elect to audit courses provided they do not preempt regularly enrolled students and they have the permission of the instructor teaching the course.

Course – Drop

In consultation with your academic advisor, it may become necessary to drop or withdrawal from a course currently on your schedule.   A course drop will remove the course from your schedule without a permanent record.   Refer to the semester’s important dates for deadlines pertaining to course registration alterations.

Course – Honors

An undergraduate course offered and designated with the “HNR” designation for students accepted and participating in the Honors Program.

Course – Modality

Course modality refers to how the course is offered by the instructor.  

  • Face-to-Face.  Students meet at a physical location during scheduled class times for the duration of the course.
  • Online (ONLN) – the class is exclusively asynchronous and fully online.
  • Remote (RMTE) – the class is offered virtually but with one or more scheduled synchronous sessions (at specific days and times)
  • Hybrid (HYBR) – the class has a blended modality which is a combination of face-to-face and distance learning.
  • By Arrangement – this modality is reserved for alternative study options (internships, practicums, fieldwork, directed studies, etc.)

Course – Pass/No Pass

Courses registered Pass/No Pass earn credits, for grades of P/NP, but are not included in the students Grade Point Average calculation.   Refer to the Academic Policies section of the catalog for more information on Pass/No Pass registrations.

Course - Pre-enrollment

Programs utilize the pre-enrollment process to ensure their majors, minors, certificate seeking students stay on track for program completion.  This process is also used to register students that have been granted an exception to a course prerequisite or corequisite at the time of registration.  

Course – Prerequisite and Corequisites

  • Prerequisites are courses that a student, or prospective student, must complete prior to enrolling into a specific class. For example, a student cannot register for BIO 112 without completing BIO 111 first.
  • Corequisites are two, or more, courses that must be registered simultaneously in the same semester.  

Course - Register by Instructor

At the request of a Program Director or Instructor, some courses on the class schedule are classified as “Register by Instructor” aka “RBI. Register by Instructor notations appear in the “Notes” associated with the course.

A student cannot self-register for these courses, they must contact the course instructor to request to be enrolled in the course. Registration and Records CANNOT enroll or waitlist a student in a course classified as Register by Instructor.

Course - Registration and Scheduling

Students are required to register for courses on the designated day of each semester.  Priority is given to degree or certificate seeking students.  Undergraduate registration occurs in order of class standing.   Students are responsible for addressing any active HOLDs on course registration prior to published timelines.  Course registration and scheduling opens each November (Winter, Spring, Summer) and April (Fall) and remains open until the published add/drop course deadlines for the associated sub-term or semester associated with the course registration.  Enrolled students may make course schedule changes via the College Web system, on a space-available basis. Students can review their registration status 24/7 using JayWeb.

Course - Repeat Registrations 

Students may repeat any course in which they earned an F or NP using JayWeb.  Students interested in repeating a course where they earned a C- or a grade in the D range must submit a Course Repeat form.  Courses that are eligible to be repeated must be taken at Elizabethtown College and not at another institution as a transfer course.

Course - Special Topics/Experimental 

Special Topics/Experimental courses provide a platform for faculty to introduce a relatively new topic, to address a timely issue (e.g., an election), or to simply to introduce new course ideas before submitting formal proposals for inclusion in the College catalog.

Course - Waitlists

If a course is full, students may elect to waitlist. If a seat becomes available from the waitlist, a member of the Office of Registration and Records will email the student using their etown.edu email account.

Course – Withdrawals

In consultation with your academic advisor, it may become necessary to withdraw from a course currently on your schedule.   A course withdrawal will result in a grade of “W” on the student academic transcript.   This grade will not result in any earned academic credit, nor will it impact your grade point average.  Refer to the semester’s important dates for deadlines pertaining to course registration alterations.

Credit Hour

A credit hour is a unit to measure academic progress.   Elizabethtown College follows the credit hour requirement established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), which comply with policies established by the federal government and Middle States Commission on Higher Education


A specified number of credits identified by a defined group of course requirements in a primary major or field of study for completion of an educational program.  Non-course requirements like backpack to briefcase in the business program are reviewed manually by the overseeing program.


A degree is an award signifying a rank or level of education attainment and which is conferred on students who have successfully completed a degree program and is represented by the official degree designation (Associates, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate, etc. )

Degree Planners

Degree Planners for academic majors and minors are found in the online Catalog.   The planners list all requirements for each program to aid students, and their advisors, in managing academic progress in a program.

Degree Audits

Degree Audits are completed by the Office of Registration and Records in accordance with catalog curricular and academic standards established in the Catalog.   Students receive a preliminary graduation audit in the summer prior to the start of their senior year.   Students have 24/7 access to their academic progress toward degree completing by review of the online Grad Report located in JayWeb.  


An academic unit housed within a school or college.

Directed Study

Directed study is undertaken for a regular course in the curriculum that is not being offered in a particular semester. The student works independently with a faculty member to achieve the learning outcomes of the selected course based on a learning contract.  

A Directed Study may be necessary when two course registrations result in a time conflict.   In the latter circumstance, if the time overlap exceeds 15 minutes the student must seek approval to have one course registered as a directed study.  If two courses overlap for less than 15 minutes, students seek approval to register in the second course using the Time Conflict Resolution form.  

Students are unable to self-register for course registration time-conflicts and/or directed studies.   Forms are available online on the Office of Registration and Records website.

Not all courses in the Catalog may be completed as directed studies due to course design.  


A requirement within a program of study that allows a student the opportunity to select a course from a designated set of courses outlined by the overseeing program.

Enrollment Classifications

Enrollment classifications are based on a students’ registration status in each semester.


To be classified as full time, an undergraduate student must be registered for at least 12 credit hours in the semester.  18 credits is the maximum without written approval to overload.  A graduate student must be registered for at least 6 credits hours in the semester.   Please note, programs of study may require different registration minimums to ensure students meet accreditation standards for the program.

Grad Report

Students have access to their “Grad Report” in JayWeb.   The online Grad Report, aka Degree Audit, matches the student’s course work against the requirements for a degree identifying both satisfied and outstanding program requirements.  If there are inaccuracies, the student or their academic advisor are responsible for contacting the Office of Registration and Records.   An error in the online degree audit does not change the actual requirements for graduation.


Grades are reported as A, B, C, D, and F.   Plus, and minus distinctions may be identified.   Designations of incomplete (I), Withdrawal (W), Withdrawal Failing (WF), Pass (P), No Pass (NP), and Audit (AUD) are used in appropriate situations.

Grade Point Average

A student’s Grade Point Average is dependent on the credits attempted and quality points earned through letter-grading of coursework.  

Guided-Writing and Research

Writing enriched course(s) required as part of the Core Program.

Incomplete Grades

A grade of incomplete (I) may be obtained by making a formal request to the course instructor.   Incomplete grades are awarded only for extenuating circumstances.   Faculty may utilize an incomplete grade in cases of suspected academic dishonesty.  A complete definition and established responsibilities are outlined in the Online Catalog.

Interdisciplinary Program

An undergraduate program of study is considered interdisciplinary when they include course requirements from more than one program discipline that may not fall under a particular department.

Independent Study

Independent Study (IS) is designed for students to pursue individual investigations and/or reading in an area of special interest, or to advance competencies in the major/minor area.  Independent Study is initiated by the student and progresses largely unsupervised. Students pursuing independent study are expected to do extensive research, reading, writing, and/or creative work resulting in a major paper, presentation, work of art, or other learning outcomes agreed upon by the supervising faculty member and the student.


Through internships, students apply and augment their classroom leaning with real-world experience.  They provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their knowledge in work and practice settings, gaining confidence and skill as they integrate the abstract/theoretical with the practical and applied. 


A course section offered independently, or incorporated, alongside a specific course of student with related lab content.


A major identifies a college student’s principal field of academic specialization. The major consists of a specifically designed collection of prescribed course requirements having a coherent focus in a single discipline or in related disciplines.   Typically, a major comprises one-third of the student’s total credit requirement for graduation. 

Major - Concentration

A curriculum component that focuses on a sub-discipline within an academic major is known as concentration. The concentration requirements consist of a prescribed and coherent collection of 12 or more credits of coursework in addition to the basic or common requirements for the major. Only one concentration will be recorded on the student’s transcript for each completed major. Multiple concentrations may be included in a student’s résumé.

Major - Track

A track is a curriculum component that defines an emphasis leading to an area of specialization within the academic discipline of a major. Generally, the track requirements consist of a prescribed and coherent collection of coursework, encompassing one-half or more of the total credits required to complete the major. Due to credit requirements associated with tracks, students generally complete only one track within a single major. Completed tracks are not recorded on the student’s official transcript.


A minor represents a secondary area of academic specialization outside of the student’s major.   Typically, a minor requires 18 to 24 credits of coursework.  Students may complete one or more minors.  

Overload Credits

Undergraduate students may carry up to 18 credits in the Fall or Spring semester, 12 credits in a combination of course work across all summer sessions (term or sub terms), and 4 credits in the Winter term.


A program requirement allowing a student to gain experience in a discipline monitored and transcribed under the supervision of an Elizabethtown College faculty member.


A school is a larger unit within the college comprised of diverse department disciplines.

Semester (Term)

A semester (Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer) is an established period within an academic year where courses are offered to students.  Students may register for multiple courses in a semester.

Signature Learning

A signature learning course is designated with a particular classification (CA: Capstone; CB: Community-Based; IN: Internship; CX: Cross-Cultural; and SR: Supervised Research).   All undergraduate students must complete two signature learning courses as part of their general education requirement for degree completion.

Sub-term (Module)

A sub-term, or module, is a condensed term within a semester to provide flexibility for accelerated programming and the courses being offered by the program.  Elizabethtown College offers accelerated sub-terms in various lengths.  All sub-terms are confined within the published beginning and ending dates for the semester. 

Time Conflict Resolution

A Time Conflict Resolution occurs when a course registration is prohibited because of a time conflict (or overlap) with another course on the student’s schedule.  When the time overlap is less than 15 minutes, a student must submit a Time Conflict Resolution form to the Office of Registration and Records.  If the time overlap exceeds 15 minutes, the student must seek approval and discuss whether there is an opportunity to register a directed study with the faculty member offering the course. Students are unable to self-register into a course time-conflict. Forms are available online on the Office of Registration and Records website.

Not all courses in the Catalog may be registered with a time conflict due to course design.  

Time Zone

Elizabethtown College courses, including distance learning, operate on Easter Standard Time (EST).  Courses begin at 12:00 am EST of the first day of the session and end at 11:59 pm EST on the last day of the session. Course participation and assignments are due in accordance with the course syllabus following EST.


An official document outlining a student’s inventory of courses, grades, and credentials earned by the student throughout their academic career. 


The tutorial is used to register for a course that is not offered in the Catalog. With a Tutorial, the faculty member is responsible for developing the content of the course and then works closely with the student to provide instruction in the topic.   Additional fees apply.