Glossary of Academic Terms

COVID-19 Terms

Asymptomatic – Not showing symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, etc.

Close contact – Being within 6 feet of an individual for a period of 10 minutes or longer.

Covid-19 Symptoms – Per CDC guidelines, close contact means being within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

Individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period (e.g., three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). Data are limited, making it difficult to precisely define “close contact;” however, 15 cumulative minutes of exposure at a distance of 6 feet or less can be used as an operational definition for contact investigation. Factors to consider when defining close contact include proximity (closer distance likely increases exposure risk), the duration of exposure (longer exposure time likely increases exposure risk), whether the infected individual has symptoms (the period around onset of symptoms is associated with the highest levels of viral shedding), if the infected person was likely to generate respiratory aerosols (e.g., was coughing, singing, shouting), and other environmental factors (crowding, adequacy of ventilation, whether exposure was indoors or outdoors).

Isolation / Self-Isolate - Staying home and staying away from people. People who have tested positive for COVID-19 are asked to self-isolate. COVID-19 isolation guidance requires 10 days. Individuals may return to campus after the isolation period has ended and they have gone 24 hours without having a fever or showing other symptoms of COVID-19.

Quarantine – Staying home and staying away from people. People who have potentially been exposed to COVID-19 are asked to quarantine. COVID-19 quarantine guidance requires 14 days.

Other Academic Terms

Academic Affairs

The Division of Academic Affairs provides leadership for and oversight of programs and services that support student learning and experiences, programmatic initiatives, faculty support, policies, and regulations.


Academic Calendar

A comprehensive list of dates related to school, including semester, holiday, Finals Week, and graduation dates.


Academic Probation

When a student has a semester or a cumulative GPA below 2.0. Any student who is on academic probation and fails to attain either the cumulative standard or a 2.0 GPA for the current semester will be suspended for the next semester.



Considerations that are given to students with disabilities. Students requesting accommodations should contact the Disability Support Services. 



An assessment that is required for students whose ACT/SAT scores have expired or who would like to place into a higher English or Math course.



An academic advisor is someone on campus who helps students make academic decisions regarding their classes and major. All students are assigned a specific advisor, which is listed on TigerWeb. Students should meet with their advisor every semester in order to receive their registration code to register for classes.


Anumber(Student ID)

A student’s unique ID number. Students should memorize their Anumber as it will be used to log into many things, take exams at the testing center, getting into free events on campus, and receiving free items or food.



Auditing a class means that taking a class but not receiving any credit or a grade. Audited classes do not count toward any financial aid or scholarship requirements. Performance in the class will not affect your GPA.


Block or Session Class

A block or session class is half a semester, or 7 weeks. While these classes are half as long as standard classes, they require the same amount of work. 



The bookstore is where students can purchase textbooks, school supplies, campus swag (apparel), accessories, and quick essential items.



Boss is a high impact educational program that helps students transition from high school to college in a supportive and familiar environment. 


Bursar’s Office

The office on campus that handles tuition payments. They offer payment plans and provide related forms for completing tax returns. This is also where students pick up their parking pass.



A list describing all of the classes, programs, and degrees offered at Chatt State. It provides detailed information about which classes are required for each program/degree.


Catalog Year

An academic year that starts in the Fall semester, continues into the Spring semester, and ends in the Summer semester. Some majors will change requirements each catalog year, so students need to meet with their advisor every year to make sure they are taking the right classes.



What a student receives upon completion of a program (not a degree).



ChattSync is a website that list all student organizations, events, news, and forms that are at ChSCC. 


Citation Format

The specific way in which references are presented in a research paper and assignments. There are many different citation formats. 



The opening event of the graduation ceremony. Includes a speech from the president of Chatt State, a guest speaker, and a variety of other traditions. Students and loved ones are invited.


Comprehensive Exam

A comprehensive exam is an exam that covers all the material learned in the class over the entire semester. 



This means two or more specific classes must be taken during the same semester. 


Cost of Attendance


The total amount it will cost a student to go to college for the year. The COA at ChSCC includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, student loan fees, living expenses, miscellaneous and personal items needed, and transportation. 


Course Load 

The total number of credit hours a student is enrolled in during a semester. 


Credit Hours

Commonly referred to as “hours” or “credits.” Using the credit hours of a class, a student can estimate the amount of time spent outside class for studying.  For each credit hour spent in class, a student should spend 3 hours outside of class studying.


CRN (Course Reference Number)

A 5-digit number assigned to each specific section of a class.  Some students write down the CRNs ahead of time to make registering for classes easier and they are in the right class.


C.V. (Curriculum Vitae)

A C.V. is a complete list of all education, work experience, projects, publications, professional affiliations, etc.


Degree Requirements 

The required courses, GPA, credit hours, prerequisites, electives, and other requirements that must be met in order to graduate and earn the degree. 



Once all financial aid is released, it is applied to the student's account. If the amount of aid received is larger than the student's tuition, fees, and other costs, the campus will disburse the remainder to the student through a check or direct deposit.  


Drop a Class

Cancelling participation in a class. There are deadlines for when students can drop a class and still receive a tuition refund. Students can check the academic calendar each semester to find the requirements for dropping a class. The academic calendar is located on the Chattanooga State website. 



A student is enrolled at Chatt State when they are registered for one or more classes.



An online system used by professors at Chatt State. They use it to organize course materials, store documents, post quizzes and assignments, and to post grades. Students will submit most of their work through Elearn.



A class that is not specifically required by the degree. The student can choose a class they would like to take. 



eRefund (or Direct Deposit) is the fastest way for students to receive their refund or financial aid disbursement. Instead of waiting 1-2 weeks for a check, the funds are deposited directly into the bank account of the student’s choice. 


FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)

An online application that is the main source of student financial aid. Every eligible student should apply for the FAFSA each school year. 


 FERPA (Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act)

A federal law that protects the rights and privacy of students. ChSCC will only share a student’s information if the student gives express permission through a SIRA.


Finals Week

Finals Week is typically the last week of school. Some classes may get out early in order to study for finals exams. Some finals for classes may be different than the class meeting time. Check with your professor to make sure you have the right time and day for your final. 


Financial Aid

All scholarships, grants, loans, and other forms of monetary support that students may be eligible to receive. There is an entire department on campus devoted to helping students find and apply for financial aid which is located in the Student Center.


First-Generation Students 

A student is first-generation if neither parent/guardian has a bachelor’s degree. 


General Education (GE) Courses

Also called “Generals” or “GE courses,” are courses required for an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree.  Not all students need the same GE courses, so students need to meet with their academic advisor. GE courses include English, Math, Humanities, Fine Arts, and Science courses.


Global Scholars Honors Program

The Global Scholars Program is an honors program at ChSCC that provides students an opportunity to gain a global perspective and awareness through a deeper and more complex, connected, and contextualized college experience. 


Good Standing

The student's conduct is acceptable, and the student is progressing sufficiently toward degree completion.


Graduate School

The collective name for all master’s and doctoral degree programs. Gaining entrance into graduate school requires a fairly substantial application process. Students in any of these programs are often called “grad” or “graduate” students. Students typically attend graduate school once they complete their two years of GE courses. 


Graduation Application

An online form required before a student can graduate with a degree. 


Grants & Scholarships

Grants and Scholarships are a financial award that students do not need to repay. Students can apply for grants through FAFSA, various university departments, and other organizations, for more information about this student can go to the Student Center. Students can also apply for ChSCC scholarships. 



A restriction placed on a student’s account that may prevent them from registering for school, receiving transcripts, etc. New students will have a hold preventing them from registering for classes if they have not completed orientation and met with their academic advisor.


Hybrid Class

A course that includes both in-person and online sessions.



Work experience intended to enhance your exposure to a particular field or job. Many majors require students to complete an internship before graduation. Students should speak with their advisor about internship opportunities and requirements.



There are different kinds of “labs” on campus:

●      A laboratory, such as where a chemist works

●      “Open computer labs” around campus where students can walk in, without an appointment, and use a computer

●      “Academic Labs” are areas to study and get help with specific subjects

●      A lab can also be a smaller, interactive class required as part of a larger lecture-style class


Late Add

Registering for a class after the first week of the semester. Students will have to go to the Student Center in order to get an override to join a class. There is an extra fee to register for a class at this point. Late adds continue until the third week of class.



A lecture is a class where the professor provides the course material through talking and expects students to take notes on the information they provide. 



Another word meaning a student is enrolled, or registered, at a university.



A class exam that is typically administered in the middle of a semester or term, that measures how much a student has learned up to that point.



A minor is a set of courses, usually from 18 to 24 credits, that students can take in addition to their major courses. Minors are optional in most majors but are a good way to increase the marketability of the degree.


MyChattanoogaState Email

Every ChSCC student receives a personal student Outlook account. Students should check this email account every day. Notifications about classes, financial aid, campus events, and other important matters will be sent to this email address. Students can download the “Outlook” app in order to receive notifications to their phone. 


Non-Traditional Students

Students over the age of 25. Also includes students with children and those taking courses at non-traditional hours/locations (e.g. Saturday classes).


Net Price 

The average cost of attending the college or university, minus the average amount of financial aid awarded to students. Each student's net price of college will be different (given different financial aid awards). However, the average net price reported can provide a general idea of the amount of money needed "out-of-pocket" for each school.


Office Hours

Office hours are times throughout the week when students can visit their professor in their office. Students should stop by their professors’ offices during this time to ask questions about being successful in class, homework, or any general concerns with the class. Office hours are often listed on the class syllabus, or you can ask your professor. Most professors would prefer an email to schedule a time to meet during office hours.


Online Class

A course in which all instructions and assignments are done through Elearn. Online courses work best for students who are comfortable using their computers, using new programs and software, and are good at organizing their time. Online classes do not have scheduled meeting times, but students should request meeting with their professor if they have any questions or concerns involving the class or assignments. 



An event or process that new students must complete before starting classes at a college or university. Orientation provides information about programs, resources, and activities that help students become familiar with the university environment.



The act of appropriating another person's or group's ideas or work (written, computerized, artistic, etc.) or portions thereof and passing them off as the product of one's own work in any academic exercise or activity.



A class that must be taken before registering for a different class.  For example, students must take ENGL 1010 before taking ENGL 2010.  ENGL 1010 is a prerequisite for ENGL 2010.


President of the College

The president of a college is in charge of all executive and administrative duties in connection with the operation of the College. This person should be addressed as Dr. 



The process of signing up for a class. 



A document needed to apply for a job. It usually includes your contact information, work experience (paid or voluntary) and education. It may also include special skills, abilities, awards, etc.



A document or guide that lists the specific criteria for grading or scoring academic papers, projects, or tests.



At ChSCC, an academic year is divided into three semesters: Fall, Spring, and Summer. Every class lasts one semester (about 15 weeks). Semesters can be further divided into blocks or 7-week courses.


SIRA (Student Information Release Authorization)

A SIRA is an online form that students can use to give others access to their account. This is especially important for students who are not able to manage their account on their own.


SRI - Student Rating of Instructor

An online survey that allows students to rate their courses and instructors at the end of the semester. Universities use SRI scores to improve courses and teacher performance. SRI’s are usually filled out in class towards the end of the semester. 


Student Affairs

All divisions of the university involving academic and personal development while attending college.


Student Government Association (SGA)

The Student Government Association at Chattanooga State gives students an opportunity to address issues on campus and hosts events.


Student Support Center

The student support center offers many forms of support; learning, student tech help, free counseling services, veterans, adult services, BOSS program, tutoring, and our food pantry the tiger cupboard. 


Student Organizations

Student organizations provides students with an opportunity to build connections, network within the campus community, plan activities, and gain experience that complements their academic programs. ChSCC has over 40 different student organizations. 


Study Abroad 

An opportunity for many students to learn and study in a different country/culture. Students typically earn credit hours for these experiences.


Supplemental Instructor (SI)

A Supplemental Instructor is a successful ChSCC student who has taken the course the student is in, usually from the same professor. They attend class with the students to make sure they’re caught up on material and understand the professor’s expectations, and then plan and organize Supplemental Instruction sessions or tutoring sessions each week for you to attend.


Syllabus (plural: syllabi)

A document containing course policies, assignments, and schedules. Many instructors expect you to read the syllabus often so you can be up to date on assignments and exams. Professors typically have a syllabus quiz the first week of school. 



This stands for Tuesday/Thursday schedules. Most professors will use these abbreviations on their class schedule and office hour schedule. 



A specific session (length of time) of classes. See the academic calendar to see a semesters term. 


Tiger Tracks

An online tool that provides a clear and convenient way for Chattanooga State students to track their degree progress, plan out future classes, and prepare for graduation. Students should go over Tiger Tracks with their academic advisor.



A detailed academic history of a student’s coursework at ChSCC or any other school they have attended.



When a student who has taken classes at one college or university switches to another.


Transfer Articulation

A database detailing how credits from ChSCC will transfer to other colleges. Your advisor can also help you navigate which classes can transfer to your college(s) or choice.


Transfer Credit

When a student earns credits for completing classes at one school and then decides to move those credits to another school. 



An online program that most professors use to check assignments for plagiarism.


Unofficial Withdrawal (UW)

Failure to withdraw from a course that a student did not attend. A UW will appear on their transcript and will affect their GPA. A UW may also affect financial aid eligibility.



A withdraw is dropping a class after the “Last Day to Drop” deadline. Students who do this receive a “W” on their transcript. Their GPA is not affected, but financial aid eligibility may be.



A type of financial aid that allows students to work university-sponsored jobs and get paid for that work. The money for these programs comes from the federal government and is distributed in the form of the student’s paycheck.