Glossary of Advising Terms


    Accuplacer – the college’s placement test used to determine initial course placement. Given in an untimed format on computer, it consists of questions in English, reading comprehension and mathematics. (Link to Testing Center page. )

    Academic Program Evaluation- a function in Owl Link indicating completion requirements for graduation.

    Academic Restriction – an academic status (after Academic Warning) limiting a student to no more than seven credits in a regular semester, or four credits in a summer session, whenever the minimum grade point average has not been achieved. You must see an advisor for course selection.

    Academic Dismissal – dismissal results when a student on Academic Restriction fails to achieve at least a 2.0 GPA during the current enrollment period. A dismissed student must see an advisor in Bladen 124 to begin the re-admission process.

    Academic Warning – status of a student who, at any point after six credits (or two courses) are attempted, falls below the prescribed minimum standards for good academic standing.

    Articulation Agreement – an official agreement between a community college and a four-year institution which designates the transferability of specific courses and/or degrees.

    ARTSYS – a computerized information system developed by the University of Maryland System used to check on the transferability of Prince George's Community College courses, to find a recommended transfer program for your major, or compare how a student transcript will be evaluated by other Maryland System colleges. The web address for this system is

    Associate Degree – a degree consisting of a minimum of 60 credits which includes General Education requirements, core courses and electives.

    Audit – ("H" grade designation) signifies the course has not been taken for credit. Tuition and fees are charged, but the student is not evaluated nor receives a grade.

    Career program – a curriculum leading to an Associate of Applied Science degree (A.A.S.) or certificate emphasizing skills training for employment after graduation.

    Certificate - a series of courses in a career area designed to teach specific skills.

    Challenge Examination - A comprehensive examination developed by the appropriate instructional area which is intended to measure the prior learning of students with substantial work related experience in the subject matter. Subject to certain conditions and limitations, students who pass a Challenge Examination will have credit for the course posted to their permanent record.

    CLEP – College Level Examination Program- a series of general and subject exams sponsored by Educational Testing Service. The exams are designed to measure knowledge students have obtained, both formally and informally, related to college-level course material, and for which college credit may be awarded.

    Concurrent Student – a student taking courses at college while attending high school.

    Credit – a term used interchangeably with "semester hour".

    Curriculum – an organized program of study offered at a college.

    Drop (a class) – to officially withdraw from a class before the deadlines published in the schedule of classes. Various course formats have different deadlines.

    Elective – general electives, or free electives, are college courses selected to meet degree requirements. Unless specified, they can be from any academic discipline, except Physical Education, and allow a student to develop interests outside the major.

    Extension Center – an off campus center where students may take courses. Prince George’s Community College has extension centers at Joint Base Andrews (formerly Andrews AFB), Laurel College Center (LCC), The Skilled Trades Center and University Town Center (UTC).

    I Grade – means a grade of "Incomplete". It can be given to students whose work in a course has been qualitatively satisfactory, but due to illness or other circumstances are unable to complete the course requirements. The student makes a contract with the instructor, specifying the work to be completed which must be completed before a regular grade can be assigned. The work must be completed prior to the end of the subsequent semester.

    Owl Link – the interactive, web-based student information system at Prince George’s Community College.

    Major – a subject of academic study chosen as a field of specialization.

    Matriculating Student – a student seeking a degree from a college.

    Non-matriculating/Special Student – a student with no degree goal, who may be taking courses for personal reasons.

    Prerequisite – a requirement which must be completed prior to enrollment in a particular class. This can be a placement test score or a course. For example, Accounting 1010 must be taken prior to Accounting 1020.

    Q Grade – A grade assigned by the instructor to a student who either has never attended the class or who ceased attendance during the first twenty percent of the class.

    Semester – generally a sixteen week period of educational study. The college also offers courses with more flexible time formats, e.g. 8 week courses or weekenders.

    Transcript – a cumulative record of a student’s college work. Official copies may be obtained from the Admissions and Records Office or ordered from the college website.

    Transfer Program – a program articulated with another college or university enabling the student to transfer credits and work toward a bachelor’s degree. It is designated as an Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.), Associate of Arts in Teaching (A.A.T.) or Associate of Science in Engineering (A.S.E.)

    Withdrawal (from the college) – indicates the student voluntarily withdrew from all courses for the semester prior to the twelfth week of classes. The form must be signed by an advisor. Students who receive any kind of financial aid should check with the Financial Aid Office before withdrawing since it may affect your status with that office.