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IR Glossary

Academic Year   The time period containing the academic sessions held during consecutive Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring semesters.

Associate's Degree   An award that requires at least two years of full-time equivalent college work and the successful completion of an undergraduate course of studies. (Source: IPEDS)

Banner   The database used to store GCC student and related data. Banner is a relational database application licensed by Ellucian.

Benchmark   The standard or point of reference against which survey results may be compared or assessed.

CCSSE (Community College Survey of Student Engagement)   A survey that asks Spring semester students about institutional practices and student behaviors highly correlated with student learning success and retention. The survey is a product and service of the Center for Community College Student Engagement, which is part of the Program for Higher Education Leadership at The University of Texas at Austin. (Source: CCSSE)

Certificate Programs   Short-term programs, usually 30 credits or less, intended for occupational training, upgrading, or retraining. Students receive a certificate upon successfully fulfilling all requirements and applying for graduation. (Source: GCC College Catalog)

CEU (Continuing Education Unit)   A measurement (1 CEU = 10 class contact hours) nationally recognized by business, industry, and professional organizations for evaluating an individual's effort toward professional growth. CEUs are designed for professionals with certificates or licenses to practice various professions (nursing, etc.).

Completer   A student who receives a degree, diploma, certificate or other formal award. (Source: IPEDS)

Continuing Student   A student who attended GCC sometime during the two-year period immediately preceding the current semester.

Course Level   A classification of courses that, at GCC, includes Developmental, College 100, and College 200.

Course Success   As used in most GCC reports, successful credit-course completion is defined by a final grade of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C or P.

Credit   A unit of academic achievement that is awarded upon the successful completion of a course. (Source: GCC College Catalog)

Credit Hour   The college defines a credit hour* as an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes, verified by evidence of student achievement, that is an institutionally established equivalence that reasonably approximates not less than—

  • One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction, and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week, for approximately 15 weeks for one semester, or the equivalent amount of credit over a different period of time;
  • At least an equivalent amount of work, as required in paragraph (1) of this definition, for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practical, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

* Standards for Credit Hour of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Standards for Accreditation, Revision July 1, 2011.

Degree Programs   Academic programs requiring 60 to 68 credit hours to complete, which earn the Associate in Arts or the Associate in Science degree designation. An associate's degree requires a minimum of 60 credits. (Source: GCC College Catalog)

Fall Cohort   The group of students entering in the fall term, established for tracking purposes. For the Graduate Rates components of IPEDS statistics, the fall cohort includes all students who enter as full-time, first-time, degree- or certificate-seeking students during the fall term of a given year. (Source: IPEDS)

First-Year Student   A student who has earned fewer than 30 credits toward a degree. (Source: GCC College Catalog)

Freshman   A first-year undergraduate student. (Source: IPEDS)

Freeze Date   The date upon which a snapshot of Banner data is taken shortly after each semester begins. The data captured as of the freeze date (also known as the census date) becomes the official data set for the semester.

Full Time Equivalent (FTE)   A single value providing a meaningful combination of full-time and part-time students. IPEDS provides two approved ways to calculate FTE students, one using fall student headcounts and the other using 12-month instructional activity. (Source: IPEDS)

Full-Time (FT) Student   A student registered for more than 12 credits in a semester. (Source: GCC College Catalog)

Grade Point Average (GPA)   A numerical computation of a student's grades.

Graduation Rate   As required by the Student-Right-to-Know Act, the graduation rate is the total number of completers within 150 percent of normal time, also defined as a three-year time frame, divided by the revised adjusted cohort (the count of students in the initial first-time/full-time cohort minus the count of allowed exclusions). (Source: IPEDS)

Headcount   As the term is typically used in GCC data reports, the headcount is the total number of students enrolled at a given point in time; each student is only counted once. The student level can be credit or non-credit, as specified for a given report.

Hybrid Courses   Courses that combine traditional classroom lectures with online coursework. Typically, 50 percent of coursework is conducted by on-campus meetings. All hybrid courses meet in the classroom on the first scheduled day of class. (Source: GCC College Catalog)

IPEDS   The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is the core postsecondary education data collection system for the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). It is a system of interrelated surveys conducted annually by NCES. Provides basic data needed to describe and analyze trends in postsecondary education in the U.S. in terms of numbers of students enrolled, staff employed, dollars expended, and degrees earned. (Source: NCES)

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

New Student   A first-time, first-year student attending any institution for the first time at an undergraduate level. The definition includes students enrolled for a fall term who attended GCC for the first time in the prior summer term and students who enter with advanced standing (college credits earned before graduation from high school—AP, Tech Prep/College Career Pathways, HS Partnership, etc.). "New" is one of seven student-type values. (Source: GCC College Catalog)

ONCLR Courses   An Online with Campus Requirement (ONCLR) course is conducted online, but requires a student to come to the campus to complete an exam (midterm, final). (Source: GCC College Catalog)

Online Courses   Courses offered via computer Internet connection, without regularly scheduled on-campus classes. (Source: GCC College Catalog)

Part-Time (PT) Student   A student registered for fewer than 12 credits in a semester. (Source: GCC College Catalog)

Prerequisite Course   A course that must be successfully completed before a student can enroll in the next course. Often a grade of "C" or higher is required. (Source: GCC College Catalog)

Readmit Student   A student returning to the college after an absence of at least two years (including Summer and Winter sessions). "Readmit" is one of seven student type values (see Student Type). (Source: GCC College Catalog)

Retention   A measure of academic progress expressed as the percentage of students who return from one semester or year to the next.

Seats   As the term is typically used in GCC data reports, one "seat" is the equivalent of a single student sitting in a single class. Total seats at any given point in time count each student for every class for which the student is registered—the equivalent of a headcount that includes duplicates. The seat level can be credit or non-credit, as specified for a given data report.

Semester Hour   A semester hour is a measure of time usually corresponding to 55 minutes of lecture once per week for an entire semester. (Source: GCC College Catalog)

SENSE (Survey of Entering Student Engagement)   Administered early in the Fall semester, the SENSE is designed to provide a clear picture of both student behaviors in the earliest weeks of college and the institutional practices that affect students during this critical time. A companion to the CCSSE, SENSE also is a product and service of the Center for Community College Student Engagement, which is part of the Program for Higher Education Leadership at The University of Texas at Austin. At GCC, the Office of Institutional Research supervises administration of the survey. (Source: SENSE)

Service Area   GCC welcomes students from throughout the state and beyond, but the college's primary service area consists of 12 communities: Bethany, Branford, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, West Haven, and Woodbridge.

Sophomore   A student who has earned at least 30 credits toward a degree. (Source: GCC College Catalog)

Student Type   A student type is assigned to each enrolled student by the Banner system. A student's type may change from semester to semester (i.e., a "new" student in the Fall who returns in the Spring is considered a "continuing" student during the Spring semester).

Transfer Student   A transfer student is a student who most recently attended another college or university. "Transfer" is one of seven student type values. (Source: GCC College Catalog)