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Approximately 15 weeks of the academic calendar year. There are usually 2 semesters during the academic year. Depending on the institution, there may also be a summer session.


A class on a particular subject for a small group of students offered either at an academic institution or by a commercial or professional organization.


Area or discipline pursued in residency training. Distinctions exist between medical (non-invasive) and surgical (invasive) specialties, as well as primary care and sub-specialty training.


One of several standardized tests taken by high school students to assess a student’s readiness for college-level education. It includes sections on mathematics, critical reading, and writing, along with optional subject tests in Literatur, U.S. History, World History, Math, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and a variety of languages. Starting in 2016, the essay will be optional.

Standardized Admission Tests

Tests prepared and administered by an agency that is independent of any postsecondary education institution. The scores to these tests provide information about prospective students and their academic qualifications relative to a national sample.

Stop Out

A student who left the institution and returned at a later date.


A document handed out at the beginning of a course that provides details including the planned sequence of content, materials, activities, and assignments. A syllabus typically will also include a description of grading and attendance policies for the course.


A formal meeting where experts discuss a particular topic.

Synchronistic Learning

A student-centered approach for online classes where everyone is online at the same time, participating in discussions and other class activities.

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