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Academic Credit

A value assigned to each college course you take, that is applied towards the completion of a degree.

Academic Program

A course of study leading toward a certificate, associate, bachelor, or doctorate degree.

Academic Year

A period of time in which classes are in session. A typical academic year may consist of two semesters (fall and spring) of approximately 15 weeks each or three quarters of approximately 10 weeks each. Some schools include the summer sessions as part of the academic year.


A voluntary, nongovernmental process where an accreditation organization grants public recognition to an educational organization such as a school, institute, college, university or program of study. This recognition establishes a standard of quality.


A standardized test taken by high school students to assess a student’s readiness for college-level education. It includes sections on English, mathematics, reading, and science, with an optional section on writing. The test may be used to help determine eligibility for admission into a college or university.

Adult Basic Education

A series of courses designed to improve basic skills in reading, writing and arithmetic for returning adult students aged 18 years or older. (See also Remedial Course and Developmental Education.)


An application to a recognized authority to reconsider a prior decision, for example an appeal to an individual assignment grade of an appeal to reverse and admissions decision.


A system of training workers through a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction. Apprentices are typically full-time employees, looking to learn a new skill and enhance their employment prospects.

Aptitude Test

An exam designed to assess a person’s skills, interests and interpersonal style to determine the type of job or career that person may be best suited for.

Associate Degree

An academic degree from a college or university granted to students who have completed the specified curriculum- usually 60 or 64 credits or their equivalent. This degree generally requires at least two but less than four years of full-time college work.


Asynchronous Learning

A student-centered approach for online classes, where students can completes assignments, lectures, and participate in discussions at their convenience, as opposed to during regular scheduled sessions.

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