Trinity Valley Community College



Athens Campus
Sheila Jones, MS
Director of Student Pathways and Success

100 Cardinal Drive
Athens, TX 75751
(903) 675-6383

Palestine Campus
Dr. Jeffrey Watson
Vicki Dossett, LPC
2970 N. St. Hwy 19
P.O. Box 2530
Palestine, TX 75802
(903) 723-7046

Terrell Campus
Dr. Algia Allen
Luanne Bourland
1200 E. I-20
P.O. Box 668
Terrell, TX 75160
(972) 563-4904

Health Science Center
Dr. Helen Reid
Jeffrey Ballom, NCC
800 Ed. Hall Drive
Kaufman, TX 75142
(972) 932-4309

Common terms used at TVCC
Posted: 11/4/2011 10:59:53 AM
College Terminology: Know these 40 academic words and phrases

Terms Used at TVCC
  • Academic year: The school year that begins with autumn classes. The academic year at most US colleges and universities starts in August or September.
  • Advisor: School official, usually assigned by your college or university, who can help choose your classes and make sure you are taking the right courses to graduate.
  • Associate’s degree: A type of degree awarded to students at a US community college, usually after two years of classes.
  • Audit: To attend a class without receiving academic credit.
  • Commencement: Day of graduation.
  • Course Number: The number your college or university uses to classify a course. You usually need this number in order to register for a class.
  • Credit Hour: The number of hours assigned to a specific class. This is usually the number of hours per week you are in the class. The number of credit hours you enroll in determines whether you are a full-time student or a part-time student.
  • Elective: A class you can take that is not specifically required by your major or minor.
  • Extracurricular activities: Groups you belong to outside of class, such as sporting teams, clubs and organizations.
  • Financial Aid: Money you receive for you college tuition or expenses that you may or may not have to pay back. (See: “Grant,” “Loan,” and “Scholarship”)
  • Freshman: First-year college student.
  • Full-time student: A student who enrolls in at least a minimum number (determined by your college or university) of credit hours of courses.
  • General education classes: Classes that give students basic knowledge of a variety of topics. Students often must take general education classes in order to graduate. This set of classes includes different courses and is called by different names at various colleges and universities.
  • Grade point average: The average of all of the course grades you have received, on a four-point scale.
  • Grant: A form of financial aid from a non-profit organization (such as the government) that you do not have to repay.
  • Loan: A form of financial aid that you must repay.
  • Major: Your primary area of study. Your college major is the field you plan to get a job in after you graduate (for example: business, linguistics, anthropology, psychology).
  • Non-resident: A student who isn’t an official resident of the state where a public university is located. Tuition at public universities is less expensive for residents.
  • Office hours: Time set aside by professors or teaching assistants for students to visit their office and ask questions or discuss the course they teach. Your professor or teaching assistant will tell you at the beginning of the term when and where office hours will be every week.
  • Part-time student: A student who doesn’t enroll in enough credit hours to become a full-time student, as defined by your college or university. Part-time students often take only one or two classes at one time.
  • Prerequisite: A class that must be taken before you can take a different class. (For example, Astronomy 100 may be a prerequisite for Astronomy 200.)
  • Resident: A student who lives in and meets the residency requirements for the state where a public university is located. Tuition at public universities often is more expensive for non-residents.
  • Scholarship: A form of financial aid that you do not have to repay.
  • Semester: Type of academic term. A school with this system generally will have a fall semester and a spring semester (each about 15 weeks long), along with a summer term.
  • Sophomore: Second-year college student.
  • Syllabus: A description of a course which also lists the dates of major exams, assignments and projects.
  • ACADEMIC PROBATION: The status of a student whose grade point average (GPA) is below the minimum standard: 2.0
  • Catalog: A paperback book revised each year listing all programs, degrees, course descriptions, the academic calendar and other important information about TVCC
  • Developmental Courses: Courses that develop one’s skills in reading, writinig, and mathematics. These courses do not earn college credit, will not count toward graduation requirements, and may not be transferred to other colleges.
  • Elective: A course a student chooses to take, as opposed to a core or required course given on a degree or certificate plan for graduation.
  • Incomplete: A temporary grade of I indicating a student has not completed a final exam or other work due to a preauthorized absence. Work must be completed by the end of the next long semester. An “I” figures into your GPA as an “F”.
  • Registration: The official process for enrolling in courses. This involves selecting a major and classes with help of a Counselor or Advisor, completing all registration forms, and paying tuition and fees. Check the class schedule or catalog for dates.
  • Assessment for Texas Success Initiative: State law requires that “each undergraduate student, unless otherwise exempt, who enters a public institution of higher education must be tested for reading, writing, and math skills prior to enrolling in collegiate-level coursework.” All students who do not meet Texas Success Initiative standards or exemptions must test prior to registration. For more information, go to or contact the Testing Center in Athens at (903) 675-6385 or the Counseling Offices at Palestine (903) 729-0256 or Terrell (972) 563-9573.
  • Television/Internet Courses: Courses providing flexibility and convenience for students seeking college credit with minimum campus visits.
  • Transcript: A certified copy of a student’s academic record which can be obtained from the Registrar’s Office on the Athens campus.
  • Withdrawal: The act of ending enrollment in a class or classes. A student withdrawing must go through a formal procedure which begins in the Counseling Office. It’s the students responsibility to officially withdraw from a course or courses by the appropriate date (see catalog calendar for deadline date). Do not stop attending classes without seeing a Counselor first. DO NOT assume your instructor will automatically withdraw you if you are failing.