College Terms to Know

Associate of Arts degree
Associate of Science degree
A.A.S. Degree
Associate of Applied Science degree
Academic Standards
Benchmarks that every student needs to be able to achieve in each grade.
Admissions and Registrar Office
Helps you with enrollment and related processes. Find the campus Admissions and Registrar Office closest to you.
Articulation Agreements
Define state-specific polices related to transferring credits and coursework between schools. Articulation Agreements are designed to make the transfer process easy and smooth. See a list of our Articulation Agreements.
Associate Degree
Requires 2 years of full-time study at a community college.
Bachelor’s Degree
Requires 4 years of full-time study beyond high school at a 4-year college or university.
Basics / Core Curriculum
Each state-supported institution of higher education in Texas has adopted a core curriculum to provide a solid foundation for your education and to make transfer between colleges and universities as smooth and seamless as possible. Components of the core curriculum can be transferred in a block from TCC to another Texas public college or university. See also our Fields of Study.
Career Advisors
Help you define and develop realistic educational and career plans 
Help monitor your progress toward educational and career goals
Provide you with up-to-date academic information about college and departmental graduation requirements
Help resolve academic difficulties
Learn more about our Career Advising.
Class refers to the times and days a specific course section meets; i.e. ENGL 1301 8001.
College Level Examination program (CLEP)
If you want to earn college credit by exhibiting mastery of a college subject, you can participate with the College Level Examination Program. See CLEP Scores and TCC Course Credit
Community College
Colleges that provide the first 2 years of a 4-year college education or prepare you for specific jobs.
Continuing Education Courses & Programs
Do not apply toward college and university degrees.
See our Continuing Education Courses & Programs A-Z for offerings that lead to certifications and industry-recognized credentials and award continuing education units (CEUs).
Course refers to the subject area, i.e. ENGL 1301; each course is made up of class sections.
A measure of the worth of a course, expressed in semester hours. College credit courses apply toward high school and college degrees. You need to earn a certain number of credits to graduate from high school and college.
Credit Courses
Courses that apply toward college and university degrees.
See our Credit Programs A-Z.
What you earn upon graduating from college, such as an associate or bachelor’s degree.
Refers to the use of electronic technology in teaching and learning. Our eLearning courses are offered via the Internet and are distance learning courses where you receive more than one half of the instruction at a different location from that of your instructor.
Optional “fun” classes you take in high school and college to learn more about topics that interest you. Specific electives are not generally degree or certificate requirements.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is the form used to apply for federal financial funding for college costs and expenses.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the federal law that protects the privacy of student records.
Fields of Study
field of study is a set of courses that fulfills lower-division (freshman and sophomore) requirements for bachelor's degrees in majors that correspond to the Field of Study. Fields of Study are designed to make it easy to transfer courses among Texas colleges and universities.
Financial Aid
A general term referring to various types of money used to help pay for college, such as grants, scholarships and loans. Explore our Student Financial Aid Services.
Financial Need
The difference between the cost of attending a college or university and your family’s ability to pay for those costs.
General Education Development (GED) Test
The General Educational Development (GED) is equivalent to a high school diploma.

The GED covers:
Reasoning through Language Arts
Mathematical Reasoning
Social Studies
Grade Point Average (GPA)
The average of your grades, typically based on a 4-point scale.
Money for college from the government that does not have to be repaid. See our Types of Aid.

Lifestyle and Community Learning
Community education courses designed for personal enrichment and lifelong learning.

Money you or your parents borrow to help pay for college. It must be repaid with interest, even if you don't graduate. See our Types of Aid.
Meningitis Vaccinations – MCV4
The Texas Senate Bill 1107, as amended by Senate Bill 62, requires all new TCC students who are under the age of 22 and who enroll after January 1, 2014, to submit evidence of being immunized against meningococcal meningitis.
Pathways organize our degree and certificate programs by career area. The programs in a Pathway share similar interests and skills. Like roadmaps, Pathways help you navigate your education so you can reach your destination: a career. Find Your Pathway.
Coursework, grades or experience you must have before enrolling in a course.
Period of time when you can register for courses for the next semester.
An outline of the policies, topics, assignments, exams and other elements of a course.
Texas Application for State Financial Aid. You use this form if you are categorized under HB 1403/SB 1528 and may be eligible for state financial aid.
A record of your academic progress.
TSI Assessment (Texas Success Initiative Assessment)
A state-approved test that measures college readiness in reading, writing and mathematics. Results are used to place you in the appropriate courses. Read about the TSI and TCC.
The cost of courses and fees at college or university. See our Tuition and Fees.
Undergraduate student
A college student taking courses at college or university to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree.
Undocumented Student
Non-Citizen Without Visa
On-campus jobs offered and paid for by government grants to help you pay for college. Find out how to apply for Work-Study at TCC.

Updated January 08, 2024