Academic Year: A school year consisting of the fall, spring, and summer terms.

Accreditation: Certification that the College has met established standards and is nationally recognized by appropriate accrediting agencies. PSC’s major accrediting agency is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools-Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC).

Adult Education: Non-credit classes for adults who want to improve basic academic skills, prepare for the General Education Development (GED) examination, or learn English.

Advanced Technical Certificate (ATC): Designed for the student who has completed an associate degree and wants more specialized knowledge and an additional academic credential. PSC offers several ATDs.

Applied Technology Diploma (ATD): Prepares the student for immediate entry into the workforce. Each ATD requires prescribed technical courses. Credits earned in an ATC may be used towards an Associate in Science degree.

Advisor: A PSC staff member who assists students with career planning, setting and meeting academic goals, course selection, and transfer requirements.

Articulation Agreement for the AA Degree: Agreement between Florida’s public colleges and universities assuring junior-level status to students who complete the community college general education and graduation requirements in university parallel (AA degree) programs.

Associate in Arts Degree (AA): Designed to prepare a student for entry into the junior year in an appropriate baccalaureate degree program. The AA degree is a university parallel, college transfer degree comprised of 36 general education credits and 24 college elective credits. The Associate in Arts (AA) degree is a single degree issued by the College. The College has designed several areas of concentration to assist the student in transferring to a baccalaureate program.

Associate in Science Degree (AS): Designed to prepare a student for immediate entry or advancement into employment requiring specialized skills. The programs consist of at least sixty (60) credits in two basic areas. One area will be specialized courses in the career area, and the second will be general education courses.

Audit: A grade option that reflects a student’s enrollment in a course but does not carry course credit or count for enrollment verification, cannot be used to meet prerequisite or corequisite requirements, and does not reflect competency in a course.

Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS): Prepares the student for entry or advancement in the workforce. PSC offers 2 BAS degrees. The Marjan Mazza BAS in Business and Management offers concentrations in graphic design management, health care management, human resources management, law enforcement administration, organizational administration, project management, and public safety management. PSC also has the BAS in Cybersecurity with concentrations in information security and cyber forensics.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN): Prepares the student to succeed and be promoted within the nursing profession. The program is designed for the graduate of an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program who has a Registered Nursing (RN) license. The BSN offers skills in management, leadership, theory, research, and evidence-based practice.

Canvas: PSC’s learning management system, which delivers all online and hybrid courses as well as course companion websites.

Career Certificate (CC): The Career Certificate programs, also called vocational certificate programs or clock hour programs, prepare the student for careers and direct entry into the workforce. The programs require prescribed vocational clock hour courses, and the student is required to demonstrate or achieve a specified level of competence in basic skills as evidenced by minimum scores on the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) before graduation.

Career Pathways: Groupings of programs of study to assist the student in selecting the appropriate program.

Catalog and Student Handbook: A document published annually. It contains the College calendar, policies, procedures, regulations, programs, and course descriptions. This document may be modified during the academic year.

Civic Literacy Competency: In accordance with the State Board of Education Rule 6A-10.02413, prior to the award of an Associate in Arts or baccalaureate degree, first-time-in-college students entering a Florida College System institution in the 2018-2019 school year and thereafter must demonstrate competency in civic literacy. The civic literacy requirement may be met by one of the following: successfully passing POS 2041, successfully passing AMH 2020, a score of 3 or above on AP Government and Politics: United States, a score of 4 or above on AP United States History, a score of 50 or above on CLEP: American Government, or a score of 60 or above in US Citizenship and Immigration Services Naturalization Test - Civics (U.S. history and government) with supplemental questions.

Clock Hours: The unit of study for technical courses. In these areas, a technical credit equals 30 clock hours in class during the term; two technical credits equal 60 clock hours.

College Credit Certificate (CCC): Prepares the student for immediate employment. Each CCC requires prescribed technical courses. College credit hours earned in a CCC are embedded in an Associate in Science degree, except for hours earned in the Crime Scene Technician College Credit Certificate. Also referred to as a Technical Certificate.

Common Prerequisites: Courses, identified by the State of Florida for all public baccalaureate degree programs, which must be completed by all students entering a specific program of a state college or university.

Commencement: Held twice a year at the close of the fall and spring terms (semesters) for graduates from all campuses to celebrate their academic achievement. There is no cost to participate other than the cost of the required cap and gown, which can be purchased at any PSC bookstore. Please note: participating in the Commencement ceremony does not ensure graduation.  Graduation requirements must be satisfied in order for graduation to be completed and a diploma issued.

Companion Websites: Web-based resources, located in Canvas, used to supplement and support traditional on-campus courses.

Concentration: An area of emphasis or specialty within a program of study.

Corequisite: A course that is required to be taken in combination with another course. Often a lab is the corequisite for a lecture, for example. A student who withdraws from one of a pair of corequisite courses may be required to withdraw from the other as well.

Course ID: A designation consisting of a 3-letter discipline abbreviation followed by a 4-digit number. For example, MAC 1105 is College Algebra.

Course Load: The number of credit hours a student is enrolled in each term (semester).

Course Substitution: The process through which a student petitions the College for a replacement of a required course with a course that meets similar learning outcomes. The course must be completed at a regionally-accredited post-secondary institution with evidence of common content and learning outcomes.

Credit Hour: A unit of measurement for courses. The minimum amount of time associated with a credit hour is dependent upon the type of course: lecture, lab, studio, clinical, vocational, etc. At PSC, for example, each hour of credit in a lecture class requires a minimum of 750 minutes of instruction.

Days of the Week: M denotes Monday, T denotes Tuesday, W denotes Wednesday, R denotes Thursday, S denotes Saturday, and U denotes Sunday.

Degree Audit:  Formal list of the course requirements a student has completed and still must complete in order to satisfy the course requirements for a specific degree or certificate program. Students can view their degree audit in SpyGlass at any time. Depending upon the program of study, graduation requirements, in addition to course requirements, may appear on the degree audit.

Department Exemption Exam: An examination and credit used to demonstrate proficiency in a particular course.

Developmental Course: A course that is designed to prepare students for college-level work.

Distance Learning: Also referred to as “online,” courses that require no on-campus visits. PSC offers 2 types of online courses: Live Online and Traditional Online. A Live Online class is scheduled like a traditional face-to-face class with the same content and experiences. The difference is that students and professor are not in the same location. Students in a Live Online class must login to the class via the internet during the scheduled day(s) and time(s). Students see and hear the instructor and classmates and participate in the class virtually. Reliable internet access, a webcam, and a microphone are required. Live Online is sometimes called Synchronous Online. A Traditional Online class is not scheduled during specific days and times. Although students may complete the coursework when they desire, they must make certain to meet all deadlines established by the professor. Reliable internet access is required. Traditional Online is sometimes called Asynchronous Online. Note: Although no on campus visits are required for a Live Online or Traditional Online class, many instructors do require proctored testing, which the student may complete on a PSC campus or under the supervision of a mutually acceptable proctor living anywhere in the world.

Dropping Courses: Permitted only during Schedule Adjustment (drop/add) periods, which are posted on the Academic Calendar. Students may drop a course in SpyGlass; when they do so, no record of the course appears on the student transcript, and there is no charge for the course. “Dropping” a class is different from “withdrawing” from a class.

Dual Enrollment: A program in which eligible high school and other students can enroll at PSC and earn both high school and college credit.

eLearning: A broad term referring to distance learning, Live Online and Traditional Online courses, hybrid courses, and course companion websites.

Elective: A program credit requirement that allows the student to choose from a variety of approved courses or discipline areas.

Fee Pay Day: The date by which students who have registered for classes must pay for those classes. Students who do not pay all required fees by this date will be removed automatically from all classes for which they have not paid. Fee Pay Day is also referred to as the Purge Date.

Financial Aid: Sources of monetary assistance for students seeking to enroll in a college or university. Typically, financial aid includes such help as grants, loans, and on-campus employment. The State of Florida’s website about Florida colleges and universities that provides information on institutions and degree programs, admission requirements, financial aid, scholarships, students’ academic records, degree audits, transfer requirements, and being a transient student at a Florida public institution.

Foreign Language Competency: In accordance with Florida Statute 1007.25, students initially entering a Florida College System Institution in 2014-2015 and thereafter must demonstrate competency in foreign language pursuant to guidelines set in Florida Statute 1007.262. The Foreign Language Competency Requirement may be fulfilled by 2 years of the same high school foreign language, or documented foreign language proficiency through testing (for example, CLEP), or 2 semesters of the same college level foreign language (level II proficiency), or level II proficiency; this criterion occurs when a student has completed the second course of a sequence of college foreign language without completing the first course. For example, if a student has successfully completed a college-level Spanish II but not Spanish I, then the student has met the Foreign Language competency requirement.

FTIC: Abbreviation for First Time in College, referring to those students who currently are in their first term as a college student after high school.

Full-Time Status: A schedule of 12 or more credit hours per term (semester). PSC highly recommends enrollment in at least 15 credit hours per term (semester) to help ensure timely program completion.

GED: General Education Development diploma, considered the equivalent of a high school diploma.

General Education Courses: Courses that may be used to satisfy five general education categories mandated by the state of Florida: communications, mathematics, social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities. These categories form the common basis of all associate degrees.

Gordon Rule: State Board of Education Rule 6A-10.030, now named Other Assessment Procedures for College-Level Communication and Computation Skills, requires students to successfully complete 12 credit hours of course work in which they must demonstrate writing skills and 6 credits of mathematics course work at the level of college algebra or higher. Students must earn a grade of C or higher in the course for it to satisfy the requirement. At PSC, the writing requirement is referred to as the Writing Emphasis Requirement, and courses that fulfill this requirement are referred to as writing emphasis courses.  

Grade: Letter grade of A, B+, B, C+, C, D+, D or F that represents the level of academic success in course used in calculating the grade point average and recommended for courses in a degree plan.

Grade Point Average (GPA): An educational standard computed by multiplying the number of credit hours of a course by the points assigned to the course grade and then dividing by the total number of hours.

Graduation: Official confirmation of the completion of a certificate or degree program. Graduation is dependent upon the approved completion of all program and institutional graduation requirements and is approved by the Office of the Registrar.

Grade Forgiveness: Refers to one grade in a course replacing another grade in the same course when certain conditions are met.

Hybrid Course: A course that combines face-to-face classroom instruction and online internet-based teaching and learning.

Late Registration: Registration for courses after the fee payment deadline during which a late registration fee may be assessed.

Live Online: A class that has no on campus visits and is scheduled like a traditional face-to-face class with the same content and experiences. The difference is that students and professor are not in the same location. Students in a Live Online class must login to the class via the internet during the scheduled day(s) and time(s). Students see and hear the instructor and classmates and participate in the class virtually. Reliable internet access, a webcam, and a microphone are required. Live Online is sometimes called Synchronous Online.

Live Video-Conferencing: In sections designated as Live Video-conferencing, the instructor is at a different location from the students and interacts in real-time with students via high quality technology. Course facilitators are available to assist students as needed. These sections are sometimes referred to as Broadcast or Receiving sections.

Major: A specific program of study consisting of a specific group of courses designed to provide intensive education or training in a specialized area and leading to a certificate and/or associate degree.

Meta-Majors: The collections of Associate in Science degree majors that have related courses. Meta-Majors cluster groups of majors that fit within a career area. There are eight Meta-Majors used by colleges in the state of Florida. Within each Meta-Major are degrees and certificates that have related courses. The intent of selecting a Meta-Major is to help you choose a major and degree based on your interests, knowledge, skills, and abilities. Selecting a Meta-Major will also help you select classes that relate to a specific degree. The eight Meta-Majors are Arts, Humanities, Communication and Design; Business; Education; Health Sciences; Industry/Manufacturing and Construction; Public Safety; Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics; and Social and Behavioral Sciences and Human Services. With a Meta-Major, you can narrow down your major choice and begin developing an educational plan that will help lead you to degree completion.

Non-Degree Student: A student who does not wish to earn a certificate or degree.

Orientation: A recommendation for all students and a requirement for FTIC students, the Online Orientation introduces students to the College’s programs, resources, and policies.

Part-Time Status: A schedule of fewer than 12 credit hours per term (semester).

PERT (Postsecondary Education Readiness Test): Primary entry testing used for placement in English, reading, and mathematics.

PIN: A student’s personal identification number used to access PSC’s secure online systems.

PirateMail: PSC’s official student email system. All students are given a PirateMail account when they apply and are accepted. In addition to email, PirateMail allows students to make appointments, organize tasks, and send files. PirateMail should be checked often.

Plagiarism: Presenting someone else’s work (whether it consists of words, research, images or other work) as your own without proper acknowledgment of the true author. Plagiarism is a serious violation of academic rules and carries consequences ranging from failure to expulsion from a course.

Prerequisite: A specific requirement that must be successfully completed before a student may enroll in a course.

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA): A process by which students may demonstrate proficiency in a particular course, whether or not that proficiency has been gained in an academic setting.

Purge Date: The date by which students who have registered for classes must pay for those classes. Students who do not pay all required fees by this date will be removed automatically from all classes for which they have not paid. The Purge Date is also referred to as Fee Pay Day.

Registration: The process of selecting courses and class times for an academic term (semester).

Registration Fee: A processing fee assessed to each student for the semester.

Schedule: A published list of classes to be offered in the upcoming term that includes course number, day/time and location, and information about admission, payments, and registration.

Scholarships: A form of financial assistance that does not have to be repaid. Scholarships may be awarded on the basis of merit and/or need.

Section: Refers to a specific offering of a course.

Section Number: A four-digit course reference number, assigned to each course offering in the schedule of classes and used in registration. The section number designates the specific day(s) and time(s) and location where a class will meet. In addition, each online class section is designated its own section number.

Session: The shorter segments within each term (semester). For example, each fall and spring term has within it an A session (16 weeks), B session (the first 8 weeks of the term), C session (a 12 week segment), and D session (the last 8 weeks of the term).

Suspension: Student status under which a student is not permitted to attend college for a specific period of time.

SpyGlass: The PSC student records system. All PSC students use SpyGlass to register, drop/add courses, pay fees, request transcripts, download schedules, and apply for graduation.

Term: The academic year at PSC is divided into segments called terms, which are also known as semesters. The fall and spring terms last 16 weeks. The summer term lasts 12 weeks. Within each term are shorter segments called sessions. PSC is on a semester system, though we usually speak of the fall term, spring term, and summer term.

Traditional Online: A class that has no on campus visits and is not scheduled during specific day(s) and time(s). Although students may complete the coursework when they desire, they must make certain to meet all deadlines established by the professor. Reliable internet access is required. Traditional Online is sometimes called Asynchronous Online.

Transcript: An official educational record of a student’s enrollment at a college, showing courses attempted, completed, final grades, and GPA.

Transfer Credits: Credits for courses taken at another institution and counted toward a PSC certificate or degree.

Transfer Student: Student who attended a college or university before coming to PSC.

Transient Student: Student who takes one or more courses at PSC to apply to academic requirements at another institution, or a PSC student who takes one or more courses at another institution to apply to degree requirements at PSC. Information for students who wish to attend a Florida public institution as a transient student is available at

Tuition: Cost of courses based on the number of credit hours attempted plus any special course fees. Tuition is classified as in-state tuition or out-of- state tuition.

Veteran Benefits: Financial and other assistance from the government to certain qualifying veterans and dependents of veterans to provide for educational training toward a career.

Virtual Tutoring: Live online tutoring offered in multiple disciplines. Virtual tutoring is fully interactive and, depending on the discipline, offered during day, evening, late night, and weekend hours.

Vocational Certificate (VC): See Career Certificate.

Waiver: An approved exemption from a PSC requirement.

Withdrawal: Removal from a course(s) at the student’s request, by a faculty member, or by the College. Withdrawals are represented by a “W” on the student transcript. No credit is awarded for the course. Tuition and fees are not refunded except in certain specific circumstances. 

Writing Emphasis Requirement: See Gordon Rule.