College Terms You Should Know

Ability to Benefit

Persons applying for financial aid who have not earned a high school diploma or its equivalent must demonstrate their ability to benefit from instruction by achieving a passing score on one of the examinations approved by the U.S. Department of Education.

Academic Calendar

An academic calendar highlights significant dates during the academic term. All students should obtain an academic calendar. It is available on the College website.

Academic Counselors

Academic Counselors are College personnel who provide personal, career, vocational and transfer counseling. Academic counselors provide information to new and returning students about College policies and procedures and are available to discuss concerns of an educational or personal nature. Academic counselors may also serve as advisors for new, undeclared and/or non-award seeking students.

Academic Year

An academic year consists of two semesters and any required summer sessions, during which students may enroll in classes.


Accreditation ensures that the College and its programs meet nationally recognized standards of excellence. The College and its four campuses are accredited by the Commission on Higher Education, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition, a number of academic programs have earned program-based accreditation by appropriate professional organizations.


The Accuplacer is the computerized placement test the College uses to determine new students' skill level in reading, writing, and mathematics. Prospective students should prepare for the test by practicing online. The Accuplacer is an assessment tool offered through the College Board.


Admissions is the process required for acceptance into the College.


Advisors are academic counselors, staff members or faculty members who are responsible for helping students plan their academic program. Advisors help students complete a student educational plan. In addition to helping select a schedule of classes during the registration period each semester, advisors help students set educational goals, provide valuable career information, discuss transfer options to other colleges, and monitor graduation requirements, as well as refer the student to resources. Advisors record and monitor student progress through a computerized file called the Student Educational Plan (SEP).

Articulation Agreement

An articulation agreement is a document signed by representatives of two or more institutions guaranteeing courses taken at one of the participating institutions will be accepted by the other(s).

Associate in Applied Science

The Associate in Applied Science curricula prepares students for immediate employment upon graduation by emphasizing applied knowledge and skills through program courses. The AAS degree can also serve as a transfer degree to a senior institution.

Associate of Arts in Teaching

The Associate of Arts in Teaching curricula prepares students who are interested in education with the foundational knowledge needed to transfer to a senior institution in order to complete a bachelor’s degree in teaching.

Associate of Science

The Associate of Science curricula prepares students who wish to transfer within the College to an allied health or nursing program once competitive admissions requirements are met, or to a senior institution to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

Auditing (Listener Status)

A student auditing a course does not receive academic credit for the course and does not have to take exams. Students must declare their intention to be registered as a listener (L) prior to the end of the "add" period. The L evaluation will not be given at the end of the semester to a student who has entered the course for credit, nor will a student who has enrolled as a listener be given any other grade.

Note: Listener status does not qualify for financial aid.

Bachelor of Science

The Bachelor of Science curricula prepares students who hold a nursing diploma or an associate degree in nursing and are licensed as a registered nurse with increased knowledge in the field of nursing. Students gain additional practicum experience and leadership skills.

Catalog and Section Numbers

Catalog & section numbers are a course coding system, which uses letters and numbers. Each class section is assigned three letters to indicate the department, three numbers to indicate the course, and three numbers to indicate the campus where the course is offered and the section number. For example, English Composition and Research, sections 1 and 2 at the Terry Campus would appear like this:

Course # Section # Meeting Pattern
ENG 102 601 MWF 0900-0950
ENG 102 602 TR 0830-1050


A certificate is an award issued to a student upon completion of a prescribed series of courses. Certificate requirements usually consist of 15-30 credit hours.

College Level Examination Program (CLEP)

Satisfactory scores on the College Board's CLEP exams are accepted by Delaware Tech as a means to exempt designated courses.

Core Courses

Each academic program's curriculum requires general education "Core Courses" (English, reading, math and social science), which provide students with knowledge and skills to achieve the Core Curriculum Competencies that all students need to graduate. Students should check the College Catalog and/or course sequence sheet for the specific courses required for graduation from each academic program.

Credit Hours

A credit hour is the amount of credit earned for a class based upon the number of clock hours of instruction provided for a course per week. A credit hour is defined as one class hour (50 minutes) per week for 15 weeks. A class that carries three credit hours typically meets for three clock hours per week. Three laboratory hours (50 minutes per lab hour) normally equal one credit hour. The total credits, lecture hours and laboratory hours are printed in the College Catalog following each course description.

Example: (4:3:3)

Cumulative Grade Point Average (CUM GPA)

The CUM GPA is calculated by dividing the total cumulative quality grade points earned by the total cumulative quality hours attempted. The cumulative GPA is a historic index of all grades earned at Delaware Tech and is not recalculated when a student changes programs. Grades from other institutions are not included in the calculation of the CUM GPA. Pre-tech and basic courses are no longer included in the CUM GPA. The CUM GPA is recalculated when a grade change is authorized and entered.

Degree-Seeking Student

Students who have completed the admission process and are enrolled in a degree, diploma or academic certificate program. This group includes students who intend to earn an award, but have an undeclared major. Award-seeking students must demonstrate college readiness or complete designated developmental education courses.

Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support (DANTES)

The DANTES program allows students to take examinations in college subject areas such as business, humanities, science and social sciences and receive credit for passing the tests. DANTES funds the testing for eligible service members and personnel at DANTES military test centers.

Dean's List

Dean's List is the academic recognition granted to students with 12 or more credit hours per semester of 100 level and above course work who have a GPA of 3.25 to 3.79.

Delinquent Account

Delinquent account status results from failure to pay tuition on or before the due date.

Until the account is paid:

Enrollment in further courses will not be permitted.

Official transcripts will be withheld.

The student will not be eligible to receive a degree, diploma or certificate of completion for any program.


A diploma is an award issued to a student who completes a prescribed program of study. Diploma requirements usually consist of 30-36 credits.

Drop/Add Form

A Drop/Add Form is used by students to drop or add courses on their schedule. The form must be signed by a counselor, advisor or instructor before the end of the drop/add period. Students should see the Academic Calendar for each term's specific timeline.


Electives are courses chosen from a predetermined selection of courses within a program that may or may not be in the student's major area of study. The program's department chair determines appropriate elective courses. Some programs do not have any electives in the curriculum.

Enrollment Status (Full-Time/Part-Time)

Full-time enrollment status describes a student registered for at least 12 credits per semester. Part-time enrollment status describes a student enrolled for 11 or fewer credits per semester.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is federal, state, or private funds available to help students meet educational expenses. A financial aid application is required in order to be considered for financial assistance.

Grade Point Value

Grade point value is the numeric value assigned to grades A, B, C, R, W and S. The inactive grades of D and P will continue to carry grade point value historically.

Grade Report

A grade report is an official notification of grades.

Graduation Honors

Graduation honors are calculated for diplomas, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees. Certificates are not eligible for graduation honors. Diploma and associate degree honors are based on all coursework that is included in the cumulative grade point average (CUM GPA) at the time the diploma or degree is awarded. Bachelor’s degree honors are calculated based on all 300- and 400-level program coursework that is included in the CUM GPA at the time the degree is awarded; general education coursework is not included in bachelor’s degree honors.

Students earning a CUM GPA between 3.25 and 3.49 will graduate cum laude. Those earning a CUM GPA between 3.5 and 3.79 will graduate magna cum laude. Those earning a CUM GPA between 3.8 and 4.0 will graduate summa cum laude. Graduation honors are printed on the graduation program and the student's transcript.


Grants are money given to students through various federal and state programs; grants do not have to be repaid.

Late Registration Fee

Students who register after the close of registration will be assessed a $25 late registration fee.


A major is a specific area of study within an academic program.

Major Courses

Major courses provide students with knowledge and skills to achieve the Program Graduate Competencies of their major. These are necessary for graduates to successfully enter the work force or continue their education in their field of study. Students should check the College Catalog and/or course sequence sheet for the specific courses required for graduation from each academic program.

Major Support Courses

Major support courses provide students with related knowledge and skills that support both the Core Curriculum Competencies and the Program Graduate Competencies. At least one course in every curriculum must address the information technology/computer skills needed in the field of study. Students should check the College Catalog and/or course sequence sheet for the specific courses required for graduation from each academic program.

Non-Credit Course

No college credit is awarded for a non-credit course. Non-credit training programs and special-interest courses provide certificates of completion.

Non-Award Seeking (NAS) Student

A non-award seeking student is one who has not matriculated and enrolled in a Delaware Tech degree, diploma or credit certificate program, but is enrolling in credit courses. Non-Award Seeking includes visiting college and high school students, and students taking courses for their own enjoyment or professional enhancement. Visiting college students are assumed to be college ready. High school students must demonstrate college readiness through approved means. Non-award seeking students who are enrolling in courses for personal or professional enrichment do not have demonstrate college readiness if they enroll in Listener status.


Prerequisites are preliminary skills, knowledge, or other courses which are required before enrollment in a particular course.


A program is a chosen area of study consisting of courses required to receive a degree, diploma, or certificate.

Quality Hours

Quality hours are the credit-hour value of those courses which are used in the calculation of the grade point average.

Quality Points

Quality points are the numerical value assigned to a given letter grade (A=4, B=3, C=2, R=0).

Readmitted Student

A readmitted student is one who has previously attended Delaware Technical Community College, and has not attended for six or more consecutive terms, including summer sessions (two calendar years), who has been readmitted to the College.


Registration is the period of time set aside each semester during which students select and enroll in courses for the following semester(s). Students are encouraged to meet with their assigned program advisor as early as possible after admission, but must meet with their program advisor to develop their individual Student Educational Plan prior to second semester enrollment. Students may obtain walk-in assistance from campus advisement centers.

Effective spring 2018, First-Year Seminar (SSC 100) is required for graduation and must be taken in the first semester by all incoming award-seeking students in associate degree programs and diploma programs. This includes re-admit and transfer students who have earned fewer than 12 college-level credits that are approved for transfer to Delaware Tech.

Students must have the signature of both the advisor and department chairperson to register for more than 21 credits per semester. Students are encouraged to register as early as possible to ensure course availability. Students may register in-person or via the College's registration website.


Scholarships are money awarded to qualified students and do not have to be repaid.


A semester is the academic time period over which courses are scheduled. Fall and spring semesters are 15 weeks each; summer sessions vary in length. There are also 7 week sessions within the semester.

Special-Interest Courses

Special-interest courses are non-credit courses offered through the Workforce Development and Community Education division. Wide ranges of topic areas are presented year-round. Financial aid does not pay for these classes.

Student Loans

Student loans are low-interest loans available to students for educational expenses; repayment of most loans begins after completion of degree requirements or termination of attendance.

Term Grade Point Average (GPA)

The term grade point average is the total quality grade points earned during the term divided by the total quality hours attempted.


A transcript is an official historical academic record of all courses for which a student has registered. A copy of this record may be obtained from the Registrar's Office.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit is college credit earned at another educational institution, which is evaluated by Delaware Tech officials and approved for application toward a student's program requirements.


Tuition is the cost of a course or program of study, not including books, lab fees and student fees. Tuition must be paid at the time of registration or during the semester payment period.

Undeclared (UND) Student

An undeclared student has completed the admissions process but has not declared a major.

Visiting Students


Students pursuing a degree program at another college or university who want to take Delaware Tech courses to transfer back to their home institution. This includes University of Delaware Associate in Arts students.

Students are not required to demonstrate college readiness because their advisement derives from their home institution. It is the visiting student's responsibility to obtain authorization from the home institution regarding the transferability and applicability of the Delaware Tech course to their curriculum.

High School

High school rising junior or senior students may enroll in Delaware Tech courses with permission from their high school counselor/principal and their parents. Completion of the Early Enrollment form is required. In order to assure high school students are prepared to succeed at the college level, students must provide evidence of college readiness through the means approved by Delaware Tech prior to registration.