Gateway Glossary | GCTC

Gateway Glossary

Since you're new to Gateway, you might be unfamiliar with some of the terms we use. Here's a handy cheat sheet to help you translate academic language into English.

You can also check out the full list of commonly used Abbreviations.

Academic Advising is a partnership between you and your advisor from the beginning of the college experience, until your graduation. Your advisor will support your success by providing appropriate tools, resources, and a clear path to achieve your goals.
You'll be assigned to a Professional Academic Advisor for your first semester based off your chosen academic program, and later transitioned to a Faculty Advisor who specializes in your chosen area of study.
Our academic calendars will tell you about the date for the first day of the session(s), tuition due date, registration timetables and deadlines related to refunds, withdraw (W) grades, audit grades, and late registration.

This is based off a student's GPA for a given semester, as well as their overall GPA. This is used to calculate if a student is meeting requirements to be in "good academic standing". If a student is not meeting requirements, they may be put on "academic probation" or "academic suspension".

More Information on Academic Standing

A degree that you earn after completing a program of full-time-equivalent college work lasting at least two years and less than four. Associate in Arts (AA) and Associate in Science (AS) degrees are designed for students who plan to transfer to a four-year college or university, and they require that you complete at least 60 credit hours. To earn an Associate in Applied Science (AAS), you need to complete a technical/career program that includes 60 to 68 credit hours. All associate degrees require a cumulative GPA of 2.0 (a C average).
Apprenticeship opportunities are a way to provide industry specific, on-the-job training to new or current employees. Related technical instruction paired with hands-on practical application creates a high-quality work and learning experience that results in highly skilled and trained employees.

A third party service which disburses your Financial Aid refund.

More Information and How to Set Up Your Account

Blackboard is an online schooling platform where your classes will "live". Your classes, no matter the format (hybrid, online), will each have a Blackboard component.

More Information on Blackboard

The office that handles financial transactions such as payments.

A resource offered to Gateway students who may need extra assistance with anything job related. Students can receive assistance with anything from resume building to finding a job.

More Information on Career Services

This is the date which the Office of Financial Aid takes a "snapshot" of your enrollment, and "locks in" a student's Financial Aid eligibility. Usually, 6-7 days after the beginning of a term.

More Information on Financial Aid Census Dating

A ceremony to honor all graduates for the academic year. It will be held at the end of the Spring semester.
Dual credit courses or programs offered at a high school.
All courses are identified by letters and numbers, usually consisting of three digits; for example - ENG 101. The first digit indicates the class year in which the subject is usually taken. A course number beginning with 0 does not offer credit hours toward a degree but may be required to progress academically.

A record of all program requirements and descriptions of all courses. Past catalogs are also available completely online.

Online Course Catalog

The number of courses or credits a student takes during a specific term.
A certificate, diploma, or degree that you earn after completing an academic program.

Credit for prior learning is a term used to describe knowledge gained outside of a traditional academic environment. Potential areas for credit for prior learning can include work experience, participation in employer training programs, military service, independent study, volunteer work or community service, and study of open-source courseware.

More Information on CPL

College courses are usually measured in terms of credit hours. To earn one credit hour, you attend class for one classroom hour (usually 55 minutes) per week for the whole semester (usually 16 weeks) or the equivalent in an accelerated term. You'll need to complete a specific number of credit hours to earn a degree, diploma, certificate or other formal award.
The head of a division of a college or university.
Awarded to students achieving at least a 3.5 GPA. Full-time students must also complete at least 12 credit hours of coursework level 100 or greater for the academic session being recognized. Part-time students must complete 3-11 credit hours in term being recognized and must have accumulated at least 15 credit hours of coursework level 100 or greater.
The requirements you'll need to meet to complete your program of study. Requirements may include a minimum number of credit hours, minimum GPA, prerequisite(s), and elective courses within the specified major, and/or minor areas of study.
A college-level course of study that allows high school students to earn both high school and college credit for the same course.
A program that allows credential seeking Gateway students to enroll in courses at another college or university to meet graduation requirements for Gateway and the four-year institution they will attend next. 

Disbursement is when your financial aid payments are credited to your PeopleSoft account. This happens approximately 5 to 6 weeks from the start of your FIRST class. The disbursement date represents the earliest date funds can be applied to your account in Student Billing. The Financial Aid Office cannot guarantee the arrival date or disbursement date of funds.

More Information on Disbursement

A course or program of study used to teach English to nonnative English speakers.

More Information on ESL

College courses that are not required for your degree or certificate, but that can count toward your credit requirements. Most programs offer a list of electives to choose from.
The process of signing up for classes each semester.
Individuals who instruct material at Gateway. Usually, your professors are faculty members.
Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act. A federal law which affords all individuals who enter a post-secondary institution (college), the rights to their educational records, the right to seek to have records amended, the right to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from such records.
Money from an outside source which can be utilized to pay for your education.

An application through the US Department of Education which students can file (annually) and potentially receive Financial Aid.

File and Manage Your FAFSA Application

Final exams give you an opportunity to show what you've learned over the semester. They usually take place during the last week of classes, often on a different day and time than your regular class time. The final exam schedule is usually listed in the course syllabus.
A full-time student is enrolled in 12 or more credit hours in a semester. A part-time student is enrolled in less than 12 credit hours in a semester.

Classes which build foundational knowledge in mathematics, social sciences, humanities, heritage, and natural science topics.

Offered General Education Courses

Your grade point average gives a snapshot of your grades across all courses. Each letter grade has a point value: A = 4 points, B = 3 points, C = 2, D = 1 and E = 0. To determine your grade points for each course, multiply the number of points your grade is worth by the number of credits the course carries. Thus, a B (three points) in a three-credit course is worth nine grade points; an A in the same three-credit course is worth 12 grade points. The grade point average is determined by adding the total grade point values for all courses and dividing them by the total number of credits taken during the same period.
Awards given at the end of each semester for the completion of a degree, diploma, or certificates. Students must apply for each degree or diploma they earn. Certificates do not require an application.
A type of financial aid that is given to a student, many times by the federal or a state government, a company, a school, or a charity. A grant does not have to be repaid. "Grant" is often used interchangeably with "scholarship".
We put a hold on your academic record when you have an outstanding obligation such as an unpaid bill. The hold is released when you have met the obligation. If you have a hold on your record, you will not be permitted to register for classes or order transcripts, until the hold is released.
A hybrid course combines online learning with face-to-face instruction. Specific class schedules and structures can vary from one class to another, but they generally include online assignments and discussions and required labs.

A place where you can get all your needs addressed. Both Academic and Non-Academic student support services are provided to ensure you have the resources to be successful in college.

Information Commons

A (usually) unpaid work experience students may participate in as part of their degree curriculum.
A type of financial aid that consists of an amount of money that is given to someone with an agreement that it will be repaid later.
The academic subject area that a student chooses to focus on during their educational studies.
During the middle of each course session, your instructor may give a midterm exam to test you on the material covered during the first half of the course. Some classes have only two tests, a midterm, and a final.
Students who do not show to their first in-person class or submit their attendance assignment for an online course within the first six days of class may be dropped as a "no show".
Recommended to be completed by new students; orientation gives you important information about the campus resources, programs, and services to support your success.
A part-time student is enrolled in less than 12 credit hours in a semester.
A code sent to you when you set up your Bankmobile account. Keep this code to set up your account correctly.
A course requirement you must meet before you can enroll in a course.
An academic standing status given to students with GPA's which do not meet a satisfactory threshold (2.0). These students must work to improve their GPA to be taken off academic probation and be in "good standing".

This is your "major". Your program plan is your declared program of study.

Full List of Degrees and Certificates Offered

The process of students choosing and enrolling in classes.

A process to determine many academic factors, including a student's tuition rates.

More Information on Residency Status

Any amount of money given that may be utilized towards a student's tuition and fees. Different from a loan, Scholarships are usually grant or "gift" money not needed to be paid back.


Periods of study that divide the academic year into two terms. At Gateway a regular academic session, or semester, is 16 weeks. However, there are also shorter terms within a given semester offered (12 or 8 weeks).

Starfish is a platform used to connect you to the people and services that can help you succeed. It also provides an opportunity for you to "raise your hand" and reach out when you are having trouble in a class or personal life.

More Information on Starfish

This refers to the minimum academic standards required for a student to maintain federal financial aid eligibility.

More Information on SAP

An individual who can help you be successful in college by providing individual support and help you find and use resources you may need to reach your goals. They may help you with anything from time management skills to personal wellness goals.

More Information and Scheduling a Meeting with a Success Coach

For each course you take, you'll receive a syllabus that outlines the expectations, policies, deadlines, and requirements for the course. It also provides relevant information about the college, division and academic department that offers the class.
Created for students to understand Gateway's policies, procedures, and student expectations.
Your transcript is your permanent academic record. It includes information of courses taken, grades earned, academic status, and credentials received.
Credit awarded towards a degree from classes previously taken at a college or university.

Students who desire to continue their education after attending Gateway may take classes which correspond to their chosen degree path.

More Information on Transfer Services

An amount of money a student owes in exchange for enrolling in courses. At Gateway, tuition is calculated based off a price-per-credit hour.

Tuition & Costs

A student enrolled in a two-year or four-year study program at a college or university, leading to an associate or bachelor's degree.
Created by new students and utilized to log into their student account. Your username will look like "first initial last name 0000", such as "jdoe0001".
A student who takes a class or two at Gateway while enrolled at another college.
Dropping a course or courses after the published add/drop period in each semester. Withdrawing from a course will result in a W on your transcript and may impact your financial aid.
A scholarship program administered by KHEAA, designed to assist Kentucky Residents who have not yet earned a degree with paying for school. Students who are pursuing degrees or credentials in health care, advanced manufacturing, transportation/logistics, business services/IT, or construction should apply for this scholarship. Students will also need to file their up-to-date FAFSA application prior.