Academic Dictionary

Academic Advisor

College Faculty or designated staff member assigned to guide the student in making academic and career-development choices. A change in advisor may occur when the major is declared by the student during the term in which s/he will complete 15 credits, at the request of the student, or as needed. The Dean of Curriculum and Student Learning in the Office of the Academic Vice President and Dean of the Faculty oversees the Academic Advising Program at Berea.

Academic Calendar

Berea College operates on a two fifteen-week term academic calendar consisting of required Fall and Spring terms. There are also optional Summer terms, referred to as First Four Week Session, Second Four-Week Session and Eight-Week Session. The Academic Calendar is published each regular term in the Schedule of Classes, as well as online.

Academic Program

Curriculum areas that share a common purpose or theme are grouped together to form academic programs. While most academic programs are made up of a single discipline, (e.g., Philosophy, Biology, Nursing), some are comprised of more than one distinct discipline (e.g., Economics and Business, Foreign Languages, Art and Art History). Those programs that offer a major program of study are referred to as Major Academic Programs while those offering only a minor program of study are referred to as Minor Academic Programs.


Banner is the Student Information System used by the College to manage student records.

Berea’s Web Portal

See MyBerea.

Capstone Course or Experience

A required course or experience in a degree program that is designed to be taken in or near the final term of a student’s major. Capstone courses and experiences tie together the key learning objectives faculty expect the student to have learned during the major.

Class Schedule

See Schedule of Classes.

Classification, Student

Freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior. Classification is determined by the number of earned course credits completed. Students are classified as freshman until they accumulate 7 course credits; sophomore until they accumulate 15; and junior until they accumulate 24.

College Post Office (CPO)

All students, including those living off-campus, are assigned a CPO number.  CPO mailboxes should be checked daily for important communications from instructors or the College. The student’s college address will be:

Your Name

CPO Box # ____, 101 Chesnut Street

Berea College

Berea, KY 40404

Collateral Course

A required course in a major program that is in a discipline other than the major rubric. All collateral courses, except those assigned the rubric of the major in the which the student is studying, count in the 20 credits outside the major required to earn a degree. For major GPA calculation, all aspects of the major are included, including collateral courses outside the major rubric.


A team of student-life professionals who live in the residence halls and oversee training of day-to-day life, program implementation, and hall-wide activities.

Concentration Requirement

Major curricular requirements focusing the major in a particular area; the concentration is chosen by the student, in consultation with the academic advisor.


The process at the beginning of each term whereby students confirm their intention to remain enrolled at the College. Confirmation takes place in the Student Service Center (First Floor, Lincoln Hall) and involves the payment of term charges and validation of the student ID.


Lectures, concerts, or other presentations designed to enhance your understanding of the world around you. Convocations are part of the General Education Program and are an important part of your education, featuring areas not always covered in classes.

Core Requirements

Fixed requirements required of all students in a major or minor, regardless of specialized area of study (i.e., concentration, distribution, or collateral courses).

Course or Credit

A class; the Berea College unit of credit. Most courses meet 3-6 hours per week and carry one (1) course credit. Classes may carry .25, .5, 1, 1.5, 2, and 3 course credits. One credit at Berea is the equivalent of 4 semester hours or 6 quarter hours. Also see Cross-Listed Course.

Course Registration Number (CRN)

A unique 5-digit number assigned to each course in the Schedule of Classes. The number is valid only for a specific term. This is the number used to register for a course in myBerea and it is important that it be entered correctly to avoid placement in the wrong class.

Course Withdrawal

All courses for which the student is registered after the first week of classes in a regular term (and equivalent dates in Summer terms) will appear on the academic record and the grade reports for that term. The letter “W” (Withdrawn) will be used to indicate courses dropped during the second through fifth weeks of a regular term (and equivalent). Courses may be withdrawn from during the next four weeks (and equivalent).  However, instructors will be asked to indicate the quality of the student’s work to that point with a “WP” (Withdrawn Passing) or “WF” (Withdrawn Failing). No course may be withdrawn from during the final five weeks of a term (or equivalent). Grades of “W,” “WP,” and “WF” are not used in computing the GPA. Final grades will be recorded for students who withdraw from the College after the last day of regular classes (and equivalent). The deadline dates for these actions for each regular term are shown in the College’s Academic Calendar. In exceptional cases, e.g. serious illness of a student, permission to drop one or more courses after the ninth week of a regular term (or equivalent) may be given by the Student Admissions and Academic Standing (SAAS) Committee. (For courses dropped during official Registration periods or the first week of class of a regular term and corresponding dates in Summer terms, see Drop/Add.)


See College Post Office.

Credit by Examination

There are three options for receiving credit by examination—College Board Advanced Placement examinations, the College Level Examination Program, and Advanced Standing examinations. Students are encouraged to take advantage of any of these, as is applicable.


See Course Registration Number.

Cross-listed Course

A course offered in more than one rubric or discipline, e.g., CFS/WST 207: Family Studies. Students must complete 20 credits outside their major discipline. Cross-listed courses may be counted as being outside the major if the course does not count toward any requirement for that major (including collateral) and if it is taken under the non-major designation.


A group of courses planned to lead to some specific competence in a field of study and to a degree.

Dean's List

Students who achieve a regular term GPA of 3.4 or higher while passing at least four total credits (to include all courses counting toward "load credit" including MAT 010, 011, and 012) will be named to the Dean’s List.


A title conferred by Berea College upon completion of a particular program of academic work. Berea offers a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in 28 fields and four (4) Bachelor of Science degrees in Agriculture and Natural Resources, Business, Technology, and Nursing. Some of these major fields offer multiple curricula and specializations. (Also see Interdisciplinary Programs.)

Degree Evaluation in myBerea

A feature in myBerea that helps students and their Academic Advisors monitor electronically their Satisfactory Academic Progress toward earning a degree. This tool also makes it possible to print reports and perform experiments (using the “What-If Analysis” feature) on how credits already earned would apply toward other majors if students are preparing to declare a major or are considering a change in a previously declared major. If discrepancies in the Degree Evaluation are found or course substitutions or waivers are needed, students should bring these to the attention of their Academic Advisor and the Office of the Registrar as early as possible (preferably by the term prior to the graduation term) to avoid problems. An official Degree Audit will be conducted by the Office of the Registrar after students have applied for graduation.

The myBerea Web portal tool does not replace the official Degree Audit, but it can help students take charge of their progress and alert them to any potential problems with their program.

Developmental Mathematics

Non-credit mathematics courses (Mat 010: Pre-Algebra, MAT 011: Elementary Algebra I, and MAT 012: Elementary Algebra II) that are designed to bring a student’s mathematics skills up to the beginning level expected at Berea College. If test scores show a student already has adequate preparation in mathematics, part or all of the developmental courses required will be waived. These courses count as a load credit but do not count toward the 32 earned credits required for graduation. Developmental Mathematics should be completed satisfactorily by the third term of enrollment.


A group of courses of like content that share a common or closely related theoretical base.

Distribution Course

A set number of required course credits chosen from a range of approved courses in a major or minor to complement a student’s future career goals and interests.


Once students have registered for a term, they may return to myBerea’s Registration page during the Registration period to add or drop a class up to the last day to add a class, which is set by the Executive Council and published in the Academic Calendar. Students also may pick up a drop/add form from the Student Service Center (First Floor, Lincoln Hall) for these transactions. Classes may be added or dropped up to one week after regular term classes have started (and the equivalent during Summer terms). All courses for which students are registered after the first week of classes in a regular term will appear on the academic record and the grade reports for that term. There is a fee charged for each drop-add form processed after the last day to add a class. (See Course Withdrawal and “Course Withdrawal Policy and the Academic Record” in the Enrollment and Registration section).

Earned Credits

Academic course credits earned for satisfactorily completed coursework that counts toward the minimum number of credits needed to graduate. (Compare and contrast with Load Credit.)

Eight Term Rule

Students are expected to complete all degree requirements within four academic years or eight regular terms—including transfer terms, terms abroad, off-campus field studies, internships, and the addition of one or more minors or majors. Failure to follow the approved Curriculum Plan submitted as part of the Declaration of Primary Major process does not constitute a valid reason for needing an extension of terms. Students who, for good reason, are unable to complete degree requirements within eight (8) regular terms may submit a “Request for an Extension of Terms” form, revised Curriculum Plan, and accompanying letter addressed to the Director of Academic Services (submitted to the Student Service Center). Requests for a one- or two-term extension not approved by the Director may be appealed to the Student Admissions and Academic Standing (SAAS) Committee. All requests for more than ten (10) terms of attendance are reviewed by the SAAS Committee.


Courses not required by the core curriculum or a major. Typically, these are courses that fall outside of the major rubric that students elect to satisfy personal interests or for educational enrichment. In the case of Independent Majors, they would be any courses not required as a core, collateral, or capstone in the proposed major.

Exchange Programs

Bilateral exchange agreements, both domestic and international, which allow Berea College students to enroll in and receive credit for courses. Depending on the type of exchange, these may include an exchange of tuition fees and/or room and board charges between the institutions.

At this time, Berea has an agreement in place with nearby Eastern Kentucky University that allows Berea students to take a course required for graduation if unable to take that course at Berea within his or her remaining allotted terms. Only one course is permitted per student through this EKU exchange, with the exceptions of students in the Public Accounting Program or in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). The EKU Exchange Application form is available from the Student Service Center in Lincoln Hall.

The College also offers bilateral exchange agreements with a number of international colleges and universities; for more information about international exchanges please contact the Center for International Education. (Also see Transfer Credits.)


The removal of a student from the College community as a result of a Judicial Code decision. Students who are expelled are never permitted to return to the College, are never returned to good standing, and will have the expulsion notation recorded permanently on their transcripts. 


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that affords students the right to have access to their education records, the right to seek to have the records amended, and the right to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from the education records. Please contact the Registrar for more information about a student’s rights under FERPA.

Financial Aid Package

The total financial aid award students receive to meet their cost of education obligation while attending Berea. The aid usually consists of scholarships, grants, loans, earnings from work on campus, and other types of financial aid.

Full-Time Student

Students must take a minimum course load of at least three (3) full credits during a Fall and Spring Term. Non-credit courses are counted in this load, but students also must enroll in three credit-bearing courses to be eligible for participation in intercollegiate sports. The average load is four course credits during each regular term.

General Education

Berea College’s curriculum includes an interdisciplinary General Education Program in addition to intensive study in a major. As an institution with a liberal-arts foundation and outlook, the College has a responsibility to educate the whole person. Berea College’s General Education Program addresses Berea’s Great Commitments and is designed to help students develop important knowledge, skills, and habits of mind. The program extends from the first year through the senior year and includes, in addition to course work, convocations and other experiences. Along with the Major and Electives, General Education is one of the three components of a degree curriculum at Berea.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

A measure of a student’s academic achievement at the College, calculated by dividing the total number of grade points received by the total number of credits attempted.

Graduation Requirements

A minimum of 32 earned credits (typically 34 in Nursing) are required to earn a degree at Berea, 20 of which must be outside the major discipline. (See individual degree requirements listed in the Academic Courses and Programs section for specific major or minor requirements. Also see Earned Credits and Load Credit.)


Awards based on financial need that do not require repayment.

Interdisciplinary Program

A multi-disciplinary approach to a major or minor field of study. Berea’s eight (8) Interdisciplinary Programs are: African and African American Studies, Appalachian Studies, Applied Science and Mathematics, Asian Studies, General Studies, Peace and Social Justice Studies, Sustainability and Environmental Studies, and Women’s Studies.

Labor Position

The job(s) in which students will be employed while at Berea.

Labor Supervisor

The labor supervisor is the person responsible for the training and development of student employees within his/her department, and for the maintenance and reporting of payroll records. Depending on the size of the department, there may be more than one supervisor or a combination of student and staff supervisors.

Load Credit

The number of academic course credits being attempted in a given term, including developmental mathematics and non-credit course work. While all of these credits count in the minimum number of credits required to indicate Satisfactory Academic Progress and full-time status, not all load credits count toward the minimum of 32 earned credits needed to graduate. (Compare and contrast to Earned Credits.)


Funds available through banks, the College, or other private sources. Terms vary based on need or non-need basis, rate of interest, interest benefits, repayment period, and credit worthiness. Berea attempts to minimize loan debt.

Minor Program

Students may graduate with one or more majors and one or more minors. A minor program has a minimum of five (5) courses and a maximum of seven (7) courses. Independent minors are not permitted.

Major Program

One of the three parts of each student’s undergraduate curriculum (the other two parts being the General Education curriculum and the student’s Elective courses). The major is a set of courses selected to provide an opportunity for a student to undertake study in depth. This in-depth course of study is not always restricted to or identified with one academic program (see Interdisciplinary Program), as is the case with an Independent and multi-disciplinary majors.


A Course Management System (CMS), also known as a Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It is a free Web application that educators can use to create effective online learning sites. Many Berea faculty use Moodle as a space for discussion outside the classroom, as well as a place to submit electronic versions of homework.

MyBerea (Web Portal)

The College’s virtual learning community designed to support student learning and personalized assessment of student progress toward meeting academic, labor, and convocation requirements. Students log in to myBerea using their network password. The system provides access to a wide variety of resources and allows students to review their individual account information including financial aid data, register for classes, review transcripts and degree evaluation reports, check their e-mail, access Moodle for their courses, and much more. The system is available to students who have been admitted to Berea (prior to their arrival on campus) and remains available for their use until graduation or withdrawal from the College.

Non-degree Student

Students who are taking courses for personal enrichment or for limited educational gain and who are not pursuing a degree from Berea College or any other institution.


A series of programs designed to acclimate the student to College life. It is important that incoming students attend all sessions, both the program offered at the beginning of the regular term, and one of the Summer Connections sessions. The Coordinator of First-Year Programs and the Director of Academic Services oversee the Orientation Program.


A term course load of more than 4.5 courses. Overloads require the permission of the student’s Academic Advisor and are not recommended for First-Year Students. For criteria and requests for exceptions, see “Overloads” under “Registration Information” of the Enrollment and Registration section.

Part-Time Status (Underload)

A student carrying fewer than a total of three (3) full course credits during a regular term. Part-time students may lose some financial aid, cannot participate in intercollegiate sports, and are not eligible to receive convocation credit. Permission to be part-time is given by the Student Admissions and Academic Standing (SAAS) Committee only in extenuating circumstances. See Request for Part-Time Status.

Peer Consultant

Free peer consultants and teaching assistants are available in most courses to help students improve their academic performance. Check with the instructor in the course for times and locations of Teaching Assistant, peer consulting, or tutoring sessions. Peer-consulting services also are available through the Center for Transformative Learning (CTL) in 3rd Floor Stephenson Hall. Instructor also can provide assistance outside the classroom during office hours and by appointment.


A course that must be completed or conditions that must be met prior to enrollment in a course.


A warning that some problem exists that could threaten enrollment if assigned conditions are not met. It may be given for academic reasons (grades, failure to make Satisfactory Academic Progress, low GPA, etc.), labor shortage, or for a violation of the student conduct or student life rules. Probation affects fewer than 10 percent of Berea students.


Abbreviation for Resident Assistant. Student member of Student Life staff living in the Residence Hall. This individual is trained to assist in problem solving and provide referral to other offices as necessary.


Currently enrolled students who fail to register for the next term must notify the Student Enrollment Status Manager in the Student Service Center if they wish to be reactivated for the upcoming term. All material relative to requests for reactivation of current students, including internal processing, must be received for Summer or Fall Term by June 1, for Spring Term by December 1. Any student failing to confirm by the deadline established by the College must apply to the Enrollment Policies Committee for reactivation. Notification must be received no later than the end of the first class day. Please be aware that reactivated students are responsible for acquiring their own labor positions. (See “Reactivation of Currently Enrolled Students” in the Enrollment and Registration section of this publication for more information.)


The process of readmitting previously enrolled students who wish to return to the College. Previously withdrawn students may not be enrolled at Berea until one full regular term of attendance has passed after the term in which the withdrawal occurred. Unless otherwise designated at the time of suspension, a student who has been suspended cannot be considered for readmission until the passage of two regular terms of absence. Previously enrolled students who wish to return to Berea must apply to the Admissions Decision Team for readmission. Applications are secured from and returned to the Admissions Office. (Also see Withdrawal from the College and “Withdrawals” and “Readmission” in the Enrollment and Regulations section.)


The process of selecting courses, completing online registration and/or completing forms, and paying fees. Registration for Spring Terms is late fall; for Summer and Fall terms in spring. (Also see Drop/Add and myBerea.)

Regular Term

Either of the four-month Fall and Spring terms offered at Berea.

Reinstatement to Academic Good Standing

Unless otherwise specified at the time of suspension, the official status of the suspended student for academic reasons will be reflected in the academic record as “Academic Suspension” for the passage of one regular term, after which time the student is returned to “Good Standing,” thereby permitting enrollment at another institution. All students who are suspended from Berea College automatically are placed in the category “not in good standing” until the end of the next regular academic term, unless the governing body (e.g., the Student Admissions and Academic Standing Committee, the Labor Program Council, etc.) specifies a different length of time. Students who are expelled from the College are never returned to good standing and cannot be readmitted to the College. (See “Academic Standing and Reinstatement to Good Standing” in the Enrollment and Registration section for more information.)

Repeating a Course for a Higher Grade

A course in which a C-, D+, D, D- or F is earned may be repeated for a higher grade. The earlier grade will remain on the transcript, but only the higher of the two will be computed in the GPA. Earned credit will be given only once. Permission to repeat a course in which a grade of C or higher is earned may be given only by the Student Admissions and Academic Standing (SAAS) Committee. Courses may be repeated no more than two times without approval of the SAAS Committee. The highest grade will be computed in the GPA. Permission to take a course for the fourth time rarely will be given.

For the purpose of meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress goals (see the Financial Aid and Student Accounts and the Academic Performance Standards section in this publication), repeated courses will be counted only once toward meeting the minimum required passed course credits.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

The SAP policies are designed to ensure that students meet specific expectations each term in order to progress toward completion of their degree. Failure to meet these standards may result in Academic Probation, Academic Suspension, and a loss of Financial Aid Eligibility. For a complete description of the standards required to maintain SAP, please see “Satisfactory Academic Progress”

Schedule of Classes (also known as Schedule Book)

A list of all classes being offered in a particular term and registration information and guidelines. The schedule includes course identification number (CRN) and department, course registration number, title, instructor, when and where the class meets, course fee (if any), and when the final examination is scheduled. In the front section of the schedule book is a listing of which courses have been approved to meet General Education requirements and more detailed descriptions of many of the GSTR course sections being offered in a given term.


Service-learning is an educational experience based upon a collaborative partnership between college and community. Learning through service enables students to apply academic knowledge and critical thinking skills to meet genuine community needs. Through reflection and assessment, students gain deeper understanding of course content and the importance of civic engagement. Service-learning courses are taught each term in a variety of academic programs at Berea College. Designated service-learning courses meet the Active Learning Experience (ALE) requirement in the General Education Program, as indicated in the Schedule of Classes.

Student Number

A student’s identification number in the College’s administrative computing system. The student number is a random computer-generated number and is used on all College forms and for many campus services. The number often is referred to as a “B” number.

Summer Term (Eight-Week)

An eight-week session from early June through early August during which students may take up to 2.25 course credits. Courses during this term typically are Catalog courses that apply toward General Education and degree requirements. Some students participate in labor only experiences, such as the Undergraduate Research and Creative Projects Program, during the summer months.

Summer Term (Four-Week)

Students may take one course per four-week term.  The first four-week term begins in May and ends in June. A second four-week session begins in June and ends in late July/early August.


A suspension may result from a variety of reasons but usually is for a failure to meet academic, social, or labor requirements or the campus regulations spelled out in the Student Handbook. Suspension can be temporary and is contrasted with expulsion, which means that a student is never eligible to return to Berea College.

Term Bill

Charges for housing, meals, and all term and course fees, for which payment arrangements must be made prior to the start of each term. Existing term bill balances must be resolved within the published time frame in order to participate in advanced registration. Students needing assistance with their term bills should contact a financial-aid counselor in the Student Financial Aid Services Office (120 Lincoln Hall).

Transfer Credits

Credits transferred from course work completed with a grade of C or higher at another regionally accredited institution.

Underload (Part-Time Status)

A course load of less than three (3) full credits during a regular term. Underloads, including those resulting when students drop or withdraw from courses after a regular term has begun, require the permission of the Director of Academic Services and approval of the Student Admissions and Academic Standing (SAAS) Committee.

Withdrawal from the College

The process of withdrawing from the College for the current term or permanently, which can be initiated by the student or by the administration. It is important for students to understand before they withdraw that readmission to the College is not assured and successful applicants for readmission almost always leave Berea in good academic standing.