Glossary of Terms
Academic Advisor – The faculty or staff member designated to assist a student in selecting the proper academic courses required to earn a degree. The academic advisor for freshmen and transfer students with less than 30 earned credit hours is their Freshman Seminar instructor. Students accepted into a major within an upper division are assigned a faculty advisor for the remainder of their studies at Winston-Salem State.
Academic Classification –
Students are designated as freshmen, sophomores, juniors or seniors by the
number of hours officially earned by the close of the previous term as recorded
in the Office of the Registrar. The designations are as follows:
Freshmen – earned less than 30 hours Sophomores – earned between 30 and 59 hours
Juniors - earned between 60 and 89 hours Seniors – earned 90 or more hours
Academic Probation – A status for students performing below minimum academic standards at the close of the previous term but still allowed to continue their enrollment (please refer to the on-line catalog for details on the standards). Students in this status must not register for more than 12 hours during the next semester and must repeat courses in which grades of D or F are earned.
Academic Records – The official listing of all courses taken by a student at Winston-Salem State or accepted by the university for transfer from another institution. Records include the grades and hours earned in each course along with information on student status (Dean’s list, probation or suspension, etc.) The Office of the Registrar maintains these records.
Academic Resources – All information and assistance available to students to assist in their studies including Library Services, campus computer labs, on-line services and assistance from WSSU faculty and staff.
Address Changes – Information provided to the Office of the Registrar to reflect changes in students’ permanent, home or campus address.
Admissions – The department designated to assist applicants in their request to become WSSU students. Their duties include evaluating applications and transcripts to determine if the applicant meets the established academic standards, sending an enrollment invitation to applicants meeting those standards and completing the enrollment process. Admissions staff works with high school counselors and other sources to obtain the information required to complete the enrollment process.
Adult Students’ Support – The department within the Division of Lifelong Learning that provides advice to students enrolled in the division on university courses or programs, procedures for admission and transfer of credits and assistance in preparing for placement tests. The department also oversees the CLEP examinations that award credit for students demonstrating proficiency within an area of study.
Applications – A form completed by individuals seeking to enroll at Winston-Salem State and submitted to the Admissions Office. Forms are available on-line or by contacting the Admission Office.
Athletic Passes – Provides free admission for students to all WSSU athletic events through payment of their activity fee. Students can show their Ram Card to gain free admission.
Auditing a Course – An option for students desiring to learn about a course’s subject without earning academic credit for their participation in the course.
Award Letters – Notices provided to students to concerning the granting of financial assistance through the university’s Financial Aid office. Students must sign and return award letters to indicate their acceptance of the financial assistance being offered.
Blackboard – An on-line program that allows instructors to make information on courses they are teaching available to their students. The information includes course syllabus, information on upcoming class sessions and other pertinent information. Students are encouraged to consult their course listings on Blackboard periodically to keep abreast of developments.
Campus Leaders – The officers of the various student organization authorized to have a presence on the WSSU campus. These positions generally include the president and officers of the Student Government Association, Pan-Hellenic Council and other social and service groups along with Miss WSSU and Mr. Ram. Their duties include overseeing the actions of their respective organization and serving as representatives to other organizations both within and outside of the university.
Campus Visits – Individuals considering enrollment at WSSU are invited to come to our campus and tour our facilities with their family and friends. Tours are given to individuals or groups and are scheduled through the Admissions Office.
Career Services – The office dedicated to assisting students in preparing for their professional or educational plans after graduation from WSSU. Assistance is available in career planning and placement, cooperative education, summer internships and obtaining admission to graduate and professional schools.
Changing Marital Status – Students are required to notify the Office of the Registrar if their marital status changes while enrolled at the university.
Class – A designated time for students to meet with faculty members or staff to obtain instruction on a designated subject as authorized by school or college division of the university. Also, a manner in which all WSSU students, faculty, staff and administrators govern themselves in interactions with other members of the Ram Family.
Class Disruption Policy – A written guideline that outlines willful conduct that interferes or interrupts instruction within a classroom and the prescribed disciplinary actions against students engaging in this behavior. The policy is located with the Student Handbook on or the www.wssu.edu website.
Clubs and Organizations – Students have the opportunity to develop their leadership and social skills through a number of student groups approved and directed by the Office of Student Activities. The list includes the Student Government Association, the Campus Activity Board, resident hall councils, Greek-letter organizations and many other service, social and religious groups.
Community Services – In staying true to the University’s Motto of “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve”, students are required to provide a designated number of service hours to non-profit organizations both on-campus and in the greater Winston-Salem community. All freshman students are required to perform community service; all students are encouraged to become involved throughout their enrollment at WSSU.
Commuter Students – Designation for enrolled students not residing in University owned or operated housing.
Co-ops – An opportunity for students to gain practical experience at a company that is engaged in business or service that compliments their academic work within a specific course. A designated minimum GPA must be obtained before eligibility is extended and the company must agree to hire the student. This program is operated through the Career Services office.
Co-registration – Two or more courses that require enrollment in each during the same semester or term.
Co-requisite – A designated second course or lab session that students must complete while enrolled in a primary course to complete the requirements for each.
Counseling – Services provided by faculty and staff to assist students with personal, academic and social concerns. The Counseling Center serves as the primary point of contact for obtaining these services.
Credit Hours – Each course is designated with a prescribed amount of academic credits that students earn toward a degree. The specific number of credits is based on the amount of time both during and out of hours a student must devote to the subject to complete the course. Each degree granted by the university requires a specific number of hours to be earned in designated subjects.
Course Numbers – Numerical and alphabetical codes assigned to classes that designate the subject being taught, the recommended year in which the student should enroll and the number of hours earned for successful completion of course requirements. Course primarily for freshman and sophomore are designated as 1000 or 2000; junior and senior courses are designated at 3000 and 4000.
Credit Points – Values assigned to a letter grade that are used in a formula to calculate a Grade Point Average (GPA). The values are: A – 4 points; B – 3 points; C – 2 points; D – 1 point; F – 0 points.
Credit Toward Graduation – Hours earned in courses that student must accrue to meet the requirements for the awarding of a degree.
CSS (Center for Student Success) – A division of University College dedicated to assisting students that are experiencing difficulty in specific courses or have a GPA below minimum standards. CSS, located on the second floor of the Hauser Building, provides workshops, tutors or other services that help students address their specific concerns.
Drop/Add a Course – Students may enroll in a course not presently on their schedule or may end their enrollment in a course currently on their schedule within the dates established by the university. This can be performed on-line but prior approval from a faculty or staff advisor is required for freshmen and strongly recommended for upper classmen.
Early Registration – The University will periodically open its on-line system to allow students to register for courses during the upcoming semester(s). Generally, early registration for Spring semester is held mid-way through Fall Semester and early registration for Summer and Fall semesters is held during Spring semester.
EFC (Expected Family Contribution) – This formula is used to determine the amount of financial resources a student’s family is expected to pay toward tuition, housing and fees. It is based on information provided on the FAFSA form and determines that amount of financial aid is awarded.
Enrollment Status – Designation of students as full- or part-time dependent upon the number of hours taken the current semester.
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) – A required form that all students must complete each year to apply for government grants and loans. The form is available in the Financial Aid office on the 2nd Floor of the Thompson Center or can be electronically submitted at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
FAT (Financial Aid Transcript) – The official record of all financial aid applications submitted to the university, all supporting materials and the awards granted.
Financial Aid – A range of grants, scholarships, work-study programs and loans that provide monetary assistance for students to start or continue their enrollment in courses at the university.
Forms – Documents that are required for students and faculty to carry out desired services such as add/drop a class, change a major, approval to take a course at a second institution and repeating a course to improve a failing grade.
Freshmen – Students generally in their first year of studies at an institution or those that have earned less than 30 credit hours at the end of the previous semester.
Full-time Students – A designation for students enrolled for more than 12 credit hours during fall or spring semester or 6 or more hours during a summer session. Some financial aid awards require students to have full-time status.
Grade Point Averages – The average of all grades earned in courses not designated as developmental, pass/fail, incomplete or repeated. It is calculated by multiplying the credit points assigned to an earned grade by the credit hours for a specific course to create the quality hours earned for the course. The total number of quality points earned during a semester or term is then divided by the number of hours taken in courses where a grade is earned (pass/fail courses are excluded) to determine the GPA. GPA is used in determining if a student is placed on probation or suspension, eligibility for scholarships, co-op or internships and designation for Dean’s List honors.
Grading System – The method used by the University to report the academic performance of students.
Graduate Studies – Academic programs designated for students that have earned an undergraduate degree. Please consult the WSSU web page to learn the graduate programs offered.
Graduating seniors – A designation for students that are certified by the Office of the Registrar to have earned the appropriate amount of hours and passed the required courses to earn their degree at the close of the current semester.
Graduation Requirements – The specific list of courses that must be passed and number of credit hours earned for a student to have a degree conferred. The requirements will vary depending on the standards established by the school or college awarding the degree.
Health Services – The department designated to provide the initial health care services to students. A.H. Ray Health Services is located near the Anderson Center.
High School Advanced Placement Credits – Courses taken during a student’s high school studies that may be eligible for credit for corresponding college level courses. Inquiries into what courses are accepted should be directed to the Office of the Registrar.
Most holds are placed on a student’s account because of outstanding fees or overdue account balances. However, holds are not always financially related, but require some action on the part of the student before it can be removed. Financial holds are paid in the Billings and Receivables Office. Students should bring the paid receipt to the Office of the Registrar to have the hold removed.
Note: Holds associated with the Financial Aid Office should be handled through that office.
Students are notified of account holds when they are denied access to their account information. They will be prompted to contact the Office of the Registrar to identify the type of hold on their account. Holds are removed from a student’s account once the infraction has been resolved.
Students are required to take their immunization record to the Student Health Center for validation. Once validated, the record should be submitted to the Office of the Registrar for placement in the student’s file. If a record is not on file, a hold will be placed on the student’s account.
Types of Holds
*Account Balance (includes parking fines, library books, or any other financial obligation not associated with Financial Aid )
*Drop (Registrar issue)
Honor Graduates – A
designation provided to students graduating with a minimum of 60 hours of graded
course work at WSSU and a GPA of at least 3.0. The specific designations
• 3.8–4.0 GPA - Summa Cum Laude
• 3.5-3.79 GPA – Magna Cum Laude
• 3.0-3.49 GPA – Cum Laude
Students graduating after completing less than 60 hours of grade course work at WSSU and earning a 3.0 or higher GPA are designated as graduating with Distinction.
Housing Information – Details available through the Residence Life & Housing Department concerning the process for students to obtain University housing or securing off-campus residences.
Independent Students for Federal Aid Purposes – A status designated for financial aid applicants that declare they are responsible for the majority of their financial support as opposed to support from parents or guardians. Please contact the Financial Aid department for details on how this status is obtained.
International Students – Citizens of foreign countries are eligible to earn a degree or continue their undergraduate or graduate studies at WSSU. The Office of International Programs provides assistance to these students during their enrollment at the university.
Internships – The Office of Career Services creates opportunities for students to gain practical work experience in areas that compliment their academic studies. Certain criteria must be met to earn eligibility to participate in an internship. Please contact the office to inquire into the process.
Junior – A designation for students that have earned at least 60 credit hours and not more 90 at the close of the previous semester.
Living On Campus – The status of students residing in housing provided by the University on the WSSU campus.
Loan Disclosure Statement – A document provided by the institution providing a student or parent loan that outlines all details on the characteristics of the loan including interest rate and repayment plans. Individuals obtaining loans are required to sign a form stating they understand the terms of the loan before the funds are provided.
Loans – Funds provided to students or parents for educational expenses with the promise to be repaid to the lending organization within a specific period of time with interest. Please consult the Financial Aid Office for the types of loans available, eligibility requirements and their interest rate and repayment plans.
Majors – The concentration of courses in which a student enrolls to earn their undergraduate or graduate degree. Students must indicate their major by the start of their junior year and are admitted into the upper division offering the major if certain academic standards are achieved.
Master Promissory Note – A legally binding document that a student or parent(s) signs prior to receiving loan funds. The note defines the terms of the loan (interest rate, payment schedule, etc.) and obligates the borrower to follow the terms of the agreement.
Meal Plan – An option available to students to determine the number of meals students can eat in Kennedy Dining Hall. The plans are established through the Residence Life Office and are charged to the students at the start of each semester.
Meals – Specific times that food is served in Kennedy Dining Hall generally divided in breakfast, lunch and dinner on weekdays and brunch and dinner on the weekends. Students have the option to select plans that allow access to the dining hall for specific number of meals each week.
Mentors – A faculty, staff or administrator providing information or support to a student to assist their academic enrichment and to answer any concerns or questions that arise.
Midterm – An examination given in each course at the mid-point of the semester to evaluate how a student is mastering the instruction being provided. Midterm grades will count toward the overall grade earned for the course.
Minor – A secondary concentration of courses that compliments the primary course of study for a student’s major. For example, a student may major in Secondary Education with a minor in Spanish that will prepare them to be a high school Spanish teacher.
Monthly Payment Plan (or Tuition Management Plan) – A series of payments that students and/or parents may arrange with the Billings and Receivables Department that allow for tuition, fees and room and board to by paid over a period of time.
Name Change – If a student has their change in their legal name from the time of first enrollment in the University are required to report the change to the Office of the Registrar.
North Carolina Constitution & Statutory Provision –
Organizational Officers – Students that are elected to leadership positions within recognized campus organizations.
PALS (Peer Advisor Leadership) – Student volunteers that provide assistance throughout the school year to new students, often through programs presented by University College, such as New Student Orientation.
Parking Fee – A monetary assessment paid to the Campus Police for the right to park on the WSSU campus.
Part-time Jobs – Employment of 20 – 25 hours per week obtained by students to earn money to contribute toward their educational and personal expenses. The Office of Career Services can provide assistance to students seeking this type of employment.
Part-time Students – The status given students that are enrolled in less than 12 hours of courses during fall and spring semester and less than 6 hours during a summer session.
Payments – Money paid to the University toward meeting the cost of tuition, fees, housing, meals or other educational expenses or fines incurred by a student.
Pell Grant – A federal program that provides financial assistance to students demonstrating a need for help in meeting basic educational expenses.
PIN (Personal Identification Number) – A numeric code provided to each student that allows access to personal information listed on the Ram On-Line website. In most cases, it is used in conjunction with the student ID number also provided by the school. The student ID and PIN are available through a student’s academic advisor or a University College advisor.
Pre-major – Status provided to a student prior to admission to a major.
Prerequisite – A course that must be completed with a passing grade before enrollment in a subsequent course. For example, students must pass ENG 1301 (Freshman Composition I) before taking ENG 1302 (Freshman Composition II) and several other courses.
Purge – The cancellation of a student’s class schedule if arrangements are not made to pay for tuition and fees by a certain deadline.
Quality Hours – Credits earned by successfully passing a course and used to calculate Grade Point Average. Courses taken on a pass/fail basis do not carry quality hours.
Quality Points – The points earned for a course as calculated by multiplying the number assigned to a grade (A = 4; B = 3; C = 2; D = 1; F = 0) by the hours assigned to the course. The cumulative number of quality points earned divided by quality hours earned determines the Grade Point Average.
Ram Cards – Student identification cards used to utilize university services such as dining, library and health services. Funds can be placed in a special account (Ram One Account) that will allow students to use their Ram Card as a debit card in obtaining campus services.
Rams On-Line – An electronic database that allows students access to information and services during their enrollment at WSSU. Through Rams On-Line, students can register for classes, add/drop a class, inquire into grades, access their transcript, see what fees are charged to their account and look at their financial aid award. To reach the system, students go to the main WSSU website, click on Rams On-Line and enter their student ID and PIN.
Readmission – An option available to students that were suspended from the university or students that have not enrolled for a period of time to continue their studies at WSSU.
Refunds – Financial aid funds provided to students that are in excess of their tuition, fees or charges. Freshmen must be enrolled for a minimum of 30 days during their first semester before a refund is provided.
Registration – The process of enrollment in classes during a semester or summer term.
Release of Academic Information – A form signed by a student to authorize the release of their transcripts by the Office of the Registrar to any parties outside of the university or parents.
Repeating a Course – The policy that allows students to repeat a course where a failing grade was earned and use the higher grade earned during the second or third attempt to be used in GPA calculation. Please note that the initial enrollment in the course remains on the transcript with a note that the grade earned in the second or third attempt is used in GPA calculation.
Residency Information – The official record of the student’s permanent address that designates status as in-state or out-of-state with responsibility for corresponding tuition and fees.
SAT Scores – The numerical designation regarding an applicant’s performance on the verbal and math sections of the Scholastic Aptitude Test. The combined score is on factor used in evaluating an applicant for admission to the university.
Schedule – All courses in which a student enrolls during a semester or summer term.
Scholarships – Financial awards provided to students from university and non-university sources that are used toward educational expenses incurred by students receiving the award. Scholarships have certain criteria a student must meet before obtaining the award and may be restricted in how they are used (i.e., tuition or books only).
School Code – A numerical designation that identifies Winston-Salem State University to organizations such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, American College Test and the Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA).
Semester Hours – The total number of hours assigned to courses in which a student is enrolled during a semester.
Senior – The designation for students that earned 90 or more hours at the end of the previous semester.
Sophomore – The designation for students that earned 30 to 59 hours at the end of the previous semester.
Stafford Loan – A federally subsidized program that allows students and parents to take out loans to meet educational expenses.
Standard Student Budget – The amount of tuition, fees and expenses a student in anticipated to incur during a semester. The budget is compared against a student’s ability to provide financial resources to meet educational expenses, and determine the level of financial aid awarded by the university.
Student Activities/Services – The university departments responsible for governing student behavior and providing programs and events that enrich student life such as intramural sports, students clubs and activities and Homecoming.
Student Aid Report – A report prepared by the U. S. Department of Education that reflects the information placed on a FAFSA application and the Expected Family Contribution number that is used to determine the eligibility for financial aid. Please be certain to list WSSU on your FAFSA (Code 002986) to create fast electronic submission of the report to the Financial Aid office.
Student Identification Number (Student ID) – A numeric code assigned to students that becomes their identity in university databases and is also used in conjunction with a PIN to enter the Rams On-Line website. This number can be used in place of a social security number so that a student’s privacy can be maintained. The student ID and PIN can be obtained from an academic advisor or a University College counselor.
Student Insurance – An option for students to purchase a service covering the loss of personal property.
Summer School – Two instructional terms held in the interval between Spring and Fall semesters that allows students to enroll in courses during a compressed number of weeks. The limited number of weeks during a summer term restricts the number of hours a student can take.
Suspension – Status of students not achieving a certain GPA after earning a designated number of course hours. Students falling below this status must sit out one semester before resuming enrollment or submit an appeal to have the suspension removed.
Transcripts – The official record of courses taken and grades earned by a students during their enrollment at the university. This information is maintained by the Office of the Registrar and can released to outside entities only by request from the student to the office.
Transfer Students – A student enrolled at another institution seeking to transfer credits earned at those institutions to Winston-Salem State to continue work toward earning a degree.
Tuition – The fees assigned to a student for enrollment in courses at the university.
University College and Academic Support Services – The department in which all new freshmen, second year and readmitted students in need of specialized assistance, transfer students and undecided students can go for assistance with all matters that contribute to their enhanced academic performance. Included in those services are: conducting new student orientation sessions, advising students during registration periods, conducting the Freshman Seminar course and other workshops and presentations. Students not falling within the prescribed categories can also visit University College staff for assistance.
University Recruitment Publication – Materials prepared by the university to provide information to potential students to encourage their enrollment at Winston-Salem State.
Validation – A process in which students confirm their enrollment in classes during a semester so that their places in a course are not cancelled during the purge process.
Verification – A process in which certain students receiving financial aid are requested to provide additional proof of their identification and certify that the information on their financial aid materials is correct. A federally mandated quality control process in which files are selected at random to check certain data elements on the FAFSA. If your file is selected for verification, the school is required to compare these data elements with the information on your tax returns to "verify" their accuracy. Your SAR will tell you if you have been selected for verification.
Veterans – A status provided to students enrolling in the university either after or during their service in the Armed Forces of the United States.
Withdrawing from the University – Students facing circumstances that will not allow their continuation of classes are requested to submit the proper forms to officially complete the process. Students not submitting the proper forms are still held responsible for their classes that may become either incomplete or failing grades that remain on their transcript. Withdrawal forms are located in the Counseling Center located on the third floor of the Thompson Center.
Work-Study Jobs – Positions designated by the Financial Aid department that allows students to earn financial assistance while working a specified number of hours each week.