Jeanne Hoover and Dave Dillon

Term Definition Source
Academic Major The academic discipline you commit to as an undergraduate student.
Academic Year The annual period during which a student attends school, college or university.
Accessibility In an educational setting, it refers to educational services or support offered to students, faculty, and staff with disabilities.
Accredited College Higher education institutions that have been reviewed for quality of programs by accrediting bodies. The US Department of Education will only award financial aid to students at accredited schools.
Accuplacer Test A type of test model that asks students one question at a time. Correct answers result in harder questions that have higher points and incorrect answers result in easier questions with less point values.
Active Listening “The process of attending carefully to what a speaker is saying, involving such techniques as accurately paraphrasing the speaker’s remarks.”
Active Reading A note-taking skill to help a student focus on the material and be able to refer back to notes made while reading.
Admission Refers to student acceptance into college. May also refer to acceptance into a specific academic program or to the college’s department that handles applications.
Alliteration The repetition of consonants at the beginning of two or more words immediately succeeding each other, or at short intervals.
Anorexia Nervosa An eating disorder that results in self-starvation and extreme weight loss either through restriction or through binge-purging.
Answer Keys A list of answers to test questions listed throughout the book chapters.
Anxiety Disorders Mental disorders that cause people to respond to certain objects or situations with fear and dread.
Assessment Tests Entrance exams required by the college as part of the admissions and matriculation process. Tests cover reading, writing, and math skills.
Associate’s Degree An academic degree awarded after the equivalent of approximately two years of college education, usually by community colleges.
Audit A course that a student attends, but does not receive a grade. It can be used to explore a new subject or major.
Award package The way colleges and universities deliver their news about student eligibility for financial aid or grants. The most common packages include Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, and Work Study.
Axis information Vertical and horizontal information on a graph. It also refers to the ‘X’ and ‘Y’ data.
Bachelor’s Degree A degree that typically requires 120 credits for completion. It is often referred to as a “4-year” degree.
Back Matter Similar to front matter, this is the last section of the book which may include an epilogue, appendix, glossary, bibliography, answer keys or index.
Binge Drinking Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men—in about 2 hours.
Binge Eating Disorder Recurrent binge eating, or eating large amounts of food in a short time, but without the purging associated with bulimia nervosa.
Birth Control A technique or procedure used to prevent pregnancy. May also be known as contraception.
Borrower A person or group that obtains funds from a lender for a particular period of time. A borrower signs a “promissory note” as evidence of indebtedness.
Bulimia Nervosa An eating disorder that results in eating large amounts of food at least two times a week and vomiting or exercising compulsively.
Campus-Based Financial Aid Programs The three major aid programs are funded by the federal government, but the disposition of the funds is handled by colleges’ financial aid offices. The aid programs are: the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, the Federal Perkins Loan, and Federal Work-Study (FWS).
Career An occupation (or series of jobs) that you undertake for a significant period of time in your life
Career Counselor A counselor who focuses on helping others identify career paths that suits their experience, education, and interest.
Career Development “The lifelong process of managing learning, work, leisure, and transitions in order to move toward a personally determined and evolving preferred future.”
Certificate Specialized training in a specific field that requires fewer credits than degrees. It can be acquired in addition to a degree.
Chlamydia Chlamydia is a common, treatable STD that can infect both men and women. It can cause serious, permanent damage to a woman’s reproductive system.
Civic Engagement An individual’s involvement in protecting and promoting a diverse and democratic society.
Close Reading “The careful, sustained interpretation of a brief passage of a text. A close reading emphasizes the single and the particular over the general, affected by close attention to individual words, the syntax, and the order in which the sentences unfold ideas, as the reader scans the line of text.”
Co-requisite Courses that are required to be taken at the same time.
Cognitive Development Construction of one’s thought process.
College and Career Readiness A point when a student has gained the necessary knowledge, skills, and professional behaviors to achieve a college degree or certificate, career training, or obtain a professional job.
College Catalog An online or print catalog that contains information on degree programs and school rules at the college
College Level Course The different course number designations as a whole. For example, 100-level or 1000-level courses.
College Readiness Students who are prepared for the workload and demands of college. Readiness may be determined by standardized test scores, soft skills and completion of high school.
College Schedule A student’s schedule of classes per term that includes days, times, locations, and modality (in person, hybrid, or online)
Compass Test A series of exams that based on reading, writing, math, and English as a Second Language. Colleges dictate which tests to complete. This style of exam is being phased out.
Contrast A reading strategy where the word is clarified by presenting a word or phrase opposite of its meaning.
Cost of education This includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses. A student’s financial aid eligibility is the difference between the cost of education and the Expected Family Contribution as computed by the federal government using the FAFSA.
Course Number The number assigned to courses to identify the specific course and level of course.
Cover Letter A letter or written communication that serves to introduce an accompanying document; especially, a letter that introduces a résumé or curriculum vitae.
Creative Thinking A set of skills used to find new solutions to problems. Brainstorming is an example of a creative thinking activity.
Credit Hour/Unit The unit of measurement for college credit. It often relates to the number of course hours and it contributes to total credit hours required by a degree program.
Critical Thinking A set of skills used to analyze a situation and evaluate the accuracy of the information.
Date Rape Drugs Drugs that cause confusion or weakness to that you are unable to refuse sex or defend yourself. They often have no color, smell, or taste.
Deep Processing Part of a reading comprehension theory developed by Fergus I. M. Craik and Robert S. Lockhart that involves semantic processing, which happens when we encode the meaning of a word and relate it to similar words.
Deep Sleep Part of the sleep cycle that gives you the “deepest and most restorative sleep.”
Deep-level Diversity Differences that are less visible, like personality, attitude, beliefs, and values.
Default A failure to meet a financial obligation, especially a failure to make a payment on a loan. Defaults are recorded on permanent credit records and may result in prosecution and/or loss of future borrowing possibilities.
Degree “A stage of proficiency or qualification in a course of study, now especially an award bestowed by a university or, in some countries, a college, as a certification of academic achievement.”
Dependent Student A student claimed as a dependent member of a household for federal income tax purposes.
Diversity People with different opinions, backgrounds (degrees and social experience), religious beliefs, political beliefs, sexual orientations, heritage, and life experience.
Elective A course that provides credit hours towards a degree. It is not part of a core degree program, but it may be related to a major.
Emergency Contraceptive Pill (ECP) Medicine that contains a high dose of hormones that may prevent a pregnancy from occurring. Also called a “morning-after pill”
Enrollment The number of students attending a university or college. May also refer to class sections and degree programs.
Expected Family Contribution (EFC) The amount of financial support a family is expected to contribute toward a child’s college education. This amount is part of the formula used by the federal government to determine financial aid eligibility using the FAFSA form.
External Distraction A distraction caused by others.
External Loci of Control The belief that a person is controlled by outside forces.
Extrinsic Passion Drive to action that (as opposed to intrinsic motivation) springs from outside influences instead of from one’s own feelings.
FAFSA Refers to an application form used to apply for federal financial aid for education expenses.
Federal Direct Loan A group of federal loan programs for which the lender is the federal government. Included in these programs are government-subsidized loans for students and unsubsidized loans for both students and parents.
Federal Pell Grant Program This is a federally sponsored and administered program that provides grants based on need to undergraduate students.
Federal Perkins Loan Program A federally run program based on need and administered by a college’s financial aid office. This program offers low-interest loans for undergraduate study. Repayment does not begin until a student graduates.
Federal PLUS Loan A nonsubsidized loan program for parents of undergraduate students under the Federal Education Loan Program umbrella
Federal Work Study “A student aid program that provides part-time employment at a university or college to assist with education expenses.”
Financial Aid Grants, loans, or scholarships given to a student to pay for tuition. Aid may or may not need to be repaid.
Financial Aid Award Letter Written notification to an applicant from a college that details how much and which types of financial aid are being offered if the applicant enrolls.
Financial Aid Package The total amount of financial aid a student receives for a year of study.
First-generation Students Students whose parents have not completed a college degree program or have not completed any higher education coursework.
First-Year Experience Students in their first year of college
For-profit Institutions Educational institutions that are private, profit-seeking businesses.
Foundational Issues Issues that can hinder a successful approach to overcoming non-productive actions and habits.
Front Matter The first pages of a book that includes bibliographic information like title, author, publication date. It may also include the table of contents, dedication, or introduction.
Full-time status Credit load averages 12-18 credits per term
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) A type of brain scan that can be used to observe comprehension levels and to determine the specific neural pathways of activation across two conditions, narrative-level comprehension and sentence-level comprehension.
Functional Résumé A resume that lists overall skills and abilities before work history.
Gap The difference between the amount of a financial aid package and the cost of attending a college or university. The student and his/her family are expected to fill the gap.
General Education/Gen Ed In some degree programs, students are required to take a certain amount of courses in specific areas like science, humanities, and social sciences, in order to graduate. Courses that count towards this requirement are marked as General Education courses.
Genital Herpes An incurable STD caused by two types of viruses. The viruses are called herpes simplex type 1 and herpes simplex type 2. It usually appears as one or more blisters on or around the genitals, rectum, or mouth.
Genre A kind; a stylistic category or sort, especially of literature or other artworks.
GHB A date rape drug that comes as a pill, liquid, or powder. It may have a slight salty taste.
Gift Aid Grant and scholarship money given as financial aid that does not have to be repaid.
Glossary of Terms “A set of definitions of words of importance to the work.”
Grade Options The grading system used at an institution that usually includes letter grades, pass/fail options and more.
Grant Funds given to a student that can be used for education or other expenses. These funds may or may not be required to be repaid.
Group Interview An interview where a hiring manager interviews a group of applicants at the same time.
Haiku A three-line poem in any language, with five syllables in the first and last lines and seven syllables in the second, usually with an emphasis on the season or a naturalistic theme.
Half-Assed Poorly or incompetently done
Half-time Status Credit load averages 6-8 credits per term
Hard Skills Concrete or objective abilities that you learn and are easily quantifiable, like using a computer or speaking a foreign language.
Heading The title or topic of a document, article, chapter, or of a section thereof.
Heavy Drinking Heavy drinking is defined as drinking 5 or more drinks on the same occasion on each of 5 or more days in the past 30 days.
HIV/AIDS An incurable STD. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It kills or damages the body’s immune system cells. AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is the most advanced stage of infection with HIV.
Homonym A word that both sounds and is spelled the same as another word but has a different meaning.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) The most common STD that includes different types. Some types may cause genital warts or cancer.
Hybrid Courses College classes that are taught in-person and in the online environment
Hybrid Résumé A resume that combines features from a reverse chronological résumé and a functional resume.
Idiom An expression peculiar to or characteristic of a particular language, especially when the meaning is illogical or separate from the meaning of its component words.
Incidental Morpheme Analysis A method of learning vocabulary by using morphemes.
Index/Index of Subjects An alphabetical listing of items and their location
A list of terms or subjects used in the text and their corresponding page numbers.

Inference A definition of a word that can be found in surrounding sentences or implied by the general meaning of the selection.
Interdependence The mutual reliance, or mutual dependence, between two or more people or groups.
Internal Distraction A self-distraction that includes thought processes, self-esteem, or confidence and may include self-controlled items like cell phones.
Internal Loci of Control The belief that a person is in control of situations and outcomes.
Intrauterine Device (IUD) A small, often T-shaped birth control device that is inserted into a woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy
Intrinsic Passion Stimulation that drives an individual to adopt or change a behavior for his or her own internal satisfaction or fulfillment. Intrinsic motivation is usually self-applied and springs from a direct relationship between the individual and the situation.
Introduction “A beginning section which states the proposed and goals of the following writing.”
Job Refers to the work a person performs for a living.
Job Headhunters A professional who is hired by companies to identify candidates for a job opening. This is often used for higher level jobs like executive positions.
Ketamine A date rape drug that comes as a liquid or a white powder.
Learning Community A group of people who share common academic goals and attitudes, who meet semi-regularly to collaborate on classwork. Such communities have become the template for a cohort-based, interdisciplinary approach to higher education.
Lender One who provides money on the condition that the money be returned, usually with an interest charge.
Lifelong Learner “An ongoing pursuit of knowledge for personal or professional reasons.’
Long-Term Memory One of three stages of memory proposed by Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin. It “is the continuous storage of information.”
Long-term Rewards Rewards that take a long period of time
Lower Division Course Courses geared towards students who are completing their freshman or sophomore year at a college or university. Courses are typically introductory.
Lunch Interview An interview conducted over lunch.
Major The main area of study of a student working toward a degree at a college or university.
Mental Illness Mental disorders or health conditions characterized by changes in mood or behavior.
Merit awards, merit-based scholarships More “free” money, these awards are based on excellence in academics, leadership, volunteerism, athletic ability, and other areas determined by the granting organization, which can be a college or university, an organization, or an individual. They are not based on financial need.
Metacognitive Pertains to metacognition, or the act of thinking about thinking
Metaphor The use of a word or phrase to refer to something that it is not, invoking a direct similarity between the word or phrase used and the thing described (but in the case of English without the words like or as, which would imply a simile
Mind Maps A strategy of organizing information that involves adding a central idea to the center of the paper and adding branches of supporting ideas.
Mission Statement A formal declartion of the overall goal or purpose of an organization
Morpheme The smallest linguistic unit within a word that can carry a meaning, such as “un-“, “break”, and “-able” in the word “unbreakable”.
Morpheme Analysis A vocabulary strategy on using prefixes, suffixes, and roots, or morphemes, within words, to learn their meaning.
Multiculturalism The characteristics of a society, city etc. which has many different ethnic or national cultures mingling freely; political or social policies which support or encourage such coexistence
Networking The process of meeting new people in a business or social context.
Non-accredited College Higher education institutions that do not meet requirements to be accredited. Financial aid from the US Department of Education may not be used at these colleges.
Non-Credit/Continuing Education Educational training, workshops, or courses that are completed, but may not provide credit towards a degree. May also refer to coursework completed to maintain a professional license.
Non-profit Institutions Educational institutions that are non-profit
Non-traditional Students Students over the age of 24 who have responsibilities outside of the college such as being a single parent or veteran
Non-transferable Credits Credits for college coursework that cannot be transferred between academic institutions
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder A form of anxiety characterized by an obsessive compulsion to repeatedly perform trivial or meaningless actions.
One-on-One Interview An individual interview between an applicant and a hiring manager.
Opportunity Cost A choice based on the economic principle that there are limited resources available such as time or money
The cost of an opportunity forgone (and the loss of the benefits that could be received from that opportunity); the most valuable forgone alternative.

Panel Interview An interview between an applicant and a group of employees that will make the hiring decision.
Panic Disorder An anxiety disorder that causes panic attacks.
PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) A strategy to carry out change that involves for steps: plan, do, check, and act.
Perfectionism The need to complete something perfectly.
Phobia A form of anxiety characterized by an obsessive compulsion to repeatedly perform trivial or meaningless actions.
Phone Interview An interview that takes place over the phone.
Phonology The study of the way sounds function in languages, including phonemes, syllable structure, stress, accent, intonation, and which sounds are distinctive units within a language.
PIN Personal identification number
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Any condition that develops following some stressful situation or event; such as sleep disturbance, recurrent dreams, withdrawal or lack of concentration.
Pragmatics The study of the use of language in a social context.
Pre-College Level Course Courses that are completed prior to college.
Preface A short section that covers how the book was developed or conceived. This section may not be included in all books.
Prefix A morpheme added to the beginning of a word to modify its meaning, for example as, pre- in prefix, con- in conjure, re- in reheat.
Prerequisite In education, a course or topic that must be completed before another course or topic can be started.
Probation Students who are not in good academic standing may be placed on probation which will require them to fulfill certain requirements, like a minimum GPA, to stay enrolled at the university.
Procrastination The act of putting something off.
Qualifiers A word that is absolute such as all, never, sometimes, some or often.
Rapid Eye Movement (REM) Part of the sleep cycle where your eyes move back and forth quickly and you may dream. This stage is short when you start sleeping and gets longer as the night progresses.
Reading Apprenticeship A reading comprehension method where expert readers assist learners by modeling their approach to reading.
Reading Comprehension The level of understanding of a text/message that is dependent upon four language skills: phonology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics.
Reciprocal Teaching A teaching method that requires students to predict, summarize, clarify, and ask requests for sections of a text.
Registration To enroll or sign up for a college class or classes
Résumé A summary of an individual’s educational and employment history. It may also include professional certifications or skills. It may be in chronological order.
Reverse Chronological Résumé A resume that focuses on employment history and lists the most recent or current position first.
Rohypnol A common date rape drug that comes as a pill, but dissolves in liquids.
Roots A word from which another word or words are derived.
Safety Consciousness Describes your awareness of hazards and your alertness to potential danger.
Saturated fat A fat or oil, from either animal or vegetable sources, containing a high proportion of saturated fatty acids; a diet high in saturated rather than unsaturated fats is thought to contribute to higher levels of cholesterol in the blood.
Scholarship Funds given to a student that is based on academic, sport, or other achievements. These funds may not be required to be repaid.
Scientific Acumen Wisdom or quickness related to science.
Self-Efficacy One’s sense of being able to achieve goals.
Self-Regulation The regulation (by a person or an organization) of their own behavior without external control or monitoring.
Semantics The individual meanings of words, as opposed to the overall meaning of a passage.
Sensory Memory One of three stages of memory proposed by Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin. It is the “storage of brief sensory events, such as sights, sounds, and tastes.”
Serial Interview An intensive and lengthy interview process where the applicant has a series of interviews with different representatives in a company.
Sexual Assault Any type of sexual activity that a person doesn’t agree to.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases Diseases that are passed from one person to another through sexual contact.
Shallow Processing Part of a reading comprehension theory developed by Fergus I. M. Craik and Robert S. Lockhart that involves structural and phonemic recognition, the processing of sentence and word structure and their associated sounds.
Short-Term Memory One of three stages of memory proposed by Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin. It “is a temporary storage system that processes incoming sensory memory.”
Short-term Rewards Rewards that can be available in a short amount of time
Side Bars Boxes found in textbooks that provide related information.
Simile A figure of speech in which one thing is compared to another, in the case of English generally using like or as.
Sleep-Deprivation The condition of being kept awake and not getting enough sleep (perhaps forcibly by someone else, or by a sleep disorder), to the point of noticeably lower alertness.
SMART Goals Goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This may apply to personal or institutional goals.
Social Cognitive Theory “Social cognitive theory is a learning theory based on the idea that people learn by observing others. These learned behaviors can be central to one’s personality.”
Soft Skills A personal skill that is usually interpersonal, non-specialized, and difficult to quantify, such as leadership or responsibility.
Stafford Loan A type of federal loan that can be used to pay for educational expenses. These funds will need to be repaid.
Strategic Plan An organization’s process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy
Student Aid Report (SAR) Report of the government’s review of a student’s FAFSA. The SAR is sent to the student and released electronically to the schools that the student listed. The SAR does not supply a real money figure for aid but indicates whether the student is eligible.
Student Conduct Code A collection of university policies that apply to appropriate student conduct and behavior. Consequences of not complying with the code may include suspension or explusion from the university.
Student Number A identification number that is unique to each student.
Study Abroad A program of study which is located in a different country than one’s home or resident country.
Subsidized Loan “A loan based on financial need for which the federal government generally pays the interest that accrues while the borrower is in an in-school, grace, or deferment status, and during certain periods of repayment under certain income-driven repayment plans.”
Suffix A morpheme added at the end of a word to modify the word’s meaning.
Surface-level Diversity Differences you can generally observe in others, like ethnicity, race, gender, age, culture, language, or disability.
Syllabus A contract between the instructor and student and a source of information for faculty contact information, textbook information, classroom behavior expectations, attendance policy and course objectives.
Syntax A set of rules that govern how words are combined to form phrases and sentences.
Syphilis An STD that can cause long-term complications if not treated correctly. Symptoms in adults are divided into stages. These stages are primary, secondary, latent, and late syphilis.
Table of Contents A list of chapters and subchapters with their corresponding page numbers.
Teamwork Skills The ability to work collaboratively, effectively, and efficiently with a team.
Term A portion of the academic year such as fall, spring, or summer. It is also known as a semester and college classes usually last one term or semester.
Transcript A list of courses completed and grades earned.
Transferable Credits Credits for college coursework that can be transferred between academic institutions.
Transferable Skills A different way of describing soft skills.
Tuition Amount of money charged to students for instructional services such as college courses. Tuition may be charged per term, per course, or per credit.
Unsubsidized Loan A loan for which the borrower is fully responsible for paying the interest regardless of the loan status. Interest on unsubsidized loans accrues from the date of disbursement and continues throughout the life of the loan.
Upper Division Course Courses geared towards students who are completing their junior or senior year at a college or university. Courses may require prerequisites.
Vocational Training Education that prepares people to work in various jobs, such as a trade, a craft, or as a technician.
Web Conference Interview An interview that takes place online using web conferencing software.
Work An occupation or position. It may also by effort expended on a particular task.
World View How a person views the world around them and their place in it.


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Blueprint for Success in College and Career Copyright © 2019 by Jeanne Hoover and Dave Dillon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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