Helpful College Terms

Student Success Center
Academic Adviser

Your first adviser is your LCT 140 or LH 105 instructor. To assist with career development, you will meet with your adviser several times outside of class to understand transitions to Saint Mary’s, to move toward possible major declarations, and to encourage career thinking.

Academic Advising

Academic Calendar

The official Academic Calendar is available online, along with calendars for sports and events.

Academic Calendar

Academic Dismissal

A student may be academically dismissed from Saint Mary’s for failure to make “satisfactory academic progress.” Requirements are defined in the Student Handbook online.

Academic Dismissal Policy

Academic Probation

A warning that the student’s performance falls below the institution’s requirement for “good academic standing.”

Academic Probation

Access Services

At Saint Mary’s, the Student Success Center provides support and assistance for students with documented disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Access Services Information

Activities Fair

Every fall, all active clubs and organizations on campus gather in the Plaza to recruit members and hand out information.

Student Activities

Add/Drop Period

Occurring at the beginning of each semester, this is a time period during which the student may make schedule changes without any academic or financial consequences. The academic calendar outlines the add/drop period for each term.

Academic Calendar


Course organization platform used by most instructors.


How to get started

Cardinal Coffee

The coffee shop kiosk in Toner Center.

Class Attendance

Attending class is a key priority for your success and contributes significantly to student learning and development. All efforts should be made to attend class, including scheduling of medical appointments and family events. A number of classes build in important work time for group projects or discussions. Missing an exam or not turning in a paper may result in a zero grade or other deduction, depending on course policy, so make sure to communicate with your faculty member regarding unavoidable absences.

Class Attendance Policy

Class Officers

Elected student senators that represent their class in student government.

Student Government


The graduation ceremonies held each May. Note that Saint Mary’s does not hold a formal Commencement in December.


Common Room

A space for meetings, presentations, and special events on the third floor of Saint Mary’s Hall.


Official ceremonies celebrating major university events, including the College Convocation where the new class is officially welcomed and the academic year formally begins.

Course Catalog

Sometimes called the College Catalog, this is an important tool for understanding the college’s course offerings and academic and administrative policies and procedures. The Saint Mary’s Catalog is available online (most up-to-date) and as a PDF file.

College Catalog (online)

College Catalog

Course Withdrawal

After the Add/Drop period, students can withdraw from a semester-long course through the 12th week by submitting a withdrawal form to the Registrar’s Office.

Course Withdrawal Policy

Credit Hour

Courses are usually measured in credit hours, with the average being three or four per course. A credit hour is equivalent to about one hour of class time per week with about three hours of out-of-class study. Credit hours are awarded to a student upon passing a course. At Saint Mary’s, a typical course load is around 15 credit hours per semester, with the minimum being 12 and maximum 18 without special permission. Students at Saint Mary’s need at least 122 credit hours, 45 upper division, to graduate.


Comprised of those classes prescribed or outlined by an institution for completion of a program of study, leading to a degree or certificate.


Someone traditionally in charge of a major area of a college; for example, the Dean of Arts and Humanities, or the Dean of Students.

Dean’s List

The Dean’s List is produced each semester, and is a list of those students who have high grades or meet a certain academic standard. It is the college equivalent of an honor roll. At Saint Mary’s, a student must earn at least a 3.60 GPA for the semester.

Elective Courses

Courses which are not required to fulfill the liberal arts core or major requirements. These are courses that students “elect” to take because of personal interest.


English as a Second Language curriculum that assists students in preparing for further English-based study.

ESL Practice Sites

Faculty Dining Room

At the back of Toner Student Center Dining Hall. Used by faculty over the lunch hour, but also used for campus community presentations.

Federal Work-Study

A federally funded program in which students take campus jobs as part of their financial aid package. To participate in a work-study program, students must complete the FAFSA.

Need-Based Financial Aid


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a federal law which protects the privacy of student educational records. Although FERPA gives parents certain rights regarding their child’s educational records, it is important for parents to realize that these rights transfer to the student once they turn 18 or attend a school beyond high school.

Saint Mary’s FERPA Information

Final Exams

Final exams are given during the final week of each semester. The dates and times may be different than regular class time and are listed in the course schedule or the instructor’s syllabus.

First Generation Students

Term used to refer to students who are the first in their immediate family to attend college. Colleges understand that first generation students may have particular issues in learning about and adjusting to the world of college.

First Generation Initiative

 Fitzgerald Library (McEnery Center)

Provides excellent study space including individual quiet desks, group study areas, and meeting rooms for students, as well as outstanding research resources, including free help from the reference librarian to assist in finding research articles and other references for projects and papers. Books on reserve can be found here.


Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

An application form administered by the U.S. Department of Education and used to determine a family’s eligibility for federal student aid programs and, in some cases, institutional, state, and other private aid sources. A FAFSA must be completed and filed before each year a student attends college.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Saint Mary’s Financial Aid

Full-Time Status

Full-time students must be enrolled in 12 or more credit hours per semester, usually three to five classes. Students enrolled in 15 or more credits are more likely to graduate in four years.

General Education

Comprised of those courses which must be completed by all degree candidates regardless of major. In a liberal arts setting, the “core curriculum” is intended to provide exposure to courses in the arts, humanities, sciences, and mathematics.

General Education

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Sometimes referred to as the Cumulative Grade Point Average, the GPA is a calculation of the college student’s overall grade average on a 4-point scale with an A equal to 4.

Grading Policies

HD or Hall Director

Hall directors oversee the resident assistants and are responsible for managing the overall well-being of the residence hall. Hall directors often live in an apartment in the residence hall.


Provides assistance with computer and internet software and hardware issues. The office is in lower level of Hendrickson Center; phone: 507-457- 7800.

Information Technology

Holiday Breaks

Classes are in session the day before a break begins; every effort should be made to avoid absences during class session or final exams.

Academic Calendar


Describes the work and philosophy of the international Roman Catholic teaching order, De La Salle Christian Brothers, that sponsors Saint Mary’s University.

Lasallian Education

Lasallian Honors Program

An alternative general education program for select students which uses the Great Books seminar process to develop advanced skills in analytical reading, writing, critical thinking, and oral communications.

Lasallian Honors Program

LCT 140—Lasallian Core Traditions

Lasallian Core Traditions first-year experience course provides resources to ease the transition to college, background on the Lasallian tradition, common reading, and unique course themes.

Lasallian Core Traditions

LH 105—Lasallian Honors

The first course (Origins and Foundations) in the Lasallian Honors Program. This seminar focuses on developing critical academic skills and attitudes, as well as appreciation of the university’s Lasallian mission and the Winona community.

Lasallian Honors Program

Liberal Arts

The course of study at Saint Mary’s that includes a broad interdisciplinary selection of subject areas.

Living Learning Community (LLC)

First-year students can elect to join an LLC as part of LCT 140, which is designed to have more hands-on interactions and connections with other students. In this program, you live and study a common theme with a core peer group throughout your first year at Saint Mary’s.


A subject or career field that serves as the focus of study in a degree program.

Undergraduate Departments

McEnery Center (Fitzgerald Library)

Provides excellent study space including individual quiet desks, group study areas, and meeting rooms for students, as well as outstanding research resources, including free help from the reference librarian to assist in finding research articles and other references for projects and papers. Books on reserve can be found here.


Mid-Term Exams

During the middle of each semester, instructors may give midterm exams that test students on the material covered up to that point.


A secondary concentration in a specific subject or career field.

Undergraduate Departments


A vital part of the college experience with activities designed to help new students adjust and familiarize themselves with the college. Occurs prior to the beginning of the semester, and attendance at all activities is required.

New Student Orientation

Peer Mentor

Upper-class students who assist new students in their transition to Saint Mary’s.

Student Success Center

Pell Grant Program

The largest federal grant program. Eligibility and award amounts are determined by the college based on established federal guidelines.

Financial Aid

Perkins Loan Program

Federally insured loans funded by the federal government and awarded by the school. The loans feature a low interest rate and are repayable over an extended period.

Financial Aid

Pre-Req or Prerequisite

Pre-requisites are courses that students are required to take prior to registering for a particular course. Some courses have no prerequisites while others do.

President’s Room

A space for meetings, presentations, and special events next to the Toner Student Center lounge.

RA or Resident Assistant

Resident Assistants are trained student leaders responsible for supervising a group of resident students. They can assist with questions, social issues, roommate issues, or other problems that might arise. They also assist in enforcing college policies within the residence halls.


Pronounced “rack,” this is an indoor fitness facility with pool, weight equipment, cardio equipment, indoor track, and basketball/tennis/volleyball courts.

Recreation and Athletic Complex


College official who registers students for classes and is responsible for keeping permanent records, maintaining student files, and forwarding copies of students’ transcripts to employers and schools.



Near the end of each term, you will work with your adviser to develop a course schedule for the next term that will assist in major exploration, skill development, and life development.


Student Activities Committee is responsible for planning, organizing, and facilitating activities that are social and recreational in nature for the entire Saint Mary’s community. SAC members plan activities such as hypnotists, movies, casino night, concerts, comedians, and more.

Student Activities


This is a lecture hall in Saint Mary’s Hall (Room 332) often used for larger presentations.


Scholarships are awarded based on any number of criteria, such as academics, achievements, talents, affiliations with various groups, or career aspirations. They are grants that do not have to be repaid.



A semester is one-half of an academic year.

SSC or Student Success Center

One-stop academic shop that offers free tutoring, career services, help with study skills, disability services, and writing support. SSC can help pair you with a tutor, discuss and explore career and major options, establish accommodation for a disability, and provide writing help for students at any point in the writing process.

Student Success Center

Stafford loans

Loans, both subsidized (need-based) and unsubsidized (non-need-based), guaranteed by the federal government and available to students to fund education.

Financial Aid

Student ID

Each student is issued an identification number used in lieu of a Social Security number upon beginning classes at Saint Mary’s, along with a photo identification card. Students use the same ID from year to year.

Study Day

The day after the classes end and before finals begin, to allow students time to prepare for final exams.


The syllabus is a written contract for your course, providing course objectives, assignments, and a due date calendar. The syllabus often includes requirements, objectives, textbook information, contact information for the instructor, and a schedule of assignments and topics. Students are encouraged to read the syllabus carefully and refer to it often throughout the course.


Online learning management system that allows professors to post course materials and video of lectures, and communicate with students outside of the classroom.

Tegrity FAQ


This is a list of all the courses a student has taken with the grades that the student earned in each course. The official transcript is maintained by the Registrar.

Transcript Request


The amount of money charged for instruction. It does not include room, board, and special fees.

Tuition and Fees


A degree-seeking student at a college or university who has not yet earned a bachelor’s degree.

Upper division

Courses coded as 300 or higher. A minimum of 45 upper division credits are required for graduation, most have prerequisites, and are often taken junior or senior year.

Wellness Center

Physical and mental health services, located in Vlazny Hall on the plaza. The Wellness Center provides free nurse appointments and mental health counseling by appointment.

Wellness Center

Withdrawal from the University

Term that means you formally remove yourself from all classes for a semester. There are established procedures for doing so with possible financial costs.

Financial Information

Griffin 70
700 Terrace Heights
Winona, MN 55987

Phone: 507-457-6994

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.