Helpful College TermsStudent Success Center
Your first adviser is yourAnchor Course FYE101 and FYE101/LH110 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.
The official Academic Calendar is available online, along with calendars for sports and events.
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.
A warning that the student’s performance falls below the institution’s requirement for “good academic standing.”
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.
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.
Learning management system most instructors use to coordinate online learning to accompany in-person class work.
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.
The graduation ceremonies held each May. Note that Saint Mary’s does not hold a formal Commencement in December.
Official ceremonies celebrating major university events, including the College Convocation where the new class is officially welcomed and the academic year formally begins.
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.
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.
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.
Someone traditionally in charge of a major area of a college; for example, the Dean of the School of Education, or the Dean of the School of Business and Technology.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Comprised of 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.
Gostomski Fieldhouse aka, The RAC
Pronounced “rack,” this is an indoor fitness facility with pool, weight equipment, cardio equipment, indoor track, and basketball/tennis/volleyball courts.
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.
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.
Classes are in session the day before a break begins; every effort should be made to avoid absences during class session or final exams.
Provides assistance with computer and internet software and hardware issues. The office is in lower level of Hendrickson Center; phone: 507-457- 7800.
Describes the charism (work and philosophy) of the international Roman Catholic teaching order, Brothers of the Christian Schools, also known as De La Salle Christian Brothers, which inspires the educational philosophy of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.
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.
In a liberal arts institution, the “core curriculum” is intended to provide exposure to courses in the arts, humanities, sciences, and mathematics.
A subject or career field that serves as the focus of study in a degree program.
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.
Online learning management system that allows professors to post course materials and video of lectures, and communicate with students outside of the classroom.
Pell Grant Program
The largest federal grant program. Eligibility and award amounts are determined by the college based on established federal guidelines.
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.
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.
A senior administrative officer at the university.
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.
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.
SAP – Satisfactory Academic Progress
To remain eligible for financial aid at Saint Mary’s, an undergraduate student must maintain what is called Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP). To demonstrate Satisfactory Academic Progress, a student’s academic performance must meet two main SAP components, including a sufficient grade point average (GPA) and appropriate credit completion.
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.
Loans, both subsidized (need-based) and unsubsidized (non-need-based), guaranteed by the federal government and available to students to fund education.
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.
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.
Adjusted class times (usually shortened) to accommodate a universitywide event.
The amount of money charged for instruction. It does not include room, board, and special fees.
A degree-seeking student at a college or university who has not yet earned a bachelor’s degree.
Upper division courses
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.
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.
Withdrawal from the University
Term that means you formally remove yourself from all classes for a semester or longer. There are established procedures for doing so with possible financial costs.
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