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Where we foster excellence in education that challenges students of every background to develop their intellect, character, and abilities; to assist students in achieving their educational and career goals; and to be responsive to the greater community.

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Glossary of Common College Terms


This Glossary of Terms is intended to provide a brief description of what words, phrases, and acronyms you may not be familiar with as you navigate Imperial Valley College.


A | C  | D | E | F | G | I | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | W | Z

Application or Apply 

This is referring to the initial CCCApply application that a student must submit when applying to be a student or returning student to Imperial Valley College (IVC). This is not the same as registration.  Please see registration for more information. 

Assembly Bill (AB) 

All legislation begins as an idea or concept and comes from a variety of sources. The process begins when a Senator or Assembly Member decides to author a bill. A Legislator sends the idea for the bill to the Legislative Counsel where it is drafted into the actual bill. The draft of the bill is returned to the Legislator for introduction. If the author is a Senator, the bill is introduced in the Senate. If the author is an Assembly Member, the bill is introduced in the Assembly. To learn more about the Overview of Legislative Process, visit: 

Academic Renewal 

A one-time grade forgiveness policy allowed under California law to exclude substandard grades without repeating.  

Academic Standing 

Students who do not pass their courses or withdraw from more classes than they complete may receive unsatisfactory standing status.  This is different from Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards used for financial aid purposes. 

Advanced Placement (AP) Credit 

The advance placement exam is an exam that students can take while in High School through the College Board and receive college credit. Credit is determined by the college, school, or major at the campus that the student transfer to. Please request the transcripts be sent to IVC if you have taken any of these tests. 


This is information about coursework from one college that indicates whether a course transfers to another college, usually a four-year university, and usually determines if that coursework is equivalent to major requirements, general education requirements, or elective credit. 


A computerized student-transfer information system that can be accessed over the World Wide Web. It displays reports of how course credits earned at one California community college or university can be applied when transferred to another. ASSIST is the official repository of articulation for California’s colleges and universities and therefore provides the most accurate and up-to-date information available about student transfer in California. ASSIST is available at   

California DREAM Act Application- (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) 

The California Dream Act allows undocumented students, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients (valid or expired), U Visa holders and students under Temporary Protected Status (TPS), who qualify for a non-resident exemption under Assembly Bill 540 (AB 540), Senate Bill 2000 (SB 2000) and Senate Bill 68 (SB 68), to receive certain types of financial aid such as: private scholarships funded through public universities, state administered financial aid, university grants, community college fee waivers, and Cal Grants. 


A web-based learning management system. At IVC, Canvas is used for students to access course materials, assignment grades, and communicate with instructors. 

CARE (Cooperative Agencies Resources for Education) Program 

This program is available to EOPS students who are single parents receiving public assistance.  

California College Promise Grant (CCPG) 

A state-sponsored program which waives the $46 per unit enrollment fee for California residents who meet specific eligibility criteria. 

California Community Colleges Application (CCCApply) 

A statewide online admission application website where students can register for IVC. 

California Nonresident Tuition Exemption (known as AB540) 

Exempts certain students from paying nonresident tuition (higher than resident tuition) and/or allows them to apply and receive state aid at certain California public and private colleges. 


A count of students attending the college and being counted at a certain point in time.   

Change of Programs 

When a student requests to change their major.  The student must request this change by scheduling an appointment with a Counselor. 

Comprehensive Student Educational Plan (CSEP) 

A Comprehensive Student Educational Plan or CSEP is developed with a Counselor to create a personalized course plan (semester by semester list) of all the courses you need to complete to reach your major and/or career goals, in a timely manner. 

Concurrent Enrollment 

Attending both high school and college simultaneously. A high school student must have the approval of their high school to take courses at the college. 

Continuing Student 

A student who has registered for classes at Imperial Valley college for a consecutive semester. 


A condition of enrollment which consists of a course that a student is required to simultaneously take to enroll in another course. 

Course Program of Study (CPOS):

Refers to that requirement that only coursework that counts toward your declared program of study may counted toward enrollment status for financial aid purposes. 

Course Registration Number (CRN) 

The number associated to a specific course. 

Crashing a Class

If a class is closed (all spaces in the class are filled) and a waitlist is full or not available, you will have to "crash" the class; however, this does not guarantee admission into the class. On the first day that a class meets a student may "Crash" by emailing the instructor (if the class is online) or attending the class on the first day if it is in person.  If the instructor accepts you into the class, the instructor will provide an “ADD CODE” which will need to be entered into WebStar to register for the class.  Always, confirm that you are registered by checking your class schedule.


This is a web-based planning tool to help students and counselors monitor a student’s progress toward degree completion. A student can use this tool to check their progress. DegreeWorks is not a substitution for consultation with a counselor. 

Distant Education (DE) 

Courses that a student is taking and may not be physically present at school. These courses may be online learning and there is a separation from the instructor physically during the time of instruction and the use of various technologies may be used. 

Dropping Classes 

A term used to describe the removal of a class from a student’s schedule. 

Dual Enrollment 

A high school student who takes IVC courses offered at their high school and who is recommended by their high school for one to 15 units of work (must also have parental consent). 


Unit requirement (if general education and major prep courses do not meet the unit requirement). 

Enrollment Fees 

Fees associated with the cost for the registration of courses at IVC. 

Excused Withdrawal (EW) 

A grade symbol to indicate that a student has been excused from the courses previously taken due to extenuating circumstances.  This is not counted towards progress, GPA, or dismissal calculations.  

Extended Opportunities Programs & Services (EOPS) 

A program that helps students with resources that are disadvantaged by social, economic, educational, or linguistic barriers that meet eligibility criteria. 

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 

Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he/she/they reaches the age of 18 OR attends a school beyond the high school level.  

Financial Aid  

Money from various sources (such as the state and federal government) to help students pay for college. 

First-Generation Student 

A student whose parent(s) did not complete a baccalaureate degree or four-year degree in the United States. In the case of a student who regularly resided with and received support from only one parent, this only applies to a parent who lives in the same residence.  

First Time Student 

High school graduates or equivalent certificates such as a General Educational Development (GED) or California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE). This includes non-graduates of high school who are eighteen years of age and no longer enrolled in high school or a high school diploma or equivalent program. 

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 

The form is used to apply for financial aid for college. 

Freeze Date 

Units enrolled as of this date will be used to determine enrollment status for financial aid purposes. 

Grade Point Average (GPA)  

Grade Point Average. A system to compute grades earned in your courses. Students must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA in order to remain in good standing with the college. 

General Education Courses 

A broad variety of subjects outside a specific major, which may be required by a four-year university for admission; also known as survey courses. For IVC, the general education transfer patters are for the UC and CSU system. 

Grade Point Average (Transferable)  

A grading scale that ascribes point value to letter grades based on the number of units called grade points. A GPA is determined by the following formula: Total grade points for all coursework / total graded units attempted = GPA. Only transferable courses, which are articulated by the specific college/university, are calculated in the student’s transfer GPA as opposed to the cumulative GPA, which is reflected in Imperial Valley College transcripts. helps you prove your identity and group affiliation across multiple websites. As of February 2, 2024, Open CCC is now offering to verify your identity when applying to California Community College. This is separate from the CCCApply account and IVC account. 

Incomplete (I) 

A symbol of an “I” is assigned as a temporary letter grade when course requirements are not met by the student. An agreement is signed by both the instructor and student.  This mark will be changed to a letter grade once those requirements are met. A student has up to one year to complete. 

In-Progress (IP) 

A symbol to indicate that a student is currently in-progress of completing their course which the instructor extended due to extenuating circumstances. 

International Students 

An out of country student who will be attending IVC with an F-1 Visa. 

LTC (Low Textbook Cost)

Courses in the IVC schedule with this designation have instructional materials that total less than $50 when purchased, new, through the Bookstore or publisher website.

Lower Division   

Imperial Valley College lower division classes that transfer to a four-year college are numbered 1-99. (Always check with the transferring school for confirmation on the acceptance of classes at their four-year institution.) 


An area of academic emphasis leading to a degree, certificate, or transfer. Transfer students are expected to declare a major to transfer, as they apply to both the four-year college and a particular department at that college as upper division students. Students receiving financial aid also need an approved major. 

Major Preparation  

Completion of all lower division major requirements is recommended prior to transfer. Note: For UC or CSU major requirements, please visit This site will only list articulated majors. Please visit the Transfer Center or meet with a Counselor for unlisted majors. 

Military Withdrawal (MW) 

A mark of MW is assigned as a letter grade to indicate that a student withdrew from courses due to Military circumstances (not counted in GPA). Student receives full refund. 


A student who has not resided in the state for more than one year and one day prior to the residence determination date or those who hold certain non-immigrant visas which preclude them from establishing residency. 

Noncredit Course  

A noncredit course is designed to provide remedial, developmental, occupational, and other general education opportunities. meet the special needs and capabilities of those student populations who do not desire or need to obtain unit credit 

OER (Open Education Resources)

Teaching and learning materials, including openly-licensed textbooks, that are freely available online for everyone to use.


A required enrollment component which increases a students’ comfort and familiarity with the academic environment and programs. Orientation is offered online and is free of charge. 

Parking Fee 

A fee in which students pay for on-campus parking. 

Part-Time Student  

A student who is enrolled for less than 12 units in a semester (fall and/or spring) or less than 5 units in an intersession. 

Pass (P) 

A mark of P is assigned as a letter grade that is satisfactory to a C (not included in GPA). 


A condition of enrollment that a student is required to meet to demonstrate current readiness for enrollment in a course or educational program. 

Priority Registration 

The college provides priority registration for students who enroll for the purpose of degree or certificate attainment, transfer to a four-year college or university, or career advancement. Eligible students may fall into one of the categories as noted in Administrative Procedure (AP) 5055. 


A warning for students whose academic work or progress is unsatisfactory. Students on academic or progress probation will be required to work with a counselor to plan for improved academic performance and may have an impact on financial aid eligibility. 


The action or process of adding classes.  Once you are registered for courses, your schedule will show all your classes.  Waitlisted classes do not count towards your registration. 

Report Delayed (RD)  

The "RD" symbol may be assigned by the Office of Admissions and Records only. It is to be used when there is a delay in reporting the grade of a student due to circumstances beyond the control of the student. It is temporary. This temporary symbol shall not be used in calculating grade point averages and shall be replaced by a permanent symbol as soon as possible. 

Repeating Courses 

A term used to register for a previously taken course. 


A student who has resided within California for at least one year and one day prior to the residence determination date and has met the residency standards stipulated in Title 5 of the California Administrative Code. 

Return to Title IV Date (R2T4) 

Complete withdrawal before this date will require financial aid eligibility recalculation and funds may be owed. 

Returning Student 

A student who has previously attended Imperial Valley College but has been absent from the college for more than one semester.  

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) 

Standards that must be met in order to remain eligible for financial aid. 


A status for students attempting to petition for a degree but did not fulfill the requirements. When a student attempts to graduate and does not, a new graduation petition is needed for the next available semester in which the student fulfills all requirements.  

Student in Foster Care 

Students must have been in a court-ordered placement (ward of the court) by Social Services or the Probation Department on or after their 13th birthday (This includes out-of-county placement). Students who are current or former foster youth are eligible to receive additional financial aid support and can also enroll in supportive programs such as EOPS or SSS.  

Student Health Fee 

A fee that provides a range of health services to IVC students. 

Student I.D. Number (G#) 

The number given to a student after the submission of a CCCApply application. This number is used for all registration activities and access to college functions, and when accessing services on campus. This number starts with a G00 and is followed by six digits (G00123456). 

Student Representation Fee 

A fee for student advocacy efforts to Federal, State, and local governments. 


The official record of a student’s academic coursework. If a student has attended any other colleges, a transcript must be requested from each college previously attended so that the college has the student’s complete academic history.  

Transferable Units  

Units used for upper-division transfer status (UC – 60 UC transferable units, CSU – 60 CSU transferable units, independent/private colleges – unit requirements will vary). 


The measurement of college credit given for each course. In general, one unit of credit, or one unit, requires one hour of lecture per week for each week of the semester. For example, an English class that meets one hour, three times per week is awarded three units of credit. Courses with lab sections are calculated differently. The unit value for each course is listed in the college catalog and Schedule of Classes as part of the course description. 


A list of students waiting to register for a class that is closed. You receive an notification to your IVC student email alerting you when and if a space is open.  You have 24 hours from the time of the notification.   


A student portal in which students can access their class schedule, registration information, financial aid status, register for courses, pay fees, and obtain unofficial transcripts. 

Withdrawal (W) 

A symbol of a “W” is assigned as a letter grade when a student withdraws from a course after the deadline drop date. Dates are established each term defining when courses are eligible for withdrawal and deadlines which prohibit further withdrawal.

ZTC (Zero Textbook Cost)

Courses in the IVC schedule with this designation do not require students to purchase instructional materials like textbooks, although they may still have to pay for supplies like lab goggles or a calculator.