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glossary of terms

Glossary of Terms

A-G Requirements — The A-G Requirements are a sequence of high school courses that are required by the California State University and University of California college systems to determine eligibility for admission.

Academic Performance Index (API) — A numeric ranking of a school's academic performance. The API is based on the cumulative body of results on the Stanford 9 standardized exam in relationship to the state's content standards.

Accreditation — Proof that a college or program meets educational standards established by government or professional organizations.

Articulation agreement — A special agreement between colleges that defines how students transfer from a community college to a four-year college or university.

Assessment Tools — Methods (e.g., tests and evaluations) that are used to measure the effectiveness of programs and/or student performance throughout the course of the year. These tools are used to help determine what has proven successful and/or what may need improvement.

At-risk — Term that is commonly used to refer to those individuals who face economic, cultural, social, societal, and/or educational challenges that may profoundly impact them such that they are more likely predispositioned to not complete school.

Class rank — A measure of a student's academic performance compared to all other students in the same grade at the same school.

Coaching — Guidance and/or assistance provided to an individual or group around a specific area or subject.

Collaboration — Institutions, groups and/or individuals working together toward a common goal or cause.

College-going information — Information about the college admissions and enrollment processes.

College-going population — Elementary and/or secondary school students with the academic skills and potential to start or continue down the path toward college admittance.

College Preparatory — That which prepares one for college. The term is typically used to describe the type of curriculum, instruction, classes and/or materials provided at an institution.

Core Curriculum — The body of information and material that all students are expected to learn.

Cost of attendance — College admissions cost that include the school's tuition and fees; books and supplies; room and board; personal expenses; and transportation.

Diversity — Term that typically refers to the presence of a distinctive group that is representative of a variety of people from various economic, cultural, educational, and religious backgrounds, as well as those with various mental and physical abilities.

Educational Standards — Academic requirements set by the state and/or educational institutions.

Educational Partnerships — Entities, whether they be schools or organizations, that have established a contract for collaboration.

Enrichment — Valuable and activities that are interesting and engaging, and designed to supplement learning outside of the classroom.

Equity — In an educational setting, the term is commonly used as a means to express that all students are entitled to the same level of access to quality resources and materials, as well as a quality education.

Expected Family Contribution (EFC) — The amount of money that a family is expected to contribute to their student's education. The EFC is calculated based on a formula that takes into account the student's dependency status, family size, income, assets, expenses, and number of family members enrolled in a higher education institution.

Extracurricular Activities — Pursuits outside the regular curriculum of the educational institution. These endeavors can take place in school and/or in the community. Some extracurricular activities involve sports teams, student clubs, performing arts, church leadership, volunteer opportunities, and any other positive learning experience.

First-generation student — A student who will be the first person in their immediate family to attend and/or graduate from college.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) — The form that must be completed and submitted to determine eligibility for federal financial aid. The FAFSA must be submitted every year that financial aid is needed.

Financial need — The calculated monetary need for financial aid determined by the following equation:

Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need

General Education Development (GED) — High school equivalency certificate awarded upon successful completion of a standardized test.

Grants — Money typically given to a college or university by the state and/or federal government. Eligible students receive grant awards from the colleges they attend. Grants do not have to be repaid. Grants provided through California and the U.S. government include, but are not limited to: Cal Grant A , Cal Grant B , Cal Grant C, Federal Pell Grant and Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant.

High School Exit Examination (HSEE) — A future exit test that all students must pass to earn their high school diploma. The purpose of the High School Exit Examination is to significantly improve student achievement in public high schools and to ensure that students who graduate from public high schools can demonstrate grade level competency in reading, writing and mathematics.

Interdisciplinary curriculum — A philosophy of teaching in which content is that is centered around a particular topic or theme is drawn from several subject areas.

Learning disability (LD) — A condition that interferes with a student's ability to learn.

Limited English Proficiency (LEP) — Students who have not yet achieved mastery in reading, writing, listening or speaking English but who are fluent in another language.

Loans — Money borrowed from government or private institutions to assist in the funding of educational expenses. Some common loans provided by the government include: Federal Perkins and Federal Stafford.

Majors — The area of study in which a student chooses to specialize.

Merit-based aid — Financial aid that is awarded based on a student's abilities and/or performance.

Multicultural Education — Schooling that helps students understand and relate to cultural, ethnic and/or other diversity issues.

Need-based aid — Financial assistance that is awarded based on a student's economic ability to pay for college tuition.

Post-Secondary — Term that refers to higher education institutions that continue to offer opportunities to students learning beyond high school.

Pre-College Programs — Customarily university-based programs that provide college awareness and academic outreach services to students in elementary, middle and high school. Programs vary by campus, size, duration, population served and services offered.

Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) — This standardized test serves as a practice exam for the SAT I: Reasoning Test and the SAT II: Writing Test. In a student's junior year, the exam gives students a chance to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Corporation's scholarship programs.

Pre-Requisites — Courses that must be taken before a student is eligible to take other courses.

SAT 9 — The Stanford Achievement Test (Stanford 9, SAT 9) is a standardized exam that is offered nationwide and given in grades 2-11 to measure the academic performance of California students in comparison to students in other states. The tests measure math and reading levels in students.

Scholarships — Money that is awarded to qualified students who are chosen as recipients based on certain accomplishments, characteristics, skills and/or abilities they possess. There are all types of educational scholarships available, including those set aside for disadvantaged students. Other common types of scholarship funds are given for good grades and for participating in extracurricular activities. Scholarships are very special awards to receive, and like grants, they do not have to be paid back.

SAT I Logical Reasoning Test — Three-hour, logical reasoning college entrance exam consisting of two main sections: verbal and mathematics.

SAT II Subject Test — Twenty-two one-hour subject tests consisting primarily of multiple choice questions. Many colleges require or recommend one or more of these subject tests for admission or placement.

Standardized Tests -Evaluation tools used to measure knowledge and/or performance in various academic subjects. Each standardized test is administered to students at select times throughout the school year.

STAR — Standardized Testing And Reporting (STAR). Exam that is given to students in grades 4-7 and consists of three components: Stanford Achievement Test, California Standards Tests, and Spanish Assessment of Basic Education. This compilation of tests assess student performance and knowledge in core subjects.

Tracking — Monitoring or following students for a period of time to measure progress and performance.

Work Study — On and off campus employment designed to pay for educational expenses for eligible undergraduate and graduate students. Programs are customarily offered through local school districts, private or nonprofit organizations and local, state or federal agencies.

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