This Calendar is effective September 1, 2002 - August 31, 2003
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17. Glossary

Academic misconduct — Intellectual dishonesty that includes such offences as plagiarism, cheating, and falsification of records.

Academic probation — The imposition of specific requirements, tasks, or conditions that an individual student must meet or fulfil within a stipulated time to avoid being suspended from further study at Athabasca University.

Academic year — The academic year at Athabasca University runs from September 1 until August 31 the following year.

Active student — Active students have completed an Athabasca University course within the last 12 months. The 12-month period is based on the most recent course contract date, course completion date, or date of withdrawal from an Athabasca University course. Students who complete courses at other institutions on a Letter of Permission from Athabasca University also retain their active status.

Administrative Studies — Administrative Studies comprises courses in Accounting, Administration, Applied Studies, Communications, Entrepreuneursip, Finance, Governance, Health Administration, Human Resource Management, Industrial Relations, Legal Studies, Management Science, Organizational Behaviour,Public Administration, and Taxation.

Admit — Students are admitted to the University and assigned a permanent student number effective on the date of their admission. See enrol and registration in this glossary.

Assessment — Assessment of previous post-secondary education for possible transfer credit towards an Athabasca University program.

Asynchronous communication — See Communication.

Appeal — The act or process of requesting the review of a decision by an official of the University. Students may appeal decisions on transfer credit, grades, tests, assignments, final grades, questions of process, disciplinary action, etc. All appeals must first be made to the person responsible for overseeing the initial decision.

Applicant — A person who has submitted an Undergraduate General Application Form.

Applied project — This is a major piece of work in the MBA program completed by students in two consecutive steps.

Applied Studies — Courses that apply knowledge and skills to a particular professional area such as Communication Studies, Criminal Justice, Educational Psychology, Nursing, and Women's Studies are called Applied Studies.

Area — Area refers to the University's division of its courses into groups of related subjects. Arts is divided into Humanities and Social Sciences. Science includes all Science courses. Applied Studies includes an area of Administrative Studies, and comprises a wide range of professionally oriented courses. The area designation for each course is shown in each course description following the credit value of the course.

Arts — Studies in two fundamental areas of human knowledge — Humanities and Social Sciences — are called Arts.

Audit — This refers to registration in a credit course without the intention of obtaining credit. Audit students receive the same tutorial support as credit students but do not write exams.

Bachelor's degree — A first university degree in a field such as Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Administration. Also called an undergraduate degree.

Challenge for credit — The challenge for credit option allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, and intellectual and other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

CommunicationAsynchronous communication describes communication that does not occur simultaneously, for example, computer conferences and e-mail. Synchronous communication is "live." It describes communication that occurs simultaneously, for example, in chatrooms, by teleconference, and videoconference.

Complaint — A written and signed statement as a result of which proceedings may be instituted.

Concentration — A concentration is a designated program of study within a discipline or within a multidisciplinary field of knowledge.

Contract date — Students have a designated amount of time to complete courses. The regular course contract dates of six months (three-credit course) and 12 months (six-credit course) are reduced to four and eight months for students receiving funding from their local financial aid agency. Contract dates are always the last day of a month (or the date that students finish the course, if earlier). All course work, including assignments, quizzes, and exams, must be completed before the contract date.

Contract period — The contract period is the time a student is actively registered in a course. It begins on the start date (usually the first day of a month) and runs until the contract date. The contract period can be lengthened by applying for a course extension in an individualized study course only.

Convocation — Refers to annual formal ceremonies held the second Saturday of June in Athabasca, Alberta, at which the University formally recognizes academic achievement and confers degrees and other academic awards. The University has also established a graduation in absentia on the first Saturday in December. See 5.7. Graduation and Convocation Advice.

Corequisite — A course that is required to be taken concurrently with another course.

Course completion date — The course completion date is the contract date, or, if the student completes the course earlier, the date of completion. If a student withdraws from the course, the course completion date is the date of withdrawal.

Course composite grade — The final grade for the course expressed as a percentage value. The course composite grade reflects the degree of understanding that the student has shown for the course materials. The course composite grade is often a weighted average of the marks assigned to quizzes, assignments, tests, exams, etc.

Course start date — The date a student officially starts a course. This is normally the first day of a month.

Credential — A degree, diploma, or certificate awarded on successful completion of a program. Not all admission categories lead to a credential.

Credential regulations — The regulations that specify the requirements students must meet in order to be awarded a degree or university certificate; for example, the total credits required, the minimum credits that must be completed at the senior level, and the minimum credits that must be completed at Athabasca University.

Credit — One credit is defined as the equivalent of one hour of instruction per week for a semester (roughly three and one-half months). In addition to formal instruction time, students are expected to spend time studying on their own. Athabasca University credits reflect an amount of study time equal to that spent at a conventional university in formal classroom sessions. Normally, Athabasca University courses are either three-credit (one semester) or six-credit (two semesters), which corresponds to three and six semester hours of credit at conventional universities. Some courses in the Bachelor of Nursing degree carry a practicum component and a credit weight of four.

Cross-listed course — A current Athabasca University course that is listed under two or more disciplines. The Calendar course description and the online syllabus will indicate whether a course is cross-listed.

Directed study — This usually describes a 400-level course that does not have a prescribed curriculum. In consultation with the course professor, the student chooses a specific topic and then undertakes an in-depth study of this topic. The course professor must approve all directed study courses before registration can occur.

Discipline — Refers to courses within a specific subject area; for example, English in Humanities, biology in the Sciences, or accounting in Administrative Studies.

e-Class — An electronically delivered grouped-study course. Print material, including textbooks and study guides, is augmented by online group discussions and asynchronous and synchronous learning activiites.

Electives — One or more courses from a specified list that students must choose from to fulfil their program requirements.

Electronic mail (e-mail)— Electronic mail is the most widely used service on the Internet. It allows students to communicate with other e-mail users and to send and receive messages with tutors. Students require access to a computer with an e-mail program to use this service.

Enrol — Student enrol in univerity degrees or university certificate programs. To be eligible to graduate, students follow the degree regulations that are in effect on the enrolment date. See also admit and registration in this glossary.

Evaluation — Assessment of previous post-secondary education for possible transfer credit towards an Athabasca University program.

Expulsion — Required withdrawal of a student from the University for an indefinite period of time. The student shall not be permitted to return without the written approval of the Vice-President, Academic.

Extension — The process of lengthening the time allowed for completion of an individualized-study credit course by two months is called an extension. A fee is charged for this service.

Full-time student — For taxation or Alberta Students Finance purposes, a full-time student is one who is actively registered in a minimum of two credits per month. Students must complete nine credits over four months to be considered full time.

Grade — The final grade for the course expressed as a percentage value.

Graduation in absentia — Athabasca University confers degrees twice a year. Application for Graduation forms must be received by the Office of the Registrar no later than November 1 for the December graduation in absentia. You may complete your program requiremens and submit the Application for Graduation Form at any time throughout the year. The Office of the Registrar will send you a letter confirming your elegibility to graduate.

Graduate studies — Academic studies that are taken after a student has completed an undergraduate degree (refer to Section 9 — Graduate Programs of Study).

Grouped study — Formerly referred to as paced study. Grouped study courses normally begin in September and January (although at some locations there may be spring and summer sessions) and generally last 13 weeks (three-credit course) or 26 weeks (six-credit course). Grouped study courses involve a number of students studying using the same schedule with a common instructor. The courses are dependent on a minimum number of registrations.

Home study — See Individualized study.

Guided independent study — A grouped study course where the professor or tutor acts as a facilitator. Students meet from time to time, in person or by teleconference, to work through the course package. These courses are offered within a designated term and are available to students in the Bachelor of Commerce program.

Home lab — Lab work that can be performed in the average home using supplied and household materials and equipment.

Home study — See Individualized study.

HumanitiesHumanities is an area of university studies that normally includes English, French, History, and Philosophy. All degree programs require a minimum number of Humanities courses.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) — A computer language or coding scheme that formats text (making it look like a page) on the Web and makes it possible to create links to other documents.

Inactive student — Students are considered inactive when they have not registered in an Athabasca University course within 12 months of the completion date, the contract date, or date of withdrawal of their last course. Students who complete courses at other institutions without first obtaining a Letter of Permission from Athabasca University may become inactive and forfeit their enrolment status. To become active or reinstated, a "reactivation" fee and completion of a new Undergraduate General Application Form is required.

Individualized study — Formerly referred to as home study, this is the primary distance learning method at Athabasca University. Individualized study centres around a learning system package that may include textbooks, workbooks, audio and videotapes, computing resources, project kits, study guides, and manuals. Students set their own schedule within the time allowed to complete a course. Instructional support may be provided through toll-free telephone access to tutors from anywhere in Canada and the US. See the individual course descriptions for details.

Intellectual honesty — The acknowledgement of the scholarly contributions of others. Failure to do this is academic misconduct.

Instructor-delivered courses — Grouped study courses are offered by an Athabasca University faculty member. Most course materials will be provided to the student.

ISP — Internet Service Provider; A provider of Internet service other than a public institution.

Invigilator — An individual authorized by Athabasca University to oversee the writing of an exam by an Athabasca University student.

Junior course — Junior courses (designated by a course number in the 200s) are usually introductory or survey courses and are equivalent to first-year courses at most universities.

Lab-component only courses — Students may take the laboratory component of certain science courses without taking the remaining instructional component. There are, however, strict prerequisite requirements and professor approval is required before registration can occur. Each lab-component-only course is worth one credit.

Laboratory science course — A Science designation course that contains a substantial amount of work on exercises, techniques, and equipment and sample-handling relevant to the course discipline. The lab portion of these courses is usually site-specific and supervised.

Letter of Certification — A Letter of Certification is an official confirmation of information extracted from a student's record that is not available on a transcript.

Letter of Permission — Students enrolled in an Athabasca University degree, diploma, or certificate program must request a Letter of Permission from Admissions and Evaluations Services before they register in courses for credit at another institution. Students who complete courses elsewhere, without having first obtained a Letter of Permission from Athabasca University, may not receive credit for the course. Refer to Section 5.6. Letter of Permission for more detail.

Level — In addition to having a credit weighting of three, four or six credits, each course is assigned a level: preparatory (100), junior (200), or senior (300 or 400). See also preparatory, junior, or senior in this glossary.

Major — A designated program of study within a discipline or a field of knowledge. Athabasca University has twelve majors in the Bachelor of Arts degree program: Anthropology, Canadian Studies, English, French, History, Humanities, Information Systems, Labour Studies, Political Economy, Psychology, Sociology, and Women's Studies.

Mark — Percentage values given to individual quizzes, assignments, tests, exams, etc., that reflect the degree of understanding that the student has shown for the course materials.

Master's degree — A graduate-level degree that is normally completed after a student has completed a first or undergraduate degree. See Section 9 Graduate Programs of Study.

Member of the University community — Any student admitted to the University, an academic staff or non-academic staff member, or a member of Athabasca University Governing Council.

No area of study — A course designated as ''No area of study'' cannot be used to fulfil an area of study requirement in a program. The course can, however, fulfil part of the overall degree requirements if it is appropriate to the program.

Non-academic misconduct — Offences that breach University policies or rules.

Non-credit — Non-credit courses do not fulfill any requirement towards a credential. See "Audit."

Not-to-take — Awarded when equivalent knowledge of a particular course has been indentified within a student's assessment. Athabasca University awards the credit and uses the course, if it is required, to fulfil the requirement.

Nursing transfer — This is a special program developed in cooperation with another university whereby students may complete courses through Athabasca University and use these courses to fulfil the requirements of a post-degree program.

One month — Usually deemed to be equal to 31 days.

Open admission — Admission to the University and registration in courses (except where a prerequisite is needed) is not based on prior academic achievement. Students must be 18 years of age or older except in special circumstances.

Options — Courses that, provided they fulfil the program requirements, students must take to complete their program of study.

Paced study — See Grouped study.

Paced lab — An on-site lab component that students are required to attend at scheduled times.

Part-time student — A student with less than a 60 percent course load with Athabasca University or one who completes less than two credits per month.

Plagiarism — The wilful act of presenting another person's work as one's own.

Practicum course — A course (usually in the Applied Studies area) with a substantial amount of supervised, discipline-related time in an actual work setting.

Precluded course — An Athabasca University course whose curriculum overlaps another to the extent that students would be duplicating course work if they completed both. Thus, students cannot receive credit for both the course being described and the courses listed. Precluded courses are usually the result of a course revision, course renumbering or cross-listing of courses.

Preparatory courses — Courses designated by a number in the 100s prepare students for university-level study in disciplines that require a high-school background. The Challenge for Credit Policy does not apply to preparatory courses.

Preparatory/Alternative Courses — Courses that a professor may suggest a student register in if the student is experiencing difficulties in a more senior-level course. Preparatory/alternative courses are not necessarily prerequisite courses, but they provide the student with a more solid subject-matter foundation before he or she advances to the more senior-level course.

Preregistration — Registering in a course up to six months ahead of the course start date. Preregistration guarantees students a particular start date. Preregistration is considered a registration, and if a student decides to change his or her preregistration, a processing fee must be paid.

Prerequisites — Many senior-level courses require knowledge of material covered in junior or other senior courses. Prerequisites are used to ensure that a student has the required background to successfully complete the course. All prerequisites are expressed in terms of specific Athabasca University courses. Students who have fulfilled the prerequisite by completing an equivalent course at another post-secondary institution should complete a Prerequisite Waiver Declaration so that their course registration may be processed without encountering a delay (see 6.10. Prerequisites).

Program — Any combination of courses with a set of coherent organizing principles and goals; for example, the Bachelor of Arts degree, or a concentration or major in a degree, or a university certificate.

Program director — The academic member responsible for overseeing the specific degree, certificate, or diploma program. Where a degree, certificate or diploma is not involved, the program director who has jurisdiction is determined by the course involved.

Program requirements — Programs of study require students to take specific courses or to take courses from specified areas of study or disciplines or to take courses at a specific level of study. These are program requirements and form part of the regulations for each program.

Registrar — The Registrar (or designate) of the University.

Registration — The process of selecting and undertaking specific courses at Athabasca University. See admit and enrol in this glossary.

Rejection of submitted work — Refusal of academic work that has been submitted to fulfil all or part of the course or program requirements, or assignment of a grade of zero (0) to any academic work that has been submitted to fulfil all or part of the course or program requirements, or assignment of a grade of zero (0) as a course composite grade on a particular course.

Reprimand — Written notification to a student outlining the nature of the misconduct and the implications of further misconduct. The student is permitted to continue at the University.

Residency — Specified courses or credits from Athabasca University needed to obtain a credential make up the residency requirement. Residency requirements are part of a program's regulations.

Science — Studies that normally encompass courses based on a knowledge of facts, phenomena, laws, and proximate cause are designated Science (e.g., Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geography, Geology, Mathematics, Nutrition, and Physics).

Seminar course — A specialized grouped study course offered in a specific centre where the seminar leader and students meet in a classroom, or by video or teleconference, on a regular schedule as they proceed through a course.

Semester — A period of time during which many grouped study courses are offered. Fall semester courses typically run from September through December and winter courses are usually offered from January through April. Some grouped study courses are also offered during the spring/summer semester.

Senior course — Senior courses (designated by a course number in the 300s or 400s) assume a background of university learning and usually specify a junior course as a prerequisite.

Social Science — An area of university studies that normally includes Anthropology, Economics, Geography, Labour Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Women's Studies.

Student Assessment Letter — A document issued by the Office of the Registrar that indicates courses that have been approved towards a student's degree or university certificate program and all remaining requirements. A Student Assessment Letter includes transfer credits, completed courses, courses in progress, courses being completed on Letters of Permission, and preregistered courses. The Student Assessment Letter is normally sent to students when the evaluation of their previous education is completed, when a student is notified of a final grade, or at the student's request. A Student Assessment Letter may also be obtained from the Learning Centres, but it cannot be obtained without a prior request.

Student, Full-time — See Full-time student.

Student, Part-time — See Part-time student.

Student number — A seven-digit number assigned to each student to help with identification. Students should have their student number available whenever they contact the University.

Students Finance Board — The official agency in each province that is responsible for supplying loans and bursaries to students. Loans and bursaries are dependent upon need and require a student to maintain full-time status. See Section 8.7.2. Financial Assistance: Full-time Status

Supervisor — In an academic context, a supervisor coaches and supports a student's work in a senior, project-based course, or a graduate thesis/project.

Supplemental exam — An additional exam written by a student to raise a mark on the original exam.

Thesis — In the Master of Distance Education program, a thesis or project builds upon the knowledge and skills that students have learned in their previous course work. The thesis or project is normally completed as the last element of the student's graduate program and represents the equivalent of 12 credits of course work.

Transcript — An official document prepared by the Office of the Registrar recording a student's academic performance and bearing the University seal. Transcripts must be requested in writing and will not be released to anyone without the student's permission. A fee is charged for each transcript.

Transfer credit — Credit granted for course work successfully completed at another accredited institution.

Unclassified students — Students who are not enrolled in Athabasca University degree or certificate programs.

University certificate — A credit program offered to students on completion of an approved program of study. University certificates are intended to recognize the completion of specified courses at the undergraduate level.

Visiting student — Any person taking courses for transfer of credit to another post-secondary institution is a visiting student. Visiting students are described as "unclassified students" at Athabasca University.

Withdrawal — The voluntary exit of a student from a course or the University. Course withdrawal requests must be submitted within three months after the course start date. See 6.8. Course Withdrawals.

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