Academic Glossary

Academic Elective

An optional course in a program, selected from transferable courses toward meeting the total credit requirements of the credential. See Elective.

Academic Program 

A program of study specified by Selkirk College that allows a student to earn the appropriate credits to transfer into a degree program at a provincial university or university college. 

Academic Year

The academic year starts in September. Normally students study in two consecutive semesters, ending in late April.


The process of applying to and providing the necessary documentation for Selkirk College programs. Upon completion of the application process a prospective student will be advised as to their status.

Fully qualified: meets all program admission requirements.

Partially qualified: meets some but not all program admission requirements.

Adult Basic Education

Upgrading current education to a maximum of Grade 12 academic completion.


Work-based experience combined with post-secondary technical training. Selkirk College follows the British Columbia Industry Training Authority's guidelines for apprenticeship programs.


Synonym for transferable.  See Transferable.

Associate Degree

A provincially standardized formal credential that acknowledges successful completion of a prescribed two-year university program in arts or science.


Online courses that do not require real-time communication. Asynchronous courses have no required face-to-face, synchronous online or on-campus activities.


Attending classes in a credit course without participating, completing assignments, writing examinations or receiving credit. Not all courses may be audited. Permission to audit must be given by the instructor.


Selkirk College's publication, issued annually, which outlines admission requirements, grading, academic regulations, course offerings, programs and other information pertinent to education at the college.

Career Program 

A prescribed sequence of courses leading to a certificate or diploma.


A credential issued upon successful completion of a program of study. Certificate programs normally require up to one academic year of study.

Co-operative Education (Co-op Ed)

The formal integration of (classroom) study semesters with paid work semesters in the student's career field.


A series of weekly lectures and/or labs, studios or seminars offered by Selkirk College. Each course is assigned a title, a number and a specific number of hours and/or credits.

Course Challenge 

The process of requesting credit for previous study.

Course Credit 

Normally the value assigned to a course in relation to the program graduation requirements leading to a certificate or diploma.

Credit Hours 

See Semester Hours.


An academic credential awarded by a post-secondary educational institution to a student who has successfully completed a program of study, normally of four or five years in duration.

Degree Program 

A program of study specified by a post-secondary educational institution that allows a student to earn a degree.

Developmental Education 

The term applies to the series of upgrading courses and programs available at the college, including Adult Basic Education, SOAR (Steps to Opportunities, Academics & Readiness) programs and college preparatory.


A credential issued to a student who has successfully completed a program that is normally not less than two academic years of full-time study.


A subject of study within a department or school.

Distance Education 

A means of study that utilizes web technology to support the learning process. Program and course delivery may range from fully online to web supplemented. Also referred to as distributed learning, home study and online learning.


An optional course that may be taken as part of a program of study. Some programs allow one or more electives each term. Electives are chosen by the student. Choice of electives may be limited by restrictions on transferability, subject or credit and/or availability.

English as a Second Language (EASL)

Conversational, reading and writing language skills for those who are learning English.


The teaching staff is commonly known as faculty.


Faculty assistant.

Grade Point

Numerical value given to an alphabetical letter grade used to compute an average measure of academic performance prescribed by each programs' departmental policy.

Home Study

See Distance Education.


Courses that integrate in-person and online learning experiences. Typically, 50–80% of the course learning hours are completed in online and asynchronous formats.


The curriculum is designed intentionally and thoughtfully to provide learners choice all the way through the course and/or program. 

In Person

Learners and instructors meet in real time in the same physical location. This is typically on-campus, though it may be in other location (e.g., fieldwork, clinical courses in a hospital, field trips, weekend remote classes).


A portion of time in a course devoted to exploratory, experimental or practical activities.  For example, science courses have a lab component.

Mature Applicant

An individual who is at least 19 years of age and has been out of the school system for at least one year on or before the first day of classes of the program to which application is made. A mature applicant shall normally meet the specified program or course requirements.


The course curriculum is facilitated using digital/web-based technologies. Online courses may be delivered asynchronously or synchronously.


A series of activities to acquaint students with Selkirk College facilities, programs, services and personnel.


Part of a course consisting of practical work in a relevant field.


An onsite clinical mentoring relationship with a qualified practicing health care worker.


A preliminary requirement that must be met before a student may register in a particular course.

Prior Learning Assessment

A process whereby students may receive college credit for work experience or for any type of formal educational activity for which credit or a credential was received.


Students who do not maintain adequate standards in a course or program may be placed on probation during a semester.


A specific series of required courses and electives which lead to a certificate or diploma.


The process of enrolling ("signing up") to take a specific selection of courses in any given term. Admission and registration are sometimes confused. Admission is the process of applying for and being accepted into a Selkirk College program. Once a student is admitted, registration is the next step: course selection, formal enrolment and fee payment.  A short period of time is set aside before each term for registration.

Selkirk College Region 

The area formed by school districts #8 (Kootenay Lake), #10 (Upper Lakes), #20 (Kootenay Columbia) and #51 (Boundary).


A period of study lasting about four months. Official opening and closing dates for the Fall and Winter semesters at Selkirk College are given in the college calendar.

Semester Hours 

A means of designating credit for a college course. The number of semester hours for any course is shown in the course description of the calendar for each course immediately following the course number (e.g., Physics 104-3). This does not necessarily mean that the student will be in class for three hours per week, although this may be true for some courses. Often more than three hours are required in lectures and lab/seminars.


A portion of time in a course devoted to small group projects and discussions.


Online courses with real-time interactions between instructor(s) and learners. These courses typically have regularly scheduled meetings that may involve text, video or voice communication. 


A period of time in the academic year (e.g., a semester).


An official record of all courses taken with credits and grades shown. A transcript for each college student is maintained by the Admissions and Records Office.

Transfer Credit

A process where students who have successfully completed another post-secondary institution may apply for transfer credit for courses completed there. Transfer credit may be used to provide evidence of program requirements, prerequisites for college courses, or to count as electives toward a certificate or diploma. Information regarding Selkirk College application procedures is available from the Registrar's Office. Learn more about transferability within the province of BC.


A word describing a college course that is normally accepted for credit toward a degree.

University Transfer Course 

A college course that can be used to transfer credit to fulfill a university degree program requirement. Learn more about the BC Transfer Guide.