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Terminologies and Definitions


Key Terms

Average class size

The number of students enrolled in a class divided by the number of classes. 

Course mode

Online: The course is taught entirely on the internet.

Hybrid: a portion of the course is taught online, with at least one face-to-face meeting.

On Campus: a class taught in person on campus.

On Campus/off site: A course taught in person, with an offsite component, such as with Nursing or Child Development.


An organizational unit usually comprised of multiple subject areas (disciplines).


Officially the Minimum Qualifications (MQ) area.  Disciplines contain multiple subjects.  For example, the subjects Biology, Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology all fall under discipline of Biological Sciences (ASCCC Disciplines List Revision 2019-20 approved by the BOG).

*Often used to refer to “Subject”; see below.


The count of all the courses taken by a student. The official enrollment is designated after census.  Courses dropped prior to census do not count toward enrollment.

Enrollment Capacity

The maximum number of student spots assigned to the class.  Class capacity (or “cap” is typically set at around 40) varies based on the subject and the scheduled room.

Fill rate

A percentage determined by dividing enrollment by class capacity.


 The count of each individual student.  Each unduplicated student enrolled beyond census is counted once in the headcount for the college. 

Institution-Set Standard

The Institution-Set Standard is the minimum level of performance set by the institution to meet educational quality and institutional effectiveness expectations.  Institution-set standards are required by the Accrediting Commission of California Community Colleges (Standard I.B.3) for several indicators (e.g. course completion, degree completion, and transfer).


  • A measure of students who enroll in consecutive terms at the college.   Typically measured fall to spring, or fall to fall.


  • Course retention is the number of students retained in a class, or earning a grade other than W.
  • The retention rate is the number of graded students minus students who receive a W (A, B, C, D, F, P, NP or SP), divided by the number of graded students.

Student Status

There are five categories:

  • New (full-time beginning students)
  • Continuing
  • Concurrently enrolled high school students
  • Transfer from another institution
  • Returning (from a break of at least two major semester terms)

Student Success (Successful Course completion)

  • The number of students who receive a passing grade of A, B, C, or P
  • The success rate is the number of students who receive an A, B, C, or P, divided by the number of graded students.

Other Key Terms

Academic Program A set of instruction that culminates in a degree or certificate.
Award A degree or certificate designating completion of an academic program, i.e. Associate (AA/AS), Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT; AAT/AST), Certificate of Achievement (CA), Skills Certificate (CS), Non Credit Certificate (NC).


For regularly scheduled 15-week credit courses in the primary term, the census date is Monday of the third week of the semester (varies by accounting method and schedule).

A count of active enrollment in credit classes during the report period prescribed by state regulations is used to generate the official reporting numbers.

Credit Enrollment Course enrollment in which students earn units.  These can be degree applicable or non degree-applicable units.
Full-Time Students taking 12 or more units (credit enrollment)
Goal (Stretch Goal) An aspirational level of performance on an indicator.

Low Textbook Cost (LCT)

Low Textbook Cost classes offer students a more economical choice of course textbooks. The textbooks required for each of those classes cost less than $50. The course must be designated as LCT in the schedule to be captured in the data.

Non-Credit enrollment Enrollment in courses for which students do not earn units (e.g. Citizenship, Workforce Preparation, Courses for Older Adults).  Students are offered access to a variety of courses at no cost to assist them in reaching their personal, academic, and professional goals.

Open Educational Resources (OER)

  • Section 67423 of California Education Code defines Open Educational Resources (OER) as "high-quality teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or
  • Have been released under an intellectual property license, such as a Creative Commons license, that permits their free use and repurposing by others, and May include other resources that are legally available and free of cost to students.
  • Associated web page
Part-Time Students taking less than 12 units (credit enrollment

The smallest grouping of an instructional area.

Sometimes used synonymously with discipline.
Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC)

ZTC classes lets you use free, online course materials, including full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, faculty-created content, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge. These materials may be online in the public domain (see Open Educational Resources (OER) below), or released under an intellectual property license (such as Creative Commons). However, ZTC classes may have required materials (calculators, lab supplies) that are not free.

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