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Academic Terms

Common academic-related terms

Following are terms that are used often in higher education, as well as some specific to Linfield.

Academic probation: Special academic circumstances for when you have a lower GPA than what is required for your extracurricular activities, scholarships, work-study, etc.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.): A type of bachelor’s degree you can acquire – requires a world language (either two semesters of a beginning level or one semester of an intermediate level).

Bachelor of Science (B.S.): A type of bachelor’s degree you can acquire – requires two courses (at least 3 credits) of a science/math-based subject outside of your major.

College: A higher education institution that commonly does not provide a graduate program(s).

Cohort: Commonly used in our nursing programs, a group of Linfield students who start a program together.

Dean’s List: An achievement for students that earn a semester GPA of 3.65 or higher when taking 12 or more graded credits in a semester.

Exemplars: Samples of work from your Linfield Curriculum (LC; see below) courses that you upload to Blackboard to demonstrate meeting the requirements. You won’t get a diploma until these are submitted.

Experiential learning: To “learn by doing” or learn through hands-on experience. Examples include internships or the simulation labs for nursing students (see ELC).

Experiential Learning Center (ELC): Simulated patient settings where our nursing students learn, practice and refine their nursing skills.

Faculty advisor: Before your first semester at Linfield, you are assigned a faculty advisor who serves as a guide. Faculty advisors work with you to develop meaningful academic plans based on your individual goals.

Fall break: A two-day break from classes during the fall semester for McMinnville and Portland on-campus students. It’s generally scheduled mid-October.

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): Federal law that protects the privacy of education records, preventing your financial, conduct and academic records from being shared without your permission.

Grade Point Average (GPA): A scale of 0-4.0 showing how well you’re doing in classes.

Finals: final exams that happen at the end of the semester.

Interdisciplinary: the combination of two or more fields of study.

Learning Support Services (LSS): a place available for all students where you can find academic support including tutoring and coaching. LSS works with all students as they develop self-determined behaviors, learn self-advocacy skills, and create a network of support.

LCs: The Linfield Curriculum, Linfield’s version of graduation requirements, sometimes referred to as Modes of Inquiry. They include:

  • INQS: Inquiry Seminar
  • CS: Creative Studies
  • IS: Individuals, Systems, and Societies
  • NW: Natural World
  • QR: Quantitative Reasoning
  • VP: Vital Past
  • UQ: Ultimate Questions
  • UD: Upper-division – one 300-level course outside of major
  • MWI: Major Writing-Intensive – course within major with emphasis on writing

Jan Term: Short for January Term at Linfield, which is a shortened semester that takes place during the month of January. Students can take up to five credits during this time (and housing is covered). Note that students are not eligible to receive financial aid during January Term.

Midterms: Exams that happen halfway through the semester.

Multidisciplinary: The combination of more than two branches of learning.

Paracurricular: A personal skill or creative activity course.

Paracurriculum: A group of personal skill and creative activity courses the university has established.

Pedagogy: Faculty often use this term to describe different methods of teaching.

Peer mentor: Before your first semester at Linfield, you are assigned a peer mentor who serves as a guide along with your faculty advisor. A peer mentor will help you select and register for courses in your first semester.

Peer Resource Network (PRN): A peer mentoring group on our Portland campus that connects a community of past, present and future nursing students.

Provost: The top administrator overseeing Linfield's academic programs. At Linfield, the provost is also the vice president for academic affairs and oversee the deans of the college and schools.

Reading Day: The Monday of finals week that is reserved for students to study for exams. No classes are scheduled on Reading Day.

Syllabus: A document your professor hands out that has important dates, expectations, assignments, necessary materials and other important information about the courses you’re taking.

Study rooms: Private rooms you can check out in the library to study, work on group projects, etc. There are also some in residence halls like Potter that do not have to be reserved.

The Writing Center: A location in Nicholson Library on the McMinnville campus where you can go to for help editing, writing or drafting papers. The Portland campus offers writing support and individual consultations for our nursing students as well.

University: A higher education institution commonly providing a graduate program(s).