Below we define some of the academic terms used in our catalog. If you need further explanation or clarification, ask your instructors, adviser, or the Educational Planning Center.

A.A. Degree

Associate in Arts degree. A transfer degree requiring at least 45 hours of liberal arts courses with a foreign language requirement. Students in the Liberal Arts and Sciences, Humanities-Social Sciences program have an option of enrolling in the A.A. or the A.S. degree program.

A.A.S. Degree

Associate in Applied Science degree. A career degree preparing students for employment upon completion of their CCC program. Requirements include at least 20 hours of liberal arts courses while the remaining courses provide the training needed for the student’s chosen career field. Although not designed for transfer, many four-year colleges do accept CCC graduates with A.A.S. degrees.

A.O.S. Degree

Associate in Occupational Studies degree. A career degree in which all the courses relate directly to preparing students for specific careers. It differs from the A.A.S. degree program in that it does not require any liberal arts courses. 

A.S. Degree

Associate in Science degree. A transfer degree requiring at least 30 credit hours of liberal arts courses, not necessarily including a foreign language. The remainder of the courses selected are based on the student’s intended transfer major.

Articulation Agreements

Formal agreements between CCC and bachelor degree-granting colleges describing conditions for transfer such as GPA and program or course requirements.

Associate Degrees

Degrees which require a minimum of 60 credit hours (excluding physical education and certain writing modules) and may be completed in two years of full-time study.

Baccalaureate Degrees

Degrees which are completed in approximately four years of full-time study, generally about 120 to 128 credit hours. They require two years of study at a transfer college after graduating from CCC.

Career Pathways of the Southern Tier Region

Articulated sequences in a "4+2" program linking high schools and college.

Career Program

Programs designed to prepare you for a career at the end of two years. They generally lead to A.A.S. (Associate in Applied Science) or A.O.S. (Associate in Occupational Studies) degrees and immediate employment.


Programs requiring approximately 30 hours of course work in a specific career area. Students do not earn an associate degree, but most courses can be applied toward a degree if a student wishes to take additional courses later.


A course that must be taken at the same time as another course. Course descriptions will identify any co-requisites.

Credit Hour

Courses are assigned 1/2 or more credit hours or equivalent credit hours. A three-credit hour course would meet approximately three hours per week during the 16-week semester. Laboratory and studio courses require additional time. Equivalent credit hours are awarded in courses which are not applicable to an associate degree.


All courses offered. Also refers to program and the full scope of courses needed to complete it.

Equivalent Credit Hours

When the content of a course is developmental and not considered college level, equivalent credit hours are earned and are not counted toward degree requirements. Registration in these courses does not count toward full-time status for financial aid purposes unless enrollment is a result of placement tests.

Free Elective

Almost any course. Exceptions include physical education activities, equivalent credit courses, and courses designated for a particular program only.

Full-Time Student

Anyone enrolled for 12 or more load hours in a semester. A typical course load would be 15 credit hours per semester or approximately five courses.

Good Standing

Students who meet the minimum requirements of the Student Progress Policy are considered to be students in good standing.

GPA (Grade Point Average)

Grade Point Average (GPA)

For each credit hour, points are assigned based on the grade received. This average is calculated by dividing the total grade points earned by the number of credit hours taken. For repeated courses, the most recent grade is used in the calculation. For students granted Fresh Start status, only grades earned upon return to CCC will be calculated in the GPA. Developmental courses and transfer credits are not calculated in the GPA.

Program Grade Point Average (PGPA)

Each graduating student must earn a minimum 2.0 PGPA. The PGPA will be determined by calculating the grade point average of the courses used to fulfill the program requirements as outlined in the College catalog and based on only those courses used to meet program and degree requirements, including program electives and free electives. For repeated courses, the highest grade will be used in the calculation. Transfer credits are not calculated in the PGPA.

Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)

The CGPA is used to determine financial aid eligibility. The CGPA is determined by calculating the grades of all credit-bearing courses that a student has taken, including all grades for repeated courses. Transfer credits are not calculated into the CGPA. See the section entitled Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) in the Financial Aid portion of the College catalog.


Art; Music; Foreign Languages; Philosophy; most 2000-level English; Media Communications; Speech; or Theatre; and courses with the prefix HUMA.

Laboratory Science

Any science course which has a laboratory experience along with lectures. Examples include Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, and Physics.

Liberal Arts Elective

Any course from the areas of Communication, Humanities, Sciences, Mathematics, and Social Sciences.


The total number of credit and equivalent credit courses for which a student has registered. Example: A registration of 9 credit hours and 4 equivalent credit hours equals a load of 13 hours. 


This is a process that involves application to the College, admission to a specific academic program and enrollment in courses. An advantage of matriculation is that you officially come under the set of regulations described in the catalog in effect at the date of your matriculation. You must be matriculated to receive financial aid.


A short .5 or one credit course; sometimes independent studies outside a regular classroom setting.

Occupational Degree

A.A.S. and A.O.S. degrees are generally considered occupational degrees. Students in these programs are preparing for a career or job upon graduation from CCC. 

Part-Time Student

Anyone who is enrolled for fewer than 12 load hours in a semester.


A requirement that must be met before you take a course. Each course description indicates whether or not there is a prerequisite.


Students who have met the minimum requirements of the Student Progress Policy but have a CGPA below 2.0 are placed on probation. Students on probation are in good standing, but the number of credit hours for which they can register is limited.


In addition to lectures and laboratories, some courses require a recitation, which is an individual or small group meeting with an instructor.


Students who do not meet minimum academic requirements under the Student Progress Policy are prohibited from taking a full-time load. Separated students can take no more than seven credit hours.

Social Sciences

Anthropology, Economics, Geography, Government, History, Psychology, or Sociology.


All of the units of the State University of New York, including CCC.


A statement of the requirements in a course and the course material to be covered. Each professor should give you a syllabus in the first week of class.

Transfer Program

Programs which are generally designed for students who want to continue their studies at a four-year college. Programs which lead to the A.A. (Associate in Arts) and the A.S. (Associate in Science) degrees transfer easily.


An exemption from a requirement. Course waiver request forms are available from faculty advisors and Advising & Counseling Services.

Writing Designations

To uphold its commitment to the continuing development of students' skills in written communication, CCC has designated courses as Writing-Process or Writing-in-Content Area if those courses meet the following criteria:


  • At least 60% of the final grade must be determined from structured writing assignments: essays, research projects, technical and laboratory reports, etc. The assignments are designed to develop, reflect, and reinforce writing expertise appropriate to college-level learning and thinking required in a particular discipline.
  • Structured writing assignments must total at least 3,000 words throughout the semester.
  • All structured assignments are read and evaluated by the classroom instructor. Assignments are graded not solely on content, but also on aspects of writing skills: focus, structure, development, standard written English, etc.
  • The assignments emphasize writing process, including planning, shaping, drafting, revising, proofreading, and editing. A specific revision policy for enhancing and honing student writing skills is provided.
  • Classroom time is devoted to topics directly related to writing in the discipline.

Writing-in-Content Areas

  • 30 to 100% of the final grade must be determined from structured writing assignments: essays, essay examinations, technical and laboratory reports, observation reports, journals, concept illustrations (tie-ins), etc. The assignments are designed to evaluate, apply, reflect, and reinforce course concepts; the writing should be appropriate to college-level learning and thinking required in a particular discipline.
  • Structured writing assignments must total at least 1,500 words throughout the semester.
  • All structured assignments are read and evaluated by the classroom instructor. Assignments are graded mostly on content, coherence, and standard written English.