Academic and Career Pathway (ACP)

A grouping of areas of study that lead to related transfer and career opportunities. 

Academic Map

A suggested sequence of courses for obtaining a certificate or degree or for preparing to transfer in a major/program.

Academic Renewal

A process through which students can petition to exclude low grades from their MiraCosta College grade point average. The grades must be from classes completed at least two years prior; a maximum of 15 units may be excluded. Petition forms are available at the Admissions and Records Office. (See Academic Renewal in Academic Standards & Policies.)


Recommended preparation that a student is advised, but not required, to meet before or in conjunction with enrollment in a course or educational program. Students have the right to take a course without meeting the advisory and are encouraged to do so if they feel that their education, work experience, or other circumstances have prepared them.

Application for Admission

This form must be completed before a new student is allowed to enroll in classes. Returning students who have missed one semester (excluding summer intersession) must submit a new application. The application form is available from the Admissions & Records Office and website.

Area of Study

An academic discipline.

Articulation Agreements

A list of courses offered at MiraCosta College that are acceptable at transfer universities as equivalent in content (or as acceptable substitutes) to those courses offered by the universities.


Testing to meet course prerequisites and/or to determine proper placement in courses.


The official Internet site that contains all articulation agreements between California community colleges and University of California and California State University campuses. (See

AA, AS, AA-T, AS-T—Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Associate in Arts for Transfer, Associate in Science for Transfer Degree

Associate degrees received upon completion of lower-division course work totaling not fewer than 60 semester units in the major, general education, and electives. (See Associate Degrees.) 

BA, BS—Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science Degree

Bachelor's degrees received upon completion of course work totaling a minimum of 120 semester units. These units include lower- and upper-division major and general education courses as well as electives.

Board of Governors Waiver (BOGW)

A program by which enrollment fees are waived for eligible students. The BOGW application form is available from the Financial Aid Office and website. It must be submitted to the Financial Aid Office prior to enrollment to waive fees or before the last day to drop classes to obtain a refund of enrollment fees paid. A new application is required each academic year.


A publication that describes the college's academic programs, courses, student services, requirements, policies, and procedures. 

Catalog Rights

Rights that protect students from being held responsible for changes made to their academic programs in the years that follow their initial enrollment. These rights are established when a student first takes classes at MiraCosta College and are maintained through continual enrollment at the college.


Awarded upon completion of course work leading to proficiency or achievement, usually in a vocation or occupation.

Class Schedule

A booklet listing classes to be offered during a specific semester (fall, spring, summer). The schedule also contains an online enrollment schedule, testing dates and times, and general information of interest to new and continuing students.

Committee on Exceptions

A process through which students can petition to deviate from the college's policies and procedures. Petition forms are available in the Admissions and Records Offices.

Community Services Classes

Classes or workshops that are fee-based, noncredit enrichment courses. Neither credit nor grades are given, and no records are kept. (See Community Services & Business Development.)

Concurrent Enrollment Permit

A high school student must obtain signatures from his or her high school counselor, principal, and a parent on a Concurrent Enrollment Permit form in order to attend MiraCosta College. Students must be enrolled as a sophomore, junior, or senior at their high school. The form is available from the Admissions & Records Office and website.

Continual Enrollment

To be considered continually enrolled, a student must receive a letter grade (including "W") for each semester from the semester of initial enrollment to the semester when all degree and/or certificate requirements are completed. A one-semester leave does not negate a student's continuing status.

Continuing Education (Tuition-Free Noncredit)

Tuition-free courses offered as part of the Adult High School and other authorized categories of noncredit instruction. (See Noncredit Courses.)


A course that a student is required to take during the same semester or term with another course. Corequisites are enforced through the registration process.

CTE Transitions

A program in which high school students can earn college credit for certain vocational courses taken at their respective high schools. (See Alternative Sources of Credit.)

Directed Study

A transfer course available to students who petition an instructor for class material unavailable at MiraCosta. Students may apply a maximum of three units of Directed Study credit toward a degree. (See Directed Study.)

Educational Plan

A document generated by a student and a MiraCosta counselor that identifies the student's educational objectives and a method for reaching them. This plan includes a sequence of courses customized to the student's needs.


Signing up for specific classes and paying fees.

EOPS—Extended Opportunity Programs and Services

Provides outreach and special assistance to students from culturally, educationally, or financially disadvantaged backgrounds. (See EOPS.)

Final Examinations

Tests given on fixed days at set times at the end of each course, according to the schedule published in the class schedule.

Financial Aid Program

Designed to provide grant, work, and/or loan assistance to students who are enrolled at least half-time and who meet income guidelines. (See Financial Aid.)

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Application required for federal financial aid eligibility determination. The form is available in the Financial Aid Office or electronically at The FAFSA can be used at community colleges and four-year institutions. A new application is required each academic year.


One who has completed fewer than 30 degree-applicable units of college credit.

Full-Time Student

One who takes classes equaling 12 or more units per semester.


General education, also known as breadth or core requirements. (See the A-Z Directory for information about specific general education plans.)

Grade Points

Points per unit given for academic grades.

A = 4 points

B = 3 points

C = 2 points

D = 1 point

F = 0 points


Grade point average; determined by dividing total grade points by total graded units attempted.

Half-Time and Three-Quarter Time Student

One who takes classes equaling 6–8.5 units per semester is considered half-time; 9–11.5 units is three-quarter time.

Honors Scholar Program

An academic program offering the possibility of graduating with honors and priority or guaranteed admission to certain competitive four-year colleges and universities. (See Honors Scholar Program.)

Hybrid Course

A course that is taught partially on a MiraCosta campus and partially online.

IGETC (Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum)

A general education program that California community college transfer students can use to fulfill all lower-division G.E. requirements at any CSU or UC campus (except Revelle and Roosevelt colleges at UCSD). (See Plan C.)

Late-Start Classes

Classes that begin later in the semester and compress the time required so students finish at the end of the regular semester.


A specialized area of study that leads to a degree or certificate.


An application, assessment, orientation, and advisement process for new students. (See Matriculation.)

Medal of Academic Merit

The college's highest academic honor awarded annually to recognize selected students' academic achievements. Faculty members nominate the recipients. (See Academic Awards.)

Minor's Petition

A home-schooled student or a minor who is not currently attending high school must obtain signatures from his or her parent and a MiraCosta College counselor on a Minor's Petition form in order to attend MiraCosta. In addition, students must provide documentation from their previous high school or, for home-schooled students, from the San Diego County Department of Education or sponsoring agency that verifies they have completed the equivalent of their freshman year of high school education.

Non-Degree Applicable Courses

Includes college-preparatory courses in basic skills and counseling (numbered in the 800s) as well as specialized or advanced courses (numbered 900 and above).

Non-Resident Fee

The law requiring that out-of-state students pay extra tuition.

Online Class

A class that is offered entirely via the Internet. Many online classes are offered each semester, and they are identified in an online schedule within each semester's class schedule.

Part-Time Student

One who takes classes equaling fewer than 12 units per semester.


A requirement students must satisfy prior to enrolling in a particular course or educational program. Prerequisites are enforced through the registration process.

President's List

An honor designed to recognize students who achieve at high levels during a given semester. (See Academic Awards.)

President's Permanent Honor Roll

An honor designed to recognize students who qualify for placement on the President's List at least three semesters. (See Academic Awards.)


A warning status that scholastic standards are not being met. (See Academic Progress, Probation & Probation Appeal Process in Academic Standards & Policies.)


A class in which the student works (usually on a computer) at his/her own pace. The class must be completed either before the end of the semester or over two semesters.


A 16-week period of course work offered fall and spring.


One who has completed at least 30 but fewer than 60 degree-applicable units of college credit.

Student Learning Outcome

Student learning outcomes identify the knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes that students will be able to demonstrate as a result of their engagement in a particular course, program, or collegiate experience.


Online service available to students for the purpose of enrolling in classes, paying fees, verifying student schedules and grades, and obtaining unofficial transcripts.


An instructor-prepared and distributed statement of a course's objectives, expected student learning outcomes, attendance requirements, grading practices, required reading, due dates for assignments, and schedule of  examinations.

TAG (Transfer Admission Guarantee)

TAG programs guarantee qualified MiraCosta students admission to most University of California campuses. (See UC Transfer.)

Transcript (of Record)

An official copy of the record of classes attempted/completed by a student.


A person recommended by faculty as knowledgeable in specified subjects who is available free of charge through the Tutoring & Academic Support Center to work with an enrolled student in need of help with course work.

Units Attempted

Credit units (see Unit of Credit) in which the student was enrolled.

Unit of Credit

A credit hour of college work involving approximately 1 to 3 hours per week of lecture, activity, or laboratory with a credentialed instructor for a semester. Students are expected to spend 2 hours outside of class in preparation for each hour of lecture. Less outside preparation time is expected for laboratory courses. One unit of credit is thus understood to represent at least 3 hours of the student's time each week for a semester.

Unit Limitations

A normal study load per semester is 15 units. Students may not register for more than 18 units in a regular semester or 9 units in summer intersession without approval from a MiraCosta counselor.

Wait List

A list of students waiting to enroll in a closed class.

Work Experience

A program that combines classroom studies with on-the-job experience. (See Cooperative Work Experience.)