College Speak: Navigating Terms and Acronyms at IC

People who work at colleges use acronyms and words that you may never have heard before or may use them in a different way than another college you have attended.

Here are some resources to help you master College Speak!

  • Navigating College Speak -- A cheat sheet of terms and abbreviations unique to Ithaca College.
  • Course Prefixes and Symbols -- This document will guide you through the different acronyms and abbreviations used in the Ithaca College catalog and in HomerConnect.

Below is a sample of terms that you will need to know when working with an advisor, faculty or staff at Ithaca College.

CLA (Complementary Liberal Arts) -- Courses (totaling 12 credits) that are a required part of the Integrative Core Curriculum and that focus on integrative liberal arts. Some CLA courses fulfill requirements for your major; some do not. The school of Humanities & Sciences has several options for fulfilling the CLAs.

Degree Evaluation - A summary of all of the requirements you need to graduate sorted into different areas such as major and minor, ICC or liberal arts requirements. In your degree evaluation, courses or course areas with the word "Met" mean that you have fulfilled the requirement for that area. The word "No" in red on the evaluation indicates requirements that you still need to meet. Do not hesitate to consult with your advisor if you have any questions about your degree evaluation.

Drop/Add -- You have up until the end of the first week of classes to drop or add a course in your schedule. If you drop a course, there will be no record of the course on your transcript. You can drop a course without replacing it with a course or you can drop a course and add a course to your schedule. It is important to understand whether dropping a course will impact your status as a full-time student. Your faculty advisor or a professional academic advisor can help you make this decision. Check the academic calendar for the Drop/Add deadline for each semester.

ICC (Integrative Core Curriculum) -- A set of common courses taken by all students entering Ithaca College beginning in Fall 2013. Designed to foster integrative learning.

Open Electives -- Courses that count toward the overall number of credits you need for graduation (in most cases this is 120 credits), but do not count towards your major or minor degree requirements. The number of electives you can take will vary by major and program depending on the number of required courses in that major.

Transcript -- A record of the courses you have taken at Ithaca College and the credit and grade you have earned for each course. Your transcript on Homer Connect is unofficial. You can request an official transcript from the Office of the Registrar through HomerConnect or you can view an unofficial transcript -- also by using HomerConnect.

Withdrawal (W) -- You can withdraw from a course up to a certain date in the semester depending on whether it is a Block I, Block II or semester course. Withdrawing from a course means that you do not earn credits for the course. A grade of W is placed on your transcript. You are strongly encouraged to consult with an advisor or the faculty member teaching your course before withdrawing. Check the academic calendar for the deadlines for withdrawing from a course.