Academic Relief: An option for students who have a significant medical, psychiatric, or psychological problem that has substantially interfered with their ability to meet academic responsibilities. In these severe cases, students may have the opportunity to apply for academic relief to ease the student’s burden by dropping a course, allowing the student to take an incomplete on courses, delaying exams, or withdrawing the student from the university for medical reasons.

Cognate: A term used by some departments to describe a specific area of study that functions basically as a minor.

Cooperative Education Program (Co-op):A Career Services program in which students alternate a semester of full-time on-campus study with a semester of full-time off-campus work for an employer in their field of study. A student wishing to co-op for a term must pay a $75 fee to demonstrate continuous enrollment.

Corequisite: A course that must be taken before, or at the same time as, another course. Click on the course request number within list of available course options during registration to find the corequisites for any course.

Course Request Number (CRN): Found in the Timetable of Classes, this is the unique identifying number for each section of a course.

Course Withdrawal Policy (CW): See Request to Apply “W” Grade Policy.

Credit: Unit used to measure course work. Students must earn a minimum number of credits in specified areas to earn a degree.

Curriculum for Liberal Education (CLE): Provides learning experiences that are designed to develop and empower a student with a broad base of knowledge and transferable skills. Completion of CLE credits, which are based on the year the student entered Virginia Tech, is required of all undergraduates.

Dean: A senior academic officer that oversees a college or school in the larger institution.The Dean of Students oversees the out-of-class experience.

Dean’s List: Students who earn a 3.4 GPA or higher while enrolled in at least 12 credit hours achieve this honor.

Drop/Add: A Hokie SPA transaction in which students can add and drop courses to and from their class schedule each semester. These transactions can only be accessed at certain times of the year and have very specific deadlines.

Education Abroad/Study Abroad:Virginia Tech sponsors a wide variety of education abroad programs to provide opportunities for intercultural experiences that are important in all disciplines. Students enroll in credit hours for the term. They are charged tuition at a thirty percent discount, fees, and possible deposits required by the department for travel expenses.

Elective: A course that the student chooses to take, rather than a course that fulfills Curriculum for Liberal Education, major or minor requirements.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA): Legislation that describes the rights of parents or legal guardians regarding their student’s educational records. These rights transfer to the student at either the age of 18 or upon entrance into a postsecondary institution.

Full-time student (for financial aid purposes): Undergraduates who are enrolled in at least 12 credits are considered full-time students. Most financial aid requires a student to be enrolled full-time. If they will not be enrolled full time, students should submit a web-based aid change form to University Scholarships and Financial Aid.

Hold: Holds are placed on a student’s account for many reasons, including unpaid fines, failure to attend advising conferences, and failure to submit immunization records. Only the department that placed the hold on the account can remove the hold. Students cannot register for classes or view their class schedule on Hokie SPA with a hold on their account.

Hokie Student Personal Access (Hokie SPA): (pronounced Hokie spa) The portal which provides students with access to a variety of personal on-line information such as class schedule, report cards, official correspondence and student account records.

Honor Code/Honor System: A code that defines behavior that is not acceptable for Virginia Tech students, including cheating, plagiarism, and falsification. Governed by a student chief justice, the Honor System administers the Honor Code.

Independent Study: A course involving extensive reading and tutorial sessions with a faculty supervisor.

Koofer: A copy of a test from a previous term. Some professors make koofers available to students; others do not.

Major: A program of study or group of selected courses required for an academic degree in a particular subject.

Minor: A group of courses that students that in order to pursue a subject of interest in addition to their major.

Prerequisite: A course that must be successfully completed before a student can enroll in a higher-level course. Prerequisite courses are required because they contain knowledge or skills that students need to master before taking subsequent courses.

Reading Day: The day between the last day of classes and the first day of exams, which is used by students to prepare for exams.

Restricted Majors: Specific majors that are restricted to those students who meet particular requirements; such as grade point average, grades in major specific courses, curricula planning documents, and within the window of time that college is accepting transfer students.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): The academic standards required for continued eligibility for financial aid. University Scholarships and Financial Aid (USFA) will assess SAP once a year at the end of spring semester. Students who do not meet all of the requirements will have the opportunity to appeal. If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on an Academic Plan/Contract.

Recitation: A smaller group section of a larger lecture that provides students with a more comfortable setting for discussion.

Request to Apply “W” Grady Policy: Students may apply the W grade option to a maximum of three (3) courses (regardless of credit) during their undergraduate academic tenure. Students who have utilized six (6) credit hours under the former version of the policy may apply for additional course(s) if the sum total does not equal more than three (3) courses and application is received before the stated deadline.

Resign:Resigning from classes after the start of the term.Resignation requests must be submitted to the academic dean. Financial penalties may be imposed.

Steger Center for International Scholarship: Virginia Tech’s campus center in Ticino, Switzerland, where students reside and take classes for a term. Tuition and fees are charged for the number of credit hours the student is enrolled, as well as for dining and housing.

Undergraduate Catalog: This publication covers many important topics, including academic policies, financial issues, majors, academic eligibility, and Virginia Tech course offerings. Students are responsible for knowing the information contained in the catalog, which is available online.

Withdrawal:Withdrawing from classes prior to the start of the term. A student would request a withdrawal from the University Registrar.

Authorized Payer: An individual, such as a parent, guardian, spouse, sponsor or other individual, that a student may authorize to view their student account and make online payments.

Cost of Attendance (COA): This figure is comprised of a student’s tuition and fees as well as estimates of housing and meals, books and supplies, travel, and personal. This figure is an estimate of all possible costs for an academic year; however, it is not an accurate reflection of the university bill, which typically includes tuition and fees as well as on-campus housing and a dining plan, if applicable.

Entrance Counseling (ENT): An online session that provides information about loans and the borrowing process, managing educational expenses, and student rights and responsibilities. ENT is required for all students who are borrowing a Federal Direct Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Loan for the first time.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): The primary application for federal, state, and institutional financial aid that must be completed each year a student is enrolled. The application is available on October 1 of each year and should be completed by Virginia Tech’s priority deadline of January 15.

Financial Purge: The purging (dropping) of a student’s term enrollment due to non-payment of tuition and fees. All charges and penalties must be paid in full and the student must request re-enrollment from his or her academic dean to be reinstated.

Full-time student (for financial aid purposes): Undergraduates who are enrolled in at least 12 credits are considered full-time students. Most financial aid requires a student to be enrolled full-time. If they will not be enrolled full time, students should submit a web-based aid change form to University Scholarships and Financial Aid.

Hold: Holds are placed on a student’s account for many reasons, including unpaid fines, failure to attend advising conferences, and failure to submit immunization records. Only the department that placed the hold on the account can remove the hold. Students cannot register for classes or view their class schedule on Hokie SPA with a hold on their account.

Hokie Student Personal Access (Hokie SPA): (pronounced Hokie spa) The website which provides students with access to a variety of personal on-line information such as class ticket, report cards, official correspondence and student account records.

Master Promissory Note (MPN): A legally binding document that must be completed before a student borrows any type of loan. This document outlines the repayment terms and conditions of the loan, as well as specific details about the loan and the borrowing process.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP): mso-bidi-font-weight:bold'>The academic standards required for continued eligibility for financial aid. University Scholarships and Financial Aid (USFA) will assess SAP once a year at the end of spring semester. Students who do not meet all of the requirements will have the opportunity to appeal. If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on an Academic Plan/Contract.

Refund: The process of receiving money back from Virginia Tech due to overpayment on a student account. Types of refunds include credit card refunds, Budget Tuition refunds, refunds of financial aid, and refunds for resignations and reduced course load.

Room and Board: An outdated term referring to Housing and Residence Life and Dining Services charges on a student’s university account.

Undergraduate Catalog: This publication covers many important topics, including academic policies, financial issues, majors, academic eligibility, and Virginia Tech course offerings. Students are responsible for knowing the information contained in the catalog, which is available online.

Authorized Absence Card (AA Card): A card that is placed on the cadet’s door to indicate his/her whereabouts at all times.

Bud: A fellow member of a class who underwent Cadet Basic Training with you. Usually ends in a lifelong friendship.

Caldwell March: The March that symbolizes the distance that Virginia Tech’s first student, Addison Caldwell, marched in order to attend Virginia Tech. Freshman cadets complete the 26-mile March in two halves; 13 miles in the fall and 13 miles in the spring. The second half of the March is the culmination of the freshmen’s year of training.

Citizen-Leader Track: Track option for students who are undecided about their future path or interested in being a leader in the community or in a future career. The vision of the track is to develop highly sought Citizen-Leaders with the character, confidence, and wellness necessary to lead successful lives in service to others.

Corps of Cadets Medical History Form: A form for incoming students who are entering the Corps of Cadets that must be submitted as part of their entrance requirements.

Cut: To have an excused absence from a Corps activity, such as formation.

Dragging: The act in which a freshman bears to the right side of the hall while marching.

Evening Call to Quarters (ECQ): 1800-2300 hours Sunday, and 1900-2300 Monday through Thursday, used as study time. During this time, freshmen do not sound off, and all cadets are expected to maintain quiet in the dorms.

Guidon: A unit’s flag or standard. Also, the new cadet knowledge publication.

Highty-Tighties: The Regimental Band of the Corps of Cadets.

Military-Leader Track: Track option for students who are interested in joining the military after graduation. Virginia Tech has all ROTC programs to choose from: Air Force ROTC, Army ROTC, and Naval ROTC (includes both the Navy and Marine Options).

Morning Call to Quarters (MCQ): 0800-1100 hours. More commonly referred to as Marathon Call to Quarters where ECQ standards are maintained through the entire day, normally prior to final exams.

Rat: An Old Corps term for a freshman cadet. The use of this term is discontinued.

(Formal) Retreat: Evening formation where the flag is lowered. Formal retreat is done for special occasions.

Skipper: The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets’ cannon. Also the term for a fifth year cadet in the Corps.

Sound Off: To give the proper first year cadet call, to blow the bugle, or to give a loud order.

Taps: Lights out at 2300 hours. Also, a song played on the bugle to pay tribute to someone who has died.

Carry Over/Roll Over Money: For all Individual Flex Dining Plans, if the student does not spend all of their initial Flex Dollars by the end of the fall semester, they will carry over to the spring semester and the receive the same Flex discount as long as another dining plan is purchased for the spring semester. Carry over/Roll over Flex Dollars will not appear in the account until the current semester’s initial Flex Dollars are used.

Dining Dollars: Available for off-campus students only, Dining Dollars are funds deposited to be used in Dining Services’ dining centers that can be used by students who purchase a minor individual dining plan or by students who did not purchase a dining plan. Purchases made using Dining Dollars receive a five percent discount in all dining centers on campus. Dining Dollars do not apply to on-campus students.

Flex Additions: Funds deposited by students with one of the major individual dining plans to be accessed when their Flex Dollars have been depleted. Purchases made using Flex Additions receive the same discount as purchases made using Flex Dollars.

Flex Dollars: An individual Flex Dining Plan is a debit account stored on a student’s Hokie Passport ID card. It contains the amount of Flex Dollars a student can spend each semester. When a student makes a purchase using Flex Dollars, the account is debited for the amount of the purchase and the remaining balance appears on the register display and on the student’s receipt. Purchases made using Flex Dollars receive a 50 to 67 percent discount and can be spent at all Dining Services’ dining centers.

Housing/Dining Contract: All students residing on campus complete a housing and dining contract for the academic year. This contract obligates the student to live on campus and the university to provide housing. Students complete their contract through Hokie SPA.

Individual Dining Plans: The purchase of a specified number of Flex Dollars that can be used during the academic semester in Dining Services’ dining centers on campus. All on-campus residents are required to purchase one of the major individual dining plans.

Room and Board: A term that was previously used to refer to Housing and Residence Life and Dining Services charges on a student’s university account.

Aspirations for Student Learning: The Division of Student Affairs exists to sustain a culture of learning, reflecting the profound opportunities inherent for students at Virginia Tech. We believe students can develop habits of interpersonal awareness, intentional actions, and self-reflection, which complete and complement academic and professional education. The Division of Student Affairs is deliberate in discerning and designing the learning opportunities available in student environments, creating new and innovative practices for student learning, and assessing the extent to which students are able to apply knowledge to solve problems. We challenge students to connect knowledge to the possibilities for improving humanity near and far, creating a legacy now and in the future.

  • Commit to Unwavering Curiosity
  • Pursue Self-Understanding and Integrity
  • Practice Civility
  • Prepare for a Life of Courageous Leadership
  • Embrace Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) as a Way of Life

 

Dean: A senior academic officer that oversees a college or school in the larger institution. The Dean of Students oversees the out-of-class experience.

Division of Student Affairs (DSA): The Division of Student Affairs is comprised of departments around campus including New Student and Family Programs, Housing and Residence Life, Recreational Sports, Student Engagement and Campus Life, etc. The DSA is committed to the growth, development, and achievement of students at Virginia Tech. This organization works closely with the academic staff to support students as they learn to be successful and effective leaders in the emerging global community. The mission of the DSA is to promote student learning, life skills, and personal growth through a strong focus on holistic student development and collaborative partnerships that deliver superior service to, and care for, students in the spirit of Ut Prosim.

Guiding Principles for Service: The Division of Student Affairs pledge to foster a community of excellence and opportunity through learning, service, respect, and innovation.

  • Learning: The DSA will advocate lifelong learning by challenging and supporting students and staff to pursue intellectual, personal and professional development while embracing a variety of life experiences.
  • Respect: The DSA will embrace the Principles of Community which value inclusiveness and diversity, understanding that every individual should be treated with dignity, courtesy, and kindness.
  • Service: The DSA will, in the spirit of Ut Prosim, provide a quality experience for students, colleagues and customers that upholds or exceeds expectations.
  • Innovations: The DSA will continually examine our practices seeking creative and efficient ways to improve while balancing the needs of today and preserving the resources of tomorrow.

 

High Impact Practice: High-impact educational practices take many different forms, depending on learner characteristics and on institutional priorities and contexts. These practices have been shown to increase rates of student retention and student engagement through emphasis on holistic and cumulative learning. Example of existing Virginia Tech experiential learning opportunities include undergraduate research, living-learning communities, internships, the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, and service learning.

InclusiveVT: A framework that creates active, intentional engagement of Virginia Tech communities. It is anything that advances inclusion at Virginia Tech.

Keystone Experience: The Keystone Experience provides a framework to record and reflect on the student’s experiences during their time at Virginia Tech. As the understanding of the Aspirations for Student Learning emerge, the student will discover connections between learning inside and outside of the classroom. Through participation, engagement, creation and reflection, the student will create their own Keystone experience - one that is self-directed, intentional, and well-documented.

Strengths-Based Education: Virginia Tech students are encouraged to focus on their gifts and talents, honing into true strengths. Individuals have the opportunity to use the StrengthsFinder assessment tool to provide students with the knowledge and vocabulary to describe their talents and the areas in which they excel.

Active: A fully initiated member of a fraternity or sorority.

Alumni: Sorority or fraternity members who are no longer active members of a collegiate chapter and have left in good standing with the organization.

Associate/New Member: An uninitiated member of a fraternity or sorority that is in the process of joining a chapter.

Badge: The fraternity or sorority membership insignia.

Bid: An invitation to join a fraternity or sorority.

Big Brother/Big Sister: Active member assigned to be the personal mentor for a new member.

Chapter: A campus-based organization of a national or international sorority or fraternity.

Charter: Documentation that an individual chapter is recognized and operates according to the national organization.

Colony: A newly formed affiliate of a national organization that has not yet received its charter. The organizing members of a colony are often referred to as founders.

Continuous Open Bidding (COB): Process of extending bids on an individual basis that is outside of the formal recruitment process.

Formal Sorority Recruitment: A membership recruitment period during which a series of organized events are held by each National Panhellenic Conference sorority. It is organized and implemented by the Panhellenic Leadership. Formal Sorority Recruitment at Virginia Tech is held in January before spring semester begins.

Fraternity/Sorority: A group of men or women who are bound together by ritual ties, beliefs, common goals, and values.

Fraternity and Sorority Life: A department of Virginia Tech that advises four governing councils: Interfraternity Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, Panhellenic Council and the United Council of Fraternities and Sororities.

Initiation: A traditional ritual that brings an associate/new member into full membership of the fraternity or sorority.

Intake: The membership recruitment and induction process for the National Pan-Hellenic Council and some of the United Council of Fraternities and Sororities.

Interfraternity Council (IFC): The representative governing body of all men’s North-American Interfraternity Conference fraternities.

Legacy: Someone whose mother, father, sister, or brother is a member of a particular Greek-letter organization.

Line: A term sometimes used by various culturally based Greek organizations to refer to the members who join during the same semester.

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC): The representative governing body for the nine traditionally African-American fraternities and sororities.

National Panhellenic Conference (NPC): The conference composed of 26 national women’s fraternities, each of which is autonomous as a general Greek-letter society of college women and alumnae.

New Member Educator: A liaison between the new members and the chapter who is responsible for implementing and monitoring the new member program and preparing the new members for initiation.

North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC): The trade association representing 75 international and national men’s fraternities.

Oak Lane Community: Part of the Residence Hall System that is home to the on-campus fraternity and sorority houses. The community is also frequently referred to as Special Purpose Housing (SPH).

Panhellenic Council (PHC): A council of elected officers and delegates from Virginia Tech’s National Panhellenic Conference sororities. The Panhellenic Council governs the Panhellenic Association.

Philanthropy: Charitable projects connected with local or national causes.

Potential New Member (PNM): A student who is not yet affiliated with a chapter as either an associate/new or initiated member.

Recommendation/Reference: A letter or form written by an alumni/alumna member recommending a Potential New Member to a fraternity or sorority. Recommendations are generally not required at Virginia Tech.

Recruitment: The process of recruiting new members.

Ritual: The beliefs and standards of a fraternal organization, which governs their purpose. Some ritual activities many be closed to non-initiated members.

United Council of Fraternities and Sororities (UCFS): The council that governs our multicultural and special-interest fraternities and sororities.

Academic Relief: An option for students who have a significant medical, psychiatric, or psychological problem that has substantially interfered with their ability to meet academic responsibilities. In these severe cases, students may have the opportunity to apply for academic relief to ease the student’s burden by dropping a course, allowing the student to take an incomplete on courses, delaying exams, or withdrawing the student from the university for medical reasons.

Corps of Cadets Medical History Form: A form for incoming students who are entering the Corps of Cadets that must be submitted as part of their entrance requirements.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): Legislation that protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information. For parents, this means that they may not have access to their student’s health records.

Hold: Holds are placed on a student’s account for many reasons, including unpaid fines, failure to attend advising conferences, and failure to submit immunization records. Only the department that placed the hold on the account can remove the hold. Students cannot register for classes or view their class schedule on Hokie SPA with a hold on their account.

Immunization History Form: A form all incoming students are required to submit to Schiffert Health Center prior to beginning classes at Virginia Tech. If not submitted, a hold will be placed on the student’s account which will prevent them from registering for Spring Semester classes.

Hokie Passport Account: A debit account stored on a student’s Hokie Passport ID card that may be used at many locations on campus, including university vending machines, laundry facilities, and bookstores. The Hokie Passport Account is also accepted at many locations off campus, including restaurants, grocery stores, and retailers.

Hokie Passport ID Card: The official identification card for Virginia Tech that is used by students to access their individual dining plan, Flex Additions or Dining Dollars, and Hokie Passport account. A Hokie Passport ID card also grants access to buildings, events, Blacksburg Transit, and the library.

Assistant Residential Learning Coordinator/Student Life Coordinators: Graduate students, many of whom are studying in the field of Student Affairs, who support the community, Resident Advisors, and other Housing and Residence Life staff in providing a learning environment within the residence halls.

Dorms: See Residence Halls.

Freshman Residency Requirement: Incoming first-year students are required to live on campus unless they meet a specific set of criteria. Requests for exception are handled by Housing and Residence Life.

Housing Application Process (HAP): Also known as the “housing lottery,” returning students use this process to request on-campus housing for the next academic year. The process begins during the first week of classes in January.

Housing/Dining Contract: All students residing on campus complete a housing and dining contract for the academic year. This contract obligates the student to live on campus and the university to provide housing. Students complete their contract through Hokie SPA.

Living-Learning Communities (LLC): Housing options that offer unique living and learning opportunities to campus residents. Research shows LLC students have higher cumulative grade point averages (GPAs) and increased interaction with faculty. Virginia Tech offers 16 individual housing communities that correspond to one of the following four categories: academic major, enhanced learning community, residential colleges, and themed housing.

Residence Hall: Virginia Tech’s residential communities are more than the word “dorm” implies. Dorms are buildings. Residence halls are buildings filled with students, staff, programming, formal and informal education, and the experience of a lifetime.

Residence Hall Federation (RHF):A volunteer student organization that represents the voices of on-campus residents to the university and to Housing and Residence Life. RHF is a combined legislative body, programming body, and leadership training opportunity.

Resident Advisor (RA): An undergraduate student who is employed by Housing and Residence Life as a resource for the on-campus students in the residence halls. RAs report facilities issues, maintain order in the halls, and provide referral and resources to students with questions and concerns.

Residential Learning Coordinator/Student Life Coordinator: Full-time Housing and Residence Life professional staff who live on campus in the residence halls. They supervise the resident advisors, serve in an on-call capacity, provide resources and referrals for students in need, meet with students who have concerns or conflict with others, and are part of the overall residence hall community.

Room and Board: An outdated term referring to Housing and Residence Life and Dining Services charges on a student’s university account.