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Glossary of College Terms

Glossary of College Terms

Academic Affairs

The Office of Academic Affairs is responsible for curriculum and faculty. The office is headed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Dr. Joanne Russell and includes the Associate Dean for Student Success Programs, Dr. Yelena Bondar. The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs  manages the instructional budget and other academic support programs;   manages faculty records and generates instructional payroll; creates new faculty positions, assists faculty in all matters pertaining to curriculum, i.e., new degrees, changes in existing degrees, new courses, and changes in existing courses, before submission to college governance; and  is responsible for ensuring compliance with all college, university, and state education policies as spelled out in the appropriate documents.

Academic Year

Classes are held during a 12-week Fall session which starts in September, and ends late in December. This is followed by a 6-week Winter module which ends in February. A 12-week Spring session starts at the beginning of March, and ends in the middle of June. This is followed by a 6-week Summer module which continues until the end of July.

Access Resource Center (ARC)

Kingsborough’s Access Resource Center is a one-stop place for students to get connected to government benefits and resources. The services offered at ARC include Benefits Screening, Legal Consultation, Financial Consultation, and Tax Preparation. In collaboration with other KCC offices across the campus, ARC provides free vegetables grown on campus at the KCC Urban Farm, free food staples at the KCC Food Pantry, clothing donations, assistance with recertification of benefits, Fair Hearing assistance and assistance obtaining other government resources.

Advisement Academies

Kingsborough’s four Advisement Academies are designed to create supportive environments that guide students through academic focused goal setting and decision processes.  Each Academy focuses on a group of academic majors and pulls together resources to assist students in learning about and interacting with their chosen paths in thoughtful and purposeful ways. Students are paired with an academy advisor who is dedicated to guiding students through major exploration, degree requirements, career planning and connections to campus resources. The four Advisement Academies are the Business Academy, the Liberal Arts Academy, the Education & Justice Academy and the Health Sciences & STEM Academy.

 ASAP - Accelerated Study in Associate Programs

A program that assists students in earning Associate’s Degrees within three years by providing a range of financial, academic, and personal supports including comprehensive and personalized advisement, career counseling, tutoring, waivers for tuition and mandatory fees, MTA MetroCards, and additional financial assistance to defray the cost of textbooks.

ATB - Ability to Benefit

The Ability-to-Benefit test is required of students seeking state financial aid who did not graduate from high school in the United States.


An online learning management system that provides asynchronous access to course materials, assignments, and class discussions.

Blackboard Collaborate

An online synchronous communication platform that allows instructors to conduct individual course sessions or complete courses in a virtual face-to-face modality. Collaborate is also useful for virtual office hours, online homework help sessions, and group work.

Blackboard Content Management System

A storage space within Blackboard where instructors may upload course materials that may be used in multiple courses and even be shared with other instructors for use in their courses.


The mission of the Bursar's Office is to obtain and process the data necessary to provide accurate bills and information to students. The Bursar's Office, as part of student services, is responsible for maintaining all students' tuition accounts and the College's receivables. This includes, posting all tuition charges and fees; collecting, processing, and inputting all payments; generating bills; issuing student refunds; distributing checks and parking permits; and all collection activity.

Capital Budget Master Plan

This plan, which is university based, is the one that reflects the major renovation and construction projects to be undertaken on the campuses.

CLT - College Laboratory Technician

CLTs are members of the instructional staff performing laboratory functions and technical duties that are highly skilled and non-teaching in nature.

College Advancement

The Office for College Advancement (OCA) supports, encourages, and promotes the academic mission and vision of the College.  Through its various offices, the OCA works with individuals, foundations, corporations, corporate foundations and government entities to raise funds to support the needs of students, faculty and scholastic activities. The OCA coordinates all fundraising for the College by fostering relationships with alumni, faculty and staff retirees, and external constituencies.  OCA's responsibilities also include the Kingsborough Community College Foundation.

College Council

 The College Council acts within the guidelines of the Board of Regents, as well as CUNY’s Board and Chancellor. KCC’s governance plan (College Council Constitution) specifies the responsibilities of College Council, including developing policies for student admission and retention, creating by-laws, conducting the educational affairs cared for by the College faculty, and making recommendations on policies regarding facilities, budget, and faculty personnel.

College Discovery

The College Discovery (CD) Program has been part of the City University of New York over 50 years, providing low-income students with financial assistance to obtain a college education. This educational opportunity program provides counseling, academic support service, and, in certain cases, financial aid to students who would otherwise be unable to attend college because of economic circumstances.

College Now

College Now at makes it possible for qualified high school students to participate in college preparatory classes or college-level courses given at their high schools or, in some cases, on campus.

Commitment Deposit

CUNY requires new students to pay a non-refundable commitment deposit of $100. This deposit notifies us of your intent to enroll and will be credited to your first semester tuition charges. The deposit is due by May 1 for the Fall semester and December 1 for the Spring semester.  If you are accepted after these dates, the deposit is due 15 days after receipt of your acceptance letter.

Communications and Marketing

The Office of Communications and Marketing serves as the official voice of the College; promoting positive and consistent images for internal and external audiences through advertising, branding and marketing. The office provides the dissemination of college news, and information about college-wide events that positively endorse the College's mission. From communications strategies that include public relations, advertising and marketing, to social media, creative and graphic design, and photography and video production services, the office directs these efforts to effectively communicate with the college community and the public.

Contact Hours

The full-time faculty teaching load is set by contractual agreement at twenty-seven (27) contact hours per academic year.

Continuing Education & Workforce Development

The Division of Workforce Development and Continuing Education is designed to provide accessible and affordable courses and programs to fit the needs of our students. The Office of Continuing Education designs its programs to accommodate the needs of working professionals by offering flexible schedules, small class sizes and affordable tuition. Through a wide range of comprehensive certificate programs such as Healthcare, Accounting, Paralegal, Event Planning and EMT, and is committed to providing salient career opportunities in a challenging job market.

 CSTEP - College Science and Technology Entry Program

Increases the number of traditionally underrepresented students interested in pursuing careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Health Related fields and Licensed Professions. This program provides Academic and Career enrichment, Internship and Research Placements and various other resources to help students achieve their academic goals and succeed.

 CUE - Coordinated Undergraduate Education

CUE is a university-funded program to promote university educational priorities concentrating on the first-year experience and USIP (University Summer Immersion Program, see below).

CUNY Academic Commons

A Web-based meeting and collaboration space for all CUNY faculty where people and groups can find others with similar research and personal interests; a place for discussions and sharing of materials and thoughts with colleagues from around CUNY.


This program helps CUNY students who are receiving public assistance achieve academic excellence, graduate on time, and find employment. Formally known as the COPE program, CUNY EDGE provides services that include advisement on academics and career guidance, seminars on ways to succeed in college and work, cafeteria or bookstore vouchers, summer tuition, connections to internship and job resources, and tutoring in various subjects. CUNY EDGE also has its own computer lab in T4-264 and houses a food pantry in T4-216 (Food for Thought).

CUNY Proficiency Requirements

The City University of New York (CUNY) requires all students to demonstrate proficiency in English (reading and writing) and math in order to enroll in credit-bearing courses in the associated subject.  Students may establish proficiency in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to, meeting benchmark scores  on the SAT, ACT, and New York State Regents exams. Starting with the spring 2020 entering class, students who do not meet benchmark scores will no longer be administered a placement test; rather, CUNY will use a proficiency index to determine developmental education assignment. The proficiency index combines overall high school grade point average with SAT and/or Regents exam scores.  There are separate proficiency indexes for English and Math. 

CUNY BOT - The Board of Trustees

The governing body of The City College of New York (CUNY). Charged by the University of the State of New York with the operation of CUNY, the BOT has bylaws and policies that are to be observed by all units of CUNY, each unit given certain responsibilities delegated by the BOT. Each unit is charged by the BOT with having a Governance Plan that is approved by the BOT. Each unit has its own Governing Body responsible for setting policies at the local unit and forwarding proposals of policies to the BOT for its approval. College policies and proposals for degree programs and curricular matters approved by the local governing body are then submitted to the BOT and then to the State Education Department for final approval.


An integrated suite of software that runs all computer systems overseeing student administration, finance, and human resources.

 CUNY Start

CUNY-bound students whose math, reading and/or writing scores on the CUNY Assessment Tests indicate that they need to develop basic skills may opt to participate in CUNY Start, a pre-collegiate program intended to improve reading, writing, and/or math skills and reduce the amount of time spent in required remedial "catch-up" courses.

CUNY Master Plan

The master plan is the overarching plan, with areas of priority and focus, that the university sets for the individual colleges. The components of the master plan then become the organizational model by which the college's strategic plan (see below) is structured.

CUNY Portal

CUNY Portal is the one-stop access point to CUNY services for all members of the university community, including private and secure CUNY information, Blackboard, Degreeworks, and benefits.

Curriculum Committee

Part of the College Council structure. The Curriculum Committee receives, reviews and recommends proposals for the development, evaluation, and modification of curricula


Online Advisement System. DegreeWorks is a web-based application that allows students to view their progress toward degree. On screen or in the form of a two- to four-page print out, it lists all requirements, including courses taken, courses currently being taken, skills assessment tests, and transfer credits.

Department Chairs

There are thirteen academic departments whose chairpersons are elected for three-year terms by department faculty. Faculty eligibility to hold office as either chairperson or as members of the P&B is defined in the CUNY Bylaws, Article 9.1. These definitions, eligibility to vote, and all election procedures are communicated to the College community each year by the Committee on Elections, which consists of College Council Legislative Committee members. Elections of departmental chairpersons and their P&B Committees are facilitated by a member of this committee.


A term that encompasses the pedagogies and technologies used in various online teaching and learning modalities, including Web-enhanced (see below), partly online or PNET (see below), and fully online or FNET (see below).

English Language Learners (ELL)

According to the federal government, an LEP (limited English proficient)/ELL is an individual who: 1) is 3 to 21 years of age, 2) is enrolled or preparing to enroll in an elementary or secondary school, and 3) was not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English.

Enrollment Management

The Enrollment Management Division consists of the following areas: Admissions Information Center, Admission Services, International Student Affairs, One-Stop Center, Financial Aid, Testing, and the Registrar's Office. The office works toward enrolling diverse students, maximizing the use of our scholarship funds, assisting students in managing their financial obligations and maintaining student retention by providing exceptional support services.

Environmental Health and Safety

The Environmental Health and Safety Office exists to serve the college community through environmental health and safety programs that include compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), New York State Departments of Public Employee Safety and Health (PESH), Health (DOH), Environmental Conservation (DEC) and New York City Departments of Health (DOHMH), Fire (FDNY), and Environmental Protection (DEP), and the City University of New York, the Office of Environmental, Health, Safety and Risk Management policies, Chemical Safety, Emergency Management, Fire Safety, Laboratory Safety, Occupational Safety and Sustainability


An ePortfolio is an electronic medium by which students can archive their academic and personal work and document and explore their own self-growth as individuals and as students.

Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy

CUNY's Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy sets forth the University and its campuses commitment to recruit, employ, retain, promote, and provide benefits to employees regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, marital status, partnership status, disability, genetic information, alienage, citizenship, military or veteran status, unemployment status, credit history, pregnancy, or status as a victim of domestic violence/stalking/sex offenses, or any other legally prohibited basis in accordance with federal, state and city laws.

Executive Compensation Plan (ECP)

This term is used to refer to positions covered by the Executive Compensation Plan. Titles include administrator, dean, vice president series, and president.


This group comprises teaching members of the instructional staff (see below) and includes full-time titles: instructor, lecturer, assistant professor, associate professor, and professor. Some faculty function as counselors and librarians. Adjuncts are employed to teach part-time or to perform related duties on a part-time basis.

Finance and Administration

The Vice President of Finance and Administration is responsible for a variety of functions related to the efficient operation of the College and the provision of essential support services.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Prepared annually by current and prospective college students (undergraduate and graduate) in the United States to determine their eligibility for student financial aid (including the Pell Grant, Federal student loans, and Federal Work-Study).

Full-Time Equated Students (FTEs)

Defines the equivalent number of full-time students (at 15 credits/semester) when all full-time students and all part-time students are combined in one calculation. For example, an enrollment of four full-time students at 12 credits each combined with four part-time students at 3 credits each yields an overall enrollment of 4 FTEs (and headcount enrollment of 8).

Functional Title

Specific position title that describes function, this group is separate and apart from the payroll title that identifies instructional or classified grouping.

Government Relations

The Office of Government Relations works to strengthen Kingsborough's relationships with all levels of government and the community.  In collaboration with the City University of New York, the office coordinates advocacy efforts for the University legislative's agenda, promotes civic engagement among the college community, and organizes events that directly engage government officials in the life of the college.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

An ongoing measure of student performance that is calculated by the Registrar's Office upon completion of each semester. A minimum GPA of 2.0 in courses needed for a student's curriculum is required for graduation.

Higher Education Officer (HEO)

Individuals in this series perform administrative duties. Titles include: higher education officer (HEO), higher education associate (HEA), higher education assistant (HEa), and assistant to higher education officer (aHEO).

Information Technology Services

The Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) is composed of following units that support services used by Staff, Faculty and Students. The managers of these units report to the Chief Information Officer

Institutional Effectiveness

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness facilitates the integration of assessment, planning, and research to encourage continuous improvement of academic programs, academic and student support services, and administrative services.

Instructional Committee

Part of the College Council structure. Reviews matters regarding instruction and the instructional process.

Instructional Staff

The instructional staff comprises all full-time and part-time teaching faculty titles and non-teaching titles, including the college laboratory technician (CLT) title series and the higher education officer (HEO) title series.

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

The IRB is responsible for the review of all protocols involving human subject research.

Kingsborough Learning Center (KLC)

KLC offers free tutoring in almost all KCC courses. They offer content-based tutoring as well as writing tutoring.

Legislative Committee

Part of the College Council structure. Reviews the governance of the College, monitors election procedures, and proposes amendments to the bylaws of the Council.

Learning Communities

Cohorts of up to 25 students take these linked courses together and form dynamic academic-social learning communities through which they engage in integrative, multidisciplinary tasks. The Kingsborough Learning Communities program supports learning communities that range from two to five courses and from one to two semesters; that include a First-Year Seminar, or an Integrative Seminar, or neither; and that are appropriate for freshman or continuing students, for ESL or non- ESL students, and for those with and without developmental needs.

Middle States Commission on Higher Education

A voluntary, non-governmental, membership association that is dedicated to quality assurance and improvement through accreditation via peer evaluation. Middle States accreditation instills public confidence in institutional mission, goals, performance, and resources through its rigorous accreditation standards and their enforcement.

Military and Veteran Affairs Office

The Military and Veteran Affairs Office (MAVA) serves the needs of prospective and enrolled active military personnel, veterans, their dependents and survivors. MAVA aids in application and certification for students who are eligible to receive education benefits under various Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) programs. In this role, the MAVA team facilitates smooth transition and reintegration into the college community and provides supplemental recruitment and retention efforts, various counseling and one-on-one advisement services, priority registration, academic program information, and certifies eligible students to receive DVA education benefits while maintaining productive relations with the Veterans Administration and other agencies serving veterans.

Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA)

This agency in the US Department of Labor organization determines and enforces policies concerning safety and health in occupational environments. These policies have been incorporated into the general policies and procedures of the college; the office responsible for ensuring compliance is Environmental Health and Safety.


In fall 2013, CUNY implemented the common core across its undergraduate colleges. Pathways establishes a new system of general education requirements, a university-wide common core of 30 credits with common learning outcomes, and new transfer guidelines across the University that ensure more uniform transfer credit.

Pell Grant

Unlike loans, Federal Pell Grants do not have to be repaid. Federal Pell Grants are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's degree and demonstrate financial need. Students apply by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK)

An international honor society that recognizes and encourages scholarship among two-year college students, providing opportunities for the development of leadership and service and an intellectual climate for the exchange of ideas and ideals, for the lively fellowship for scholars, and for the stimulation of interest in continuing academic excellence.

Professional Staff Congress (PSC - CUNY)

The bargaining unit of The City University of New York (CUNY).

Registration Help Center

The Registration Help Center provides students with information during registration in order to clear issues that have been identified as possible barriers to enrollment in classes. The Job of the Help Center Staff is to help students identify holds that may not allow them to successfully register, such as Test Scores, Immunization, etc., connect students to campus offices and resources, provide up-to-date information on policies and procedures as related to the current term registration, serve as a college-wide resource for registration related information, process overloads for qualified students and process repeats for eligible students

Research Foundation of the City University of New York (RFCUNY)

A not-for-profit educational corporation that manages private and government sponsored programs at The City University of New York (CUNY). Since 1963, RFCUNY has provided CUNY with the administrative infrastructure that supports sponsored program activities.

Residence Requirement

For purposes of determining resident tuition fee eligibility, students must have lived in New York State for the past year and must have had their principal place of residence in the City of New York for a period of six consecutive months immediately preceding the first day of classes for the term. They must also state their intention to maintain their principal place of residence in New York City permanently.


Starfish is an integrated planning and advisement system that makes it possible to take a more holistic approach to student success, providing “early alert” outreach to students, more consistent follow-up for students at risk in a variety of ways, and clearer tracking of student outcomes.

Steering Committee

Part of the College Council structure. Prepares agenda for Council meetings, refers items to other standing committees, receives and submits all committee recommendations to the Council, calls the Council into session, and reports on the Council’s activities to all constituencies of the campus community. The Steering Committee is comprised of the elected chairpersons of each of the five standing committees, the Secretary of the College Council, and the President of the College (or a designated dean) who serves as chairperson.


Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics.

Strategic Planning Committee

Part of the College Council structure. Recommends and reviews the strategic plans for the College and ensures that assessment results affect planning.

Student Activities Fee

A fee applied to all incoming students used to fund student government, athletics and other activities

Student Affairs

The Department of Student Affairs provides an inclusive environment in which students engage in innovative, stimulating, and high-quality learning opportunities designed to facilitate personal growth and academic success. Our students will exemplify the core values of leadership, civic engagement, civility, and responsible global citizenship while moving forward successfully toward their academic and career goals.

Students Committee

Part of the College Council structure.  Proposes policies pertaining to student recruitment, admission, attendance, discharge, discipline, counseling, academic standards, granting of degrees, ceremonies, health, extra-curricular activities, and other services

 TAP - NYS Tuition Assistance Program

A program which helps eligible New York residents pay tuition at approved schools in New York State. Because TAP is a grant, it does not have to be paid back. Students apply by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the TAP Application.

Technology Fee

The fee paid by all students to support and improve computing services for students and faculty

Tutoring (see Kingsborough Learning Center)

Undergraduate Research

In this high impact practice, students engage in faculty guided research in the areas of STEM, Music, English, Social Sciences and more. Students participating in undergraduate experiences have won many awards, published in scientific journals, and presented at regional and national conferences. 

Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC)

CUNY established the Writing Across the Curriculum Program in 1999 through a Board of Trustees resolution, “to ensure that writing instruction is regarded as a common responsibility and that the development of writing proficiency becomes a focus of the entire undergraduate curriculum.” Since then, programs have been developed on each of the 17 CUNY campuses, each with its own character and structure. At Kingsborough, students are required to take at least one of approximately 100 writing intensive sections designated class sections before graduating. At KCC courses are not specifically designated as “writing intensive.” Instead, we certify individual faculty members from all departments to teach in our writing intensive program.