Glossary and FAQ
11/12 month salary contract/teaching period - The contracted teaching period of faculty employed for the entire year, usually for a period of 11 or 12 months.
12-month period - A 12-month period defined by an institution for reporting a full year of activity (usually either July 1 through June 30 or September 1 through August 31).
25th percentile - The score at which 25 percent of students submitting test scores to an institution scored at or below.
75th percentile - The score at which 25 percent of students submitting test scores to an institution scored above.
9/10-month salary contract/teaching period - The contracted teaching period of faculty employed for 2 semesters, 3 quarters, 2 trimesters, 2 4-month sessions, or the equivalent.
Academic common market - A program that allows students from the 16 Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) member states to pursue degrees that are not offered by their in-state institutions. Students enroll in out-of-state institutions that offer their degree program and pay the in-state tuition rates.
Academic year - Begins at the start of the fall term and ends immediately after the summer term.
ACT - Previously known as the American College Testing program, it measures educational development and readiness to pursue college-level coursework in English, mathematics, natural science, and social studies. Student performance does not reflect innate ability and is influenced by a student's educational preparedness. The composite score and each test score (English, Mathematics, Reading, Science) ranges from 1 (low) to 36 (high). The composite score is the average of the four test scores.
Adjunct faculty - Non-tenure track faculty serving in a temporary or auxiliary capacity to teach specific courses on a course-by-course basis. Includes both faculty who are hired to teach an academic degree-credit course and those hired to teach a remedial, developmental, or ESL course. Excludes regular part-time faculty, graduate assistants, full-time professional staff of the institution who may teach individual courses (such as a dean or academic advisor), and appointees who teach non-credit courses exclusively.
Admitted student - Applicant who is offered admission to a degree-granting program at your institution.
Alumni - Former students who have graduated from the University of Memphis.
American Indian or Alaska Native - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community attachment.
Asian - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Audit - To attend a course without receiving academic credit.
Black or African American - A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
CIP code - A six-digit code in the form xx.xxxx that identifies instructional program specialties within educational institutions.
Classification - The student's level. Students pursuing a degree and/or certificate are classified according to their progress within that program. Students not working on degrees are classified according to the highest level of credit they are seeking (graduate or undergraduate).
Class rank - The relative numerical position of a student in his or her graduating class, calculated by the high school on the basis of grade-point average, whether weighted or unweighted.
Class section - A class section is an organized course offered for credit, identified by discipline and number, meeting at a stated time or times in a classroom or similar setting, and not a subsection such as a laboratory or discussion session. Undergraduate class sections are defined as any sections in which at least one degree-seeking undergraduate student is enrolled for credit.
Class subsections - A class subsection includes any subsection of a course, such as laboratory, recitation, and discussion subsections that are supplementary in nature and are scheduled to meet separately from the lecture portion of the course. Undergraduate subsections are defined as any subsections of courses in which degree-seeking undergraduate students enrolled for credit.
Cohort - A specific group of students established for tracking purposes.
Common Data Set (CDS) - The Common Data Set (CDS) is a standard format used to collect most of the requested data. The CDS is organized around these topics: (A) general campus, (B) enrollment and persistence, ( C) first-time, first-year (freshman) admissions, (D) transfer admissions, (E) academic offerings and policies, (F) student life, (G) annual expenses, (H) financial aid, (I) instructional faculty and class size, (J) degrees conferred, and (K) definitions.
Commuter - A student who lives off campus in housing that is not owned by, operated by, or affiliated with the college. This category includes students who commute from home and students who have moved to the area to attend college.
Completer - A student who receives a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award. In order to be considered a completer, the degree/award must actually be conferred.
Concentration - A field of specialization within a designated major.
Concurrent enrollment - Enrollment at a second college or University in addition to the University of Memphis during the same term.
Continuing education student – A student who is participating exclusively in individual continuing education unit activities.
Continuing student - A student who was enrolled at The University of Memphis in the previous term (or in the previous spring, if the current term is fall).
Continuing professional education - Programs and courses designed specifically for individuals who have completed a degree in a professional field (such as law, medicine, dentistry, education, or social work) to obtain additional training in their particular field of study.
Credit - Recognition of attendance or performance in an instructional activity (course or program) that can be applied by a recipient toward the requirements for a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award.
Credit course - A course that, if successfully completed, can be applied toward the number of courses required for achieving a degree, diploma, cerfiticate, or other formal award.
Credit hour - A unit of measure representing an hour (50 minutes) of instruction over a 15-week period in a semester or trimester system or a 10-week period in a quarter system. It is applied toward the total number of hours needed for completing the requirements of a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award. Only traditional credit hours are counted (i.e. audits, etc. are excluded).
Degree - An award conferred by a college, university, or other postsecondary education institution as official recognition for the successful completion of a program of studies.
Degree year - Begins at the beginning of the summer term and ends immediately after the spring term.
Degree-seeking students - Students enrolled in courses for credit who are recognized by the institution as seeking a degree or formal award. At the undergraduate level, this is intended to include students enrolled in vocational or occupational programs.
Developmental courses - Courses required of first-time freshmen students whose ACT subscores are less than 19.These course are required in order to develop competencies necessary for success in college level courses.
Diploma - A formal document certifying the successful completion of a prescribed program of studies
Distance learning - An option for earning course credit at off-campus locations via cable television, internet, satellite classes, videotapes, correspondence courses, or other means.
Doctoral candidate early stage – A student who has been formally admitted to graduate study and whose major academic endeavor consists of formal course work directed toward fulfilling requirements for a doctoral degree.
Doctoral candidate late stage – A student who has been advanced to candidacy for a doctoral degree, or one whose principal academic endeavor consists of independent study, research , or work toward fulfilling requirements for a doctoral degree.
Doctoral degree - The highest award a student can earn for graduate study. The doctoral degree classification includes such degrees as Doctor of Education, Doctor of Juridicial Science, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in any field such as education, engineering, and business.
Double major - Program in which students may complete two undergraduate programs of study simultaneously.
Dual credit - A program through which high school students are enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) courses, taught at their high school, that fulfill high school graduation requirements and may earn the student college credits .
Dual enrollment - A program through which high school students may enroll in college courses while still enrolled in high school. Students are not required to apply for admission to the college in order to participate.
Educational offerings - Educational programs offered by postsecondary institutions that are occupational, academic, or continuing professional that qualify as postsecondary education programs OR recreational or avocational, adult basic, remedial instruction, high school equivalency, or high school programs that are not deemed postsecondary.
Entering students (undergraduate) - Students at the undergraduate level, both full-time and part-time, coming into the institution for the first time in the fall term (or the prior summer term who returned again in the fall). This includes all first-time undergraduate students, students transferring into the institution at the undergraduate level for the first time, and non-degree/certificate seeking undergraduates entering in the fall.
Ethnicity – Race classification as mandated by IPEDS. Non-US-citizens are classified as "Foreign" regardless of their ethnic group.
Faculty – Employees whose primary job is to teach courses.
Faculty rank – A ranking system among faculty in which titles include professor, associate professor, assistant professor, etc.
Fall cohort - The group of students entering in the fall term established for tracking purposes. For the Graduation Rates component, this includes all students who enter an institution as full-time, first-time degree or certificate-seeking undergraduate students during the fall term of a given year.
Fall term - The part of the academic year that usually begins late August.
Fifth-year undergraduate – Students enrolled in programs which normally take five years to complete, e.g., some engineering programs or medical technology degrees. This does not describe a student who takes five years to complete a four-year degree.
Financial aid - Grants, loans, assistantships, scholarships, fellowships, tuition waivers, tuition discounts, veteran's benefits, employer aid (tuition reimbursement) and other monies (other than from relatives/friends) provided to students to meet expenses. This includes Title IV subsidized and unsubsidized loans made directly to students.
First professional degree - An award in one of the following fields: Chiropractic (DC, DCM), dentistry (DDS, DMD), medicine (MD), optometry (OD), osteopathic medicine (DO), rabbinical and Talmudic studies (MHL, Rav), Pharmacy (Bpharm, PharmD), podiatry (PodD, DP, DPM), veterinary medicine (DVM), law (LLB, JD), divinity/ministry (BD, MDiv). The University of Memphis offers the JD degree.
First time student - A student attending any institution for the first time at the level enrolled. Includes students enrolled in the fall term who attended a postsecondary institution for the first time at the same level in the prior summer term. Also included students who entered with advanced standing (college credit earned before graduation from high school).
First time, first-year (freshman) student - A student attending any institution for the first time at the undergraduate level. Includes students enrolled in the fall term who attended college for the first time in the prior summer term. Also includes students who entered with advanced standing (college credits earned before graduation from high school).
First year professional student – A student who has been accepted into a program leading to the JD, MD, DDS, PharmD, or DVM degree and is in the first year of his studies toward that degree. The University of Memphis offers the JD degree.
First year student - A student who has completed less than the equivalent of 1 full year of undergraduate work; that is, less than 30 semester hours (in a 120-hour degree program) or less than 900 contact hours.
Fiscal year – July 1st to June 30th.
Freshman - A first-year undergraduate student.
FTE of students - The full-time equivalent (FTE) of students is a single value providing a meaningful combination of full time and part time students. Equals the student's attempted hours divided by the number of hours considered to be full-time for a student at that level (15 hours for undergraduate, 12 hours for graduate).
FTE staff - The full-time-equivalent (FTE) of staff is calculated by summing the total number of full-time staff from the Employees by Assigned Position (EAP) component and adding one-third of the total number of part-time staff.
Full-time instructional faculty - Faculty employed on a full-time basis for instruction (including those with released time for research).
Full-time student (undergraduate) - A student enrolled for 12 or more semester credits, 12 or more quarter credits, or 24 or more contact hours a week each term.
Full-time student (graduate) – A student enrolled for 9 or more semester credits.
GED (General Educational Development) - This term normally refers to the tests of General Educational Development (GED), which provide an opportunity to earn a high school credential. The GED program, sponsored by the American Council on Education, enables individuals to demonstrate that they have acquired a level of learning comparable to that of high school graduates.
Geographic Origin – The location of the student's permanent address. Categories are Shelby County, the rest of western Tennessee, the rest of Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, the rest of the USA, and other countries (each category excludes all previous categories). The category "Western Tennessee" includes the following counties: Benton, Carroll, Chester, Crockett, Decatur, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardiman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Lake, Lauderdale, Madison, McNairy, Obion, Tipton, & Weakley.
Governing board - An entity that ensures on behalf of the public the performance of an institution or a group of institutions. Responsibilities of the board may include appointing, supporting, and monitoring the president of the institution; reviewing educational and public service programs; insisting on strategic planning; and, ensuring good management and adequate resources.
Grade-point average (academic high school GPA) - The sum of grade points a student has earned in secondary school divided by the number of courses taken. The most common system of assigning numbers to grades counts four points for an A, three points for a B, two points for a C, one point for a D, and no points for an E or F. Unweighted GPA's assign the same weight to each course. Weighting gives students additional points for their grades in advanced or honors courses.
Graduate assistants - Graduate-level students employed on a part-time basis for the primary purpose of assisting in classroom or laboratory instruction or in the conduct of research. Graduate students having titles such as graduate assistant, teaching assistant, teaching associate, teaching fellow, or research assistant typically hold these positions.
Graduate special – A student who is (1) non-degree seeking, holding a bachelor's or higher degree, taking courses for graduate credit only; or (2) non-degree seeking, holding a bachelor's or higher degree, taking courses for both graduate and undergraduate credit; or (3) holding a bachelor's degree, and seeking a Graduate Certificate of Credit.
Graduate student - A student who holds a bachelor's or first professional degree, or equivalent, and is taking courses at the post-baccalaureate level.
Graduation rate - The rate required for disclosure and/or reporting purposes under Student Right-to-Know. This rate is calculated as the total number of completers within 150% of normal time divided by the revised cohort minus any allowable exclusions.
High school / college concurrent – High school student taking college courses in advance of high school graduation.
High school diploma or recognized equivalent - A document certifying the successful completion of a prescribed secondary school program of studies, or the attainment of satisfactory scores on the GED or another state specified examination.
Hispanic or Latino - A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
In-state student - A student who is a legal resident of the state in which he/she attends school.
In-state tuition - The tuition charged by institutions to those students who meet the state's or institution's residency requirements.
Instructional activity - The provision of coursework to students.
Instructional Faculty - Members of the instructional-research staff whose major regular assignment is instruction, including those with released time for research.
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) - Conducted by the NCES, this began in 1986 and involves annual institution-level data collections. All postsecondary institutions that have a Program Participation Agreement with the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE), U.S. Department of Education (throughout IPEDS referred to as "Title IV") are required to report data using a web-based data collection system. IPEDS currently consists of the following components: Institutional Characteristics (IC); 12-month Enrollment (E12);Completions (C); Human Resources (HR) composed of Employees by Assigned Position (EAP), Fall Staff (S),and Salaries (SA); Fall Enrollment (EF); Graduation Rates (GRS); Finance (F); and Student Financial Aid (SFA).
Major – A student's main field of specialization. The university department offering the major defines specific required courses along with a certain number of electives required for that major.
Master's degree - An award that requires the successful completion of a program of study of at least the full-time equivalent of one but not more than two academic years of work beyond the bachelor's degree.
Master's candidate – A student who has been formally admitted to graduate school for the purpose of pursuing a Master's degree.
Matriculation - Registration and enrollment at the University of Memphis.
Minor – A student's secondary field of specialization, subordinate to a student's major.
Minority faculty - Faculty who designate themselves as black, non-Hispanic; American Indian or Alaskan native; Asian or Pacific Islander; or Hispanic.
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) - In the Institute of Education Sciences, this is the statistical agency of the U.S. Department of Education and the primary federal provider of education statistics on the condition of American education.
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
Noncredit course - A course or activity having no credit applicable toward a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award.
Non-degree-seeking student - A student enrolled in courses for credit who is not recognized by the institution as seeking a degree or formal award.
Non-professional staff - Employees of an institution whose primary function or occupational activity is classified as one of the following: technical and paraprofessional; clerical and secretarial; skilled crafts; or service/maintenance.
Nonresident alien - A person who is not a citizen or national of the United States and who is in this country on a visa or temporary basis and does not have the right to remain indefinitely.
Off-campus centers (extension centers) - Sites outside the confines of the parent institution where courses are offered that are part of an organized program at the parent institution. The sites are not considered to be temporary but may be rented or made available to the institution at no cost by another institution or an organization, agency, or firm.
Off-campus housing - Any housing facility that is occupied by students but is not owned or controlled by the educational institution.
Off-campus facility - A teaching facility located some distance away from the educational institution which operates it.
On-campus housing - Any residence halls owned or controlled by an institution within the same reasonably contiguous geographic area and used by the institution in direct support of or in a manner related to, the institution's educational purposes.
Out-of-state student - A student who is not a legal resident of the state in which he/she attends school.
Out-of-state tuition -The tuition charged by institutions to those students who do not meet the institution's or state's residency requirements.
Part-time instructional faculty - Adjuncts and other instructors being paid solely for part-time classroom instruction. Also includes full-time faculty teaching less than two semesters, three quarters, two trimesters, or two four-month sessions. Employees who are not considered full-time instruction faculty but who teach one or more non-clinical credit course may be counted as part-time faculty.
Part-time student (undergraduate) - A student enrolled for fewer than 12 credits per semester or quarter, or fewer than 24 contact hours a week each term.
Persistence - A student's continuation behavior leading to graduation. Persistence refers to combined retention and graduation.
Post-baccalaureate certificate - An award that requires completion of an organized program of study requiring 18 credit hours beyond the bachelor's; designed for persons who have completed a baccalaureate degree but do not meet requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of master.
Post-baccalaureate student - A student with a bachelor's degree who is enrolled in graduate-level or first-professional courses.
Post-doctoral student – A student who holds a doctoral degree and who is pursuing a program of study or training for which a doctoral degree is requisite.
Post-master's certificate - An award that requires completion of an organized program of study of 24 credit hours beyond the master's degree but does not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.
Primarily instruction - A primary function or occupational activity category used to classify persons whose specific assignments customarily are made for the purpose of conducting instruction or teaching and who hold academic titles of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, lecturer or the equivalent. Includes deans, directors, or the equivalent, as well as associate deans, assistant deans, and executive officers of academic departments (chairpersons, heads, or equivalent) if their principal activity is instruction.
Primarily public service - A primary function or occupational activity category used to classify persons whose specific assignments customarily are made for the purpose of carrying out public service activities such as agricultural extension services, clinical services, or continuing education and who may hold academic titles of professor, associate professor, assistant professor. Includes deans, directors, or the equivalent, as well as associate deans, assistant deans, and executive officers of academic departments (chairpersons, heads, or equivalent) if their principal activity is public service.
Primarily research - A primary function or occupational activity category used to classify persons whose specific assignments customarily are made for the purpose of conducting research and who hold academic titles of professor, associate professor, assistant professor, or titles such as research associate or postdoctoral fellow. Includes deans, directors, or the equivalent, as well as associate deans, assistant deans, and executive officers of academic departments (chairpersons, heads, or equivalent) if their principal activity is research.
Professional staff - Employees of an institution whose primary function or occupational activity is classified as one of the following: faculty; executive,administrative,managerial or other professional.
Program - A combination of courses and related activities organized for the attainment of broad educational objectives as described by the institution.
Public institution - An educational institution whose programs and activities are operated by publicly elected or appointed school officials and which is supported primarily by public funds.
Race/ethnicity (new definition) - Categories developed in 1997 by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that are used to describe groups to which individuals belong, identify with, or belong in the eyes of the community. The categories do not denote scientific definitions of anthropological origins. The designations are used to categorize U.S. citizens, resident aliens, and other eligible non-citizens. Individuals are asked to first designate ethnicity as: Hispanic or Latino, or Not Hispanic or Latino. Second, individuals are asked to indicate all races that apply among the following: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, or White.
Race/ethnicity unknown - The category used to report students or employees whose race and ethnicity are not known.
Readmitted student - A student who has attended the University of Memphis in the past and is reapplying for admission.
Regents online degree program (RODP) – Offers online undergraduate and graduate courses within degree programs in which interaction is delivered electronically rather than face-to-face.
Retention rate - A measure of the rate at which students persist in their educational program at an institution, expressed as a percentage. For four-year institutions , this is the percentage of first-time full-time bachelors (or equivalent) degree-seeking undergraduates from the previous fall who are again enrolled in the current fall.
Salaries and wages - Amounts paid as compensation for services to all employees—faculty, staff, part time, full time, regular employees, and student employees. This includes regular or periodic payment to a person for the regular or periodic performance of work or a service and payment to a person for more sporadic performance of work or a service (overtime, extra compensation, summer compensation, bonuses, sick or annual leave, etc.).
SAT - Previously known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, this is an examination administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) and used to predict the facility with which an individual will progress in learning college-level academic subjects.
Scholarships - Grants-in-aid, trainee stipends, tuition and fee waivers, prizes or other monetary awards given to undergraduate students.
Scholarships and fellowships - Outright grants-in-aid, trainee stipends, tuition and fee waivers, and prizes awarded to students by the institution, including Pell grants. Awards to undergraduate students are most commonly referred to as "scholarships" and those to graduate students as "fellowships." These awards do not require the performance of services while a student (such as teaching) or subsequently as a result of the scholarship or fellowship. The term does not include loans to students (subject to repayment), College Work-Study Program (CWS), or awards granted because of faculty or staff status. Also not included are awards to students where the selection of the student recipient is not made by the institution.
Second year professional student – A student who has been accepted into a program leading to the JD, MD, DDS, PharmD, or DVM degree and is in the second year of his studies toward that degree. The University of Memphis offers the JD degree.
Specialist in Education candidate – A student who has been formally admitted to a graduate school for the purpose of pursuing Specialist in Education degree.
Stop out - A student who left the institution and returned at a later date.
Student Right-to-Know Act - (IPEDS) Also known as the "Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act" (P.L. 101-542), which was passed by Congress November 9, 1990. Title I, Section 103, requires institutions eligible for Title IV funding to disclose completion or graduation rates of certificate- or degree-seeking, full-time students entering an institution to all students and prospective students. Further, Section 104 requires each institution that participates in any Title IV program and is attended by students receiving athletically-related student aid to annually submit a report to the Secretary. This report is to contain, among other things, graduation/completion rates of all students as well as students receiving athletically-related student aid by race/ethnicity and gender and by sport, and the average completion or graduation rate for the four most recent years. These data are also required to be disclosed to parents, coaches, and potential student athletes when the institution offers athletically-related student aid.
Student-to-faculty ratio - The ratio of FTE students to FTE instructional staff, i.e., students divided by staff. Each FTE value is equal to the number of full-time students/staff plus 1/3 the number of part-time students/staff.
Tenure - Status of a personnel position with respect to permanence of the position.
Tenure track - Personnel positions that lead to consideration for tenure.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) - The standardized test designed to determine an applicant's ability to benefit from instruction in English.
Third year professional student – A student who has been accepted into a program leading to the JD, MD, DDS, PharmD, or DVM degree and is in the third year or his studies toward that degree. The University of Memphis offers the JD degree.
Transfer applicant - An individual who has fulfilled the institution's requirements to be considered for admission (including payment or waiving of the application fee, if any) and who has previously attended another college or university and earned college-level credit.
Transfer student - A student entering the institution for the first time but known to have previously attended a postsecondary institution at the same level (e.g., undergraduate). The student may transfer with or without credit.
Transient student - A student who is regularly enrolled and in good standing at another institution and is taking a course at the University of Memphis for which credit will be transferred to his/her regular institution.
Tuition and fees (published charges) - The amount of tuition and required fees covering a full academic year most frequently charged to students. These values represent what a typical student would be charged and may not be the same for all students at an institution.
Undergraduate - A student enrolled in a four- or five-year bachelor's degree program, an associate degree program, or a vocational or technical program below the baccalaureate.
Undergraduate special – A student who is (1) non-degree seeking and holds no degree or certificate; or (2) non-degree seeking, holding any level degree, but taking only courses for undergraduate credit; or (3) non-degree seeking, holding no bachelor's degree, and taking courses for both graduate and undergraduate credit; or (4) one seeking a Technical Certificate of Credit.
Unduplicated count - The sum of students enrolled for credit with each student counted only once during the reporting period, regardless of when the student enrolled.
White - A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
Work study and employment - Federal and state work study aid, and any employment packaged by your institution in financial aid awards.