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Data Dictionary & Glossary

OIR uses certain abbreviations, acronyms, and terms in its reports that may not be familiar to some audiences. In order to assist readers with understanding the content of its reports, OIR provides a data dictionary/glossary.

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Achieving the Dream (ATD)
A multiyear, national initiative to help community colleges provide all students with the best opportunity for successfully completing a college certificate or degree.
Awards
Represents the range of awards offered by NOVA: A.A., A.S., A.A.A., A.A.S., Certificate, etc.
Campus Types
The home campus is where the application/curriculum is located. The home campus is used to calculate the head count. The course campus is used to compute the FTES.
CCSSE
Community College Survey of Student Engagement.
Degree-Seeking Student
Students enrolled in courses for credit who are recognized by the institution as seeking a degree or formal award.
CIP Code
Classification of Instructional Program. A six-digit code in the form xx.xxxx that identifies program specialties within educational institutions.
Cohort
Federal definition of a cohort used in compliance reporting for retention and graduation rates: A degree-seeking student who is enrolled in the fall term who either matriculated in that fall term or in any one of the previous summer sessions. A group of individuals having a common factor (such as age or class membership).
Curriculum Code
The list of codes in the schedule of classes or NOVA catalog representing a course of study (for example, interior design, etc.)
Employee ID (EMPLID)
EMPLID refers to the unique identification number assigned to each NOVA student, faculty and staff through VCCS.
Enrollment
Refers to the number of different classes that each student enrolls in; therefore, some students are counted more than once because they take more than one course. The “duplicated student count” is also referred to as enrollment.
Extended Learning Institute (ELI)
ELI is the distance learning program at NOVA. In computing the FTES, the credits are assigned to the home campus of the instructor that teaches the course.
Fact Book
The institution’s compendium of facts and figures regarding budget, enrollment, degrees, faculty and staff, facilities and other.
FTE
Full-Time Equivalent Students is a measure derived from the credit loads of students. It can be calculated on a semester or annual basis. For undergraduates, total credits are divided by 15 for the semester measure and 30 for the annual measure.
Full-Time Equivalent Faculty (FTEF)
FTEF is calculated by taking the teaching credits for a semester and dividing by 15. It can be computed by College, discipline, campus or individual.
Full-Time Equivalent Student (FTES)
An FTES is defined as a unit equal to 15 credits and is not equivalent to what is defined as a full-time student (i.e., a student taking 12+ credits a semester). This term is often used in reporting enrollment numbers. FTESs are calculated at each campus for one semester by adding all the academic credits being taken divided by 15. There are three ways to examine FTESs:
  • Semester - i.e., one semester
  • Regular session - fall and spring semesters
  • Annual - summer, fall, and spring semesters
Regular session and annual FTESs are calculated by adding all the credits and dividing by 30.
Full-/Part-time Student
Students are considered full-time if they are enrolled in 12 or more credits of course work in a semester or summer term.
Students are considered part-time if they are enrolled in fewer than 12 credits of course work in a semester or summer term.
GPS
A result of NOVA’s college-wide Quality Enhance Plan (QEP), GPS for Success is an action plan designed to provide a comprehensive advising experience to students who are recent high school graduates, have never been to college before and are enrolled in an academic program.
Graduate
Defined as an individual who has gone through a course of study (i.e., program placed) and graduates with a degree or certificate.
Headcount
A term used to reflect an unduplicated count, usually of students and regardless of how many times they may appear on a course file. For example, students enrolled in more than one course would appear multiple times on a course file, but for headcount purposes would be counted only once.
Major
This term refers to the main area in a degree program. Major is more specific, whereas, degree program refers to a more general term.
For example, Visual and Performing Arts is a degree program but Fine Arts is a major (see the Curriculum Code list produced by the Curriculum and Enrollment Services Office).
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