Student Terminology

Glossary of Essential Workday Student Terms

  • Academic History

    A list of all completed courses and grades. Also shows transfer/test credit and GPA.

  • Academic Level

    Undergraduate or graduate. Levels are associated with students, programs of study, courses, course sections and academic policies.

  • Academic Period

    Typically referred to as a semester or term, a length of time with defined start and end dates. RISD has four academic periods: fall, winter, spring and summer.

  • Academic Plan

    Students may map the classes they will take each semester to complete their program of study. RISD provides a template for most students. The plan can be used in conjunction with academic progress that shows progression toward meeting degree requirements.

  • Academic Progress

    Sometimes referred to as a degree audit, a list of requirements to complete the student's program of study. The report indicates which requirements are satisfied, in progress and not satisfied. The report does not indicate when students should take the classes.

  • Academic Requirement

    An element of the academic progress tool that outlines the requirements to complete a program of study. An academic requirement is typically a required course. Exceptions to requirements may be requested and recorded in Workday.

  • Academic Standing

    To remain at RISD, students must meet certain academic requirements such as a minimum GPA. Students can have good standing, have a warning of probation, be on probation or be subject to dismissal.

  • Academic Unit

    An academic entity of RISD, such as an academic department or division. Academic units contain programs of study, students, courses and course sections.

  • Academic Year

    At RISD, the academic year comprises the summer, fall, winter and spring academic periods in that order. RISD awards financial aid and publishes an academic catalog based on academic year.

  • Award Letter

    A letter that details federal, state, institutional, and private student financial aid.

  • Award Year

    At RISD, the award year comprises the summer, fall, winter and spring academic periods in that order. RISD awards financial aid based on the award year.

  • Class Standing

    First-year, sophomore, junior, senior, non-degree or graduate. For undergraduates, the standing is determined by the number of credits earned including transfer/test credits, not by the number of years in attendance.

  • Contact Hours

    The number of hours the course meets per week.

  • Cost of Attendance (COA)

    The total cost to attend school for the academic year.

  • Course

    A class. For example, FOUND 1001.

  • Course Section

    An offering in a specific academic period (semester) of a specific course. For example, FOUND 1001 offered in Spring 2023.

  • Declare Date

    When a student started the program of study.

  • Delivery Mode

    How a course section is taught: in person, online or hybrid (a combination of in-person and online instruction).

  • Disbursement

    Payment of funds to the borrower by the school. Can be scheduled or anticipated and actual (when funds are paid out).

  • Eligibility Rule

    Typically used to define requirements to register for a course.

  • Expected Completion Date

    The approximate date the student is anticipated to graduate.

  • Friends and Family

    Student may optionally provide friends and family with access to view their class schedule and/or grades.

  • Grading Basis

    Determines which grades an instructor may assign. Generally classes have a Graded basis that allows A-F. The alternative is pass/fail.

  • Hold

    A tag on a student's account that may block the ability to register and/or receive transcripts.

  • Instructional Format

    The type of class: lecture, seminar, studio or workshop.

  • Interim Grade

    A check-in grade providing by the instructor roughly midway through the semester. The grade is not part of the student's permanent academic record and does not factor into the GPA.

  • Load Status

    Whether a student is enrolled full time, half time, three-quarter time, half time or less than half time. For fall and spring semesters a student must register for 12 credits to be considered full time.

  • Loan Period

    The portion of the academic year for which the loan is requested.

  • Master Promissory Note (MPN)

    A legal document that is a promise to repay a federal student loan or loans and any accrued interest and fees to the lender or loan holder. There is one MPN for direct subsidized or unsubsidized loans and a different MPN for direct PLUS loans.

  • Program of Study

    An educational objective such as a bachelor of fine arts with a major of glass. Programs of study include concentrations and focus areas.

  • Program of Study Status

    The state of a student's educational objective, typically a major. In progress and matriculated indicate the student is active in the objective; discontinued and institutional withdrawal indicate the student is no longer participating in the objective; leave of absence indicates the student is on a temporary break from RISD.

  • Reserve Capacity

    Specifies the number of course section seats to hold for a students who meet a specified eligibility rule. For example, a department could hold 7 out of 20 seats for students pursuing a specific major.

  • Satisfactory Academic Progress

    Separate from academic standing, satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requires the student to maintain minimum academic standings to continue to receive financial aid. Students must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA and pass 67% of their classes.

  • Saved Schedule

    Students may place course sections in their saved schedule and then register for those classes at a later date. Placing a class in a saved schedule does not guarantee the student a seat.

  • Scheduled Award

    The maximum grant amount a student is eligible to receive for the award year if they are enrolled full-time for the full school year. This amount is calculated from the information the student and their family provided when filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  • Section Status

    Preliminary indicates a course section in draft mode that is not shown to students and for which students may not be registered; open indicates the course is available for registration; closed means it has reached capacity; canceled indicates the course has been removed from the schedule of classes.

  • Transfer Credit

    Credit taken at collegiate institution that is transferable to RISD.

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