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Definitions and Technical Notes
Definitions

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Academic Year - begins in summer session and concludes in the spring semester. For example, the 2007-08 academic year consists of Summer Session 2007, Fall Semester 2007-08, and Spring Semester 2007-08.

ACT (American College Testing Assessment) - is a college entrance exam designed to test skill levels in English, math, reading, and science reasoning.

Alumni - are those who have attended or graduated from a school, college, or university. This includes graduates and former students for whom we have an active address (i.e., they are not deceased nor "lost").

ASF (Assignable Square Feet) - is a measure of the useable space within a building that is available for assignment to user departments. It excludes non-assignable spaces such as public hallways and stairways, building mechanical rooms and restrooms, the areas used for walls, mechanical shafts, etc.

Auxiliary Enterprises - are self-supporting and receive no state funds. Includes housing & food services, intercollegiate athletics, health & recreation services, parking facilities, transportation & printing services, and Purdue Airport.

Benchmark - is a measurement or evaluative strategy used to compare Purdue University's performance to other universities. The comparison is external.

Class - consists of one or more course sections meeting with the same instructor(s) at a common time. It is the physical group of students and instructors meeting together. Includes course sections that are conjoined or normally meet with each other as part of an instructional offering, such as when a section from both an "honors" course and from the related regular course share a common lecture.

Course Section - or section, is one or more students meeting with an instructor(s) to complete the requirements of a formal instructional offering, identified by a specific subject field and course number.

Credit Hour - is a unit of University academic credit. Represents approximately three hours of work per week by an average student in a normal semester, or the total work equivalent for short courses.

Distinguished and Named Professors - are individuals with internationally recognized achievements in scholarship or research or who have made a unique contribution to the University through scholarship, research, teaching, or leadership functions.

Dual Level Courses - are numbered 500-599. May be taken by either graduate or undergraduate students.

Extramural Awards - are received from outside sponsoring agencies such as the federal government, state and local governments, foreign governments, industrials and foundations, other universities, national laboratories, and other miscellaneous sponsoring agencies including Purdue Research Foundation. The awards support research, instruction, public service, and fellowship programs.

Fiscal Year - begins July 1 of a specific year and ends on June 30 the following year for Purdue University.

FTE (Full Time Equivalency) - is a numerical measure for reporting purposes. FTE students is calculated by summing a specific time period's total credit hours and dividing by 15 for undergraduate, professional, and certificate students, and by 12 for graduate students. An FTE employee is defined as effort normally expected of a full-time employee and not as a particular course load for faculty nor by clock hours for exempt staff. Less than full-time staff FTE for faculty and exempt staff is established by mutual agreement between the supervisor and the staff member. FTE for non-exempt staff is based on a forty-hour work week.

Grade Index/Semester Grade Index - is a grade average determined by weighting each grade received during a given semester by the number of semester credit hours in each course.

IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Educational Data System) - is a system of surveys under the federal Department of Education designed to collect institution-level data in such areas as enrollments, program completions, faculty, staff, and finances from all primary providers of postsecondary education.

Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne - is a campus administered by Purdue University. Offers Purdue and Indiana degree programs.

Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis - is a campus administered by Indiana University. Offers Purdue and Indiana degree programs.

Professional Students - are students who are enrolled in the School of Pharmacy or Veterinary Medicine professional programs.

PULSe - is the Purdue University Life Sciences program.

SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) - is the most widely taken college entrance examination. It is designed to test skill levels in math, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.

Semester - is a regular fall or spring session of classes as defined in the academic calendar for each campus.

SMART Grant - is Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent, which is a national grant available to eligible full-time students majoring in physical, life, or computer sciences, mathematics, technology, or engineering or in a foreign language determined critical to national security.

Summer Session - is the regular session held for eight weeks in the summer or as defined in the academic calendar for each campus.

WSCH (Weekly Student Class Hours) - is a measure of instructional activity or load, the average number of "50-minute hours" per week that students are in organized class settings in contact with a teacher for instructional purposes. They are weekly averages using a 16-week semester as the base. Weekly student class hours are not generated by independent study types of instructions (i.e., by thesis research, experiential learning, individual study, and distance education).

Source: Office of Institutional Research