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Academic Year — begins in summer session and concludes in the spring semester. For example the 2009-10 academic year consists of Summer Session 2009, Fall Semester 2009-10 and Spring Semester 2009-10.
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 Purdue 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  Professor — A special recognition bestowed on a select few professors of outstanding accomplishment who have achieved national and international prominence. Conferring the title of distinguished professor requires a rigorous academic review and appointment by the Board of Trustees.
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 enrollment, 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 University degree programs.
Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis — is a campus administered by Indiana University. Offers Purdue and Indiana University degree programs.
Named Professor — A title that recognizes a professorship supported by external funding as outlined in the University’s Guidelines for Naming Opportunities and Endowed Funds for the West Lafayette Campus (II.B.3) or an equivalent funding plan. A named professorship is not an academic designation, although holders would normally be individuals of high accomplishment. Faculty of the rank of assistant, associate, or full professor can hold a named professorship.
Named University Professor — The Transitional title for faculty who received named professor appointments under the prior University policy that bestowed this title as an academic recognition similar to distinguished professorships.
New Beginning Student — First-time student (undergraduate). A student who has no prior postsecondary experience (except as noted below) attending any institution for the first time at the undergraduate level. This includes students enrolled in academic or occupational programs. It also includes students enrolled in the fall term who attended college for the first time in the prior summer term, and students who entered with advanced standing (college credits earned before graduation from high school). Also included are students that have previous non-degree credit with Purdue University.
Professional Students — are students who are enrolled in the School of Pharmacy or Veterinary Medicine professional programs.
PULSe — is the Purdue University Life Sciences interdisciplinary 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).
Underrepresented Minority (URM) — a person with any self-reporting race/ethnicity of American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander.
Hispanic or Latino — a person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture of origin, regardless of race.
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, Korean, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Black or African American — a person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander — a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Islands.
Two or More Races — a person who is non-Hispanic or Latino, but identifies as Two or More of the other racial groups (American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, White).
White — a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.
U. S. Minorities — This calculated value includes the total student headcount minus international students.
International — count based on citizenship/visa codes.
Nonresident alien — count based on fee residency.


Source: Office of Institutional Research, Assessment and Effectiveness