Academic Year – an academic year is defined as one complete school year that runs from June to May. It usually includes a fall and spring semester as well as a summer session.

Accreditation – accreditation in higher education is defined as a collegial process based on self and peer assessment for public accountability and improvement of academic quality.

ACE Week – the week following final exams in May for assessment, commencement, and evaluation activities.

Argos – an enterprise reporting system used by McNeese State University.

Assessment – the process of measuring the degree of success relative to a stated outcome at all levels of work. Assessment in higher education should demonstrate that the institution reflects on the quality and efficiency of its programs and services, uses assessment results to improve decision-making processes, and, if necessary, changes the means or methodologies utilized to deliver those programs and services.


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Banner – the enterprise resource planning and student information system used by McNeese State University.


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Common Data Set (CDS) – a collaborative effort among data providers in the higher education community. The CDS is a set of standards and definitions of data terms for reporting.

Census Date – the official day of record that public higher education institutions use for official reporting purposes. For fall and spring semesters, it is the 14th class day. For summer semesters, it is the 7th class day.

CIP (Classification of Instructional Programs) Code – these codes represent a nationally used, common taxonomy for the classification of higher education degree programs. The CIP code is the standard method of reporting academic programs to the Federal Government. It is also used in a variety of education information systems and databases.

Credit – the unit of measure institutions give for fulfilling course requirements. A credit typically represents one hour of class per week for one semester.

Credit Hour – a unit counted toward completion of an academic program. Each course is worth a certain number of credit hours.

Curriculog – the curriculum management system used by McNeese State University.


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Degree Seeking Student – students enrolled in courses for credit who are recognized by the institution as seeking a degree or other formal award.

Dual Enrollment – the simultaneous enrollment of a student at a high school and in a college course which is offered.


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Employee Salary Data System (ESDS) – a Louisiana Board of Regents data system that collects data on employee salary information. ESDS is collected two times a year.


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Facilities Inventory and Utilization (FIU) – a Louisiana Board of Regents data system that collects data on campus buildings, rooms, classrooms, and utilization of those buildings, rooms, and classrooms. FIU is collected once a year in the fall semester.

Financial Aid – a comprehensive term used to describe monetary assistance for students in the form of grants, scholarships, work-study, or loans from sources including the institution, private donors, and/or the state or federal government.

Financial Aid Data System (FADS) – a Louisiana Board of Regents data system that collects financial aid data on students. FADS is collected in October for the previous financial aid year.

First Generation College Student – McNeese classifies first generation students as those with neither parent having attended any college. Note that this information is self-reported by the student when applying for admission to the university.

First-Time Freshman – an undergraduate student newly enrolled at McNeese State University and not previously enrolled in a postsecondary degree program. Also student who entered with college credits earned before graduation from high school.

Fiscal Year – at McNeese, the twelve month budgetary period beginning July 1st and ending June 30th.

Full-Time Faculty – employment is based upon an official contract, appointment, or agreement with a school, principal employment is with that school, major assignments are in teaching and research.

Full-Time Student – an undergraduate student who has at least 12 credit hours in a semester or a graduate student who has at least 9 credit hours in a semester.


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Graduation Rate – the percentage of a student cohort that graduate four, five, and six years from the date they first enrolled.


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Headcount – the number of individual students, whether full-time or part-time


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Institutional Aid – any form of financial assistance awarded and funded by the postsecondary institution that the student is attending.

IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System) – the core postsecondary education data collection for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a part of the United States Department of Education. For more information, please view the IPEDS website.


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Key Performance Indicator (KPI) – in higher education, KPI’s are values used by institutions to track progress on specific objectives. KPI’s also help institutions track and monitor how well they are performing.


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Louisiana Association of Institutional Research (LAIR) – the professional organization supporting institutional research, planning, evaluation, and policy analysis in Louisiana institutions of higher education. For more information, please view the LAIR website.

Louisiana Board of Regents (BOR) – the Board of Regents is the state agency that is responsible for coordinating all public higher education in Louisiana. For more information, please view the Board of Regents website.


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Major Field of Study – students are classified as majors according to their selection of a primary field of study.

Master Plan for Higher Education – the Louisiana Board of Regents plan for higher education in Louisiana. The title of the current plan is Louisiana Prospers: Driving our Talent Imperative. For more information, please view the Master Plan website.


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National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) – a nonprofit association of over 1,000 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals that organize the athletic programs of many colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.

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-Resident 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.

NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement) – administered by Indiana University, NSSE collects information at hundreds of colleges and universities about student participation in programs and activities that institutions provide for their learning and personal development. At McNeese, this survey is administered every other year. For more information, please view the NSSE website.


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Progression – at McNeese State University, progression refers to first-time students who successfully matriculate from their first fall semester of enrollment to the next spring semester.


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Race/Ethnicity – categories developed by the federal government that are used to describe groups to which individuals belong, identify with, or belong in the eyes of the community. The designations are used to categorize US citizens, resident aliens, and other eligible non-citizens.

Retention Rate – the rate at which a cohort of college students continue, or re-enroll, from one year to the succeeding year.

Ruffalo Noel Levitz – a postsecondary education consulting firm that regularly conducts trend research and shares its findings widely, through a variety of information tools.


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Scantron Class Climate – the web based system that McNeese uses to collect survey data and the Student Evaluation of Instruction (SEI).

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) – the regional body for accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the southern states. It serves as the common denominator of shared values and practices among institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Latin America and other international sites approved by the Commission on Colleges that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral degrees. For more information, please view the SACSCOC website.

Statewide Completers System (CMPL) – a Louisiana Board of Regents data system that collects data on students who completed degrees. CMPL is collected once per year on the previous academic year’s data.

Statewide Student Profile System (SSPS) – a Louisiana Board of Regents data system that collects end of term data on enrolled students on a variety of measures. SSPS is collected 3 times a year: at the end of the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

Stop-out – refers to students who withdraw from college temporarily and re-enroll at a later date.

Student Credit Hours (SCH) – courses are assigned credit hours based on the amount of instruction and related coursework per week. The total credit hours generated by a course equal the number of credit hours associated with the course multiplied by the number of students enrolled in the course, as measured on census day.

Student/Faculty Ratio – defined as the number of full-time students plus one-third of part-time students divided by full-time faculty plus one-third of part-time faculty.

Student Satisfaction Inventory (SSI) – administered by Ruffalo Noel Levitz, the SSI attempts to measure student satisfaction and priorities, indicating how satisfied students are as well as what issues are important to them.


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Tenure – a status granted to professors that gives protection from summary dismissal. Promotion recognizes academic achievement not only in the University, but in the profession at large.

Transfer Student – a student entering the reporting institution for the first time and who is known to have previously attended another institution at the same level (e.g., undergraduate to undergraduate, graduate to graduate; not undergraduate to graduate).

Trends – a reporting technique that measures one or more variables over a specified period of time to identify changes.


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United States Department of Education (USDOE) – promotes student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access. For more information, please view the USDOE website.

University of Louisiana System (ULS) – the University of Louisiana System is a public, multi-campus university system dedicated to the service of Louisiana and its people. The System offers a broad spectrum of educational opportunities ranging from technical training at the associate level to research at the doctoral level. McNeese State University is a member of this system. For more information, please view the ULS website.

US News and World Report – a college ranking/choice organization that provides students and their families with information specific to college types, departments, and academic programs. For more information, please view the US News and World Report website.


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Workload (Faculty) – refers to all faculty activities that contribute to the accomplishment of unit-related activities and responsibilities: research/creative activity, teaching, service, outreach, and extension (where appropriate).


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Xitracs – the system used by McNeese State University for accreditation data collection and assessment report collection.


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