Academic Calendar refers to the official academic publication of an institution that defines its programs, regulations, procedures, grading systems, policies, progression requirements, and so forth, or the method an institution uses for structuring teaching and learning periods.
Academic Year – For the purposes of ACAT the academic year is September 1 to August 31 (post-secondary institutions may differ).
Admission or Entrance Requirements is a set of criteria stipulating education, training or experience needed for eligibility to enter an educational program or occupation. These vary by institution, credential type, and program, and may include grades, exam scores, portfolios or auditions, supplementary applications, videos, prior learning and experience, and so forth. The Institution is responsible for providing, managing and administering their admission requirements from their own systems.
Advance Credit – The award of credit in recognition of skills, competencies, and knowledge of individuals learned by informal, non-formal experiential or formal means. See Informal Learning.
Alberta-Based Private For-Profit Institution – A post-secondary institution which operates as a business receiving fees from each student they enroll.
Alberta-Based Private Not-For-Profit Institution – An institution that is controlled or managed by a body most of whose members are not selected by a public authority and that it not established for the purpose of distributing profits to individual directors, employees, owners or shareholders. These institutions operate exclusively for social, educational, professional, religious, health, charitable, or any other not-for-profit purpose.
Alberta-Based Publicly Funded Institution – An institution receiving support from the Alberta Government.
ACAT refers to the Alberta Council on Admissions and Transfer, reporting to the Minister of Advanced Education and responsible for leadership, advice, and oversight regarding learner pathways and mobility in Alberta’s post-secondary system with a focus on admissions and transfer.
Alberta Transfer System (ATS) – Those institutions which are members of the Alberta Council on Admissions and Transfer and whose transfer agreements are included in the Transfer Alberta Online Search and Transfer Alberta Search Tools.
Articulated Agreement(s) – Postsecondary institutions use Articulation to determine which courses are equivalent at a minimum of two institutions. Articulation normally involves a course-to-course analysis or comparison, but it can also involve whole programs and occur across multiple sectors within or across provinces or territories.
Articulation Is the process of negotiating or interrelating courses, programs, and/or credentials from one institution that are recognized by another institution to allow students to receive credit towards a specific course and/or program.
Baccalaureate or Undergraduate Degree – Degree from a program that is designed to acquaint the student with the basic conceptual approaches and methodologies of the principal discipline/disciplines that constitute the program of study, to provide some specialized knowledge, and to nurture the capacity for independent work in the discipline/disciplines and field of practice. Baccalaureates may have an academic or an applied focus.
Bachelor’s Degree – See Baccalaureate or Undergraduate Degree.
Block Transfer Agreement refers to an Agreement between two or more postsecondary institutions that represents a formalized approach to awarding advanced standing. Generally, it is used to award credit for courses that, as a group, are recognized as having an academic wholeness or integrity and that collectively satisfy part of the requirements for another credential. Block credit enables students to enter a subsequent program at an advanced level (typically, second or third year).
Bridging or Bridge Program refers to a course or program constructed to provide remedial and/or transition support for students to facilitate eligibility to enter a program or profession. There are many different forms of bridging programs (e.g., credit bearing, non-credit, a combination of credit bearing and non-credit) and each typically offers a unique focus (e.g., linguistic competence, remedial support, prerequisite preparation, and so forth).
Career Laddering refers to specified academic pathways students can follow to extend their learning hierarchically in a particular subject area. An example would be where students would transfer their completed postsecondary credential into another program credential at a higher level (e.g., from a certificate to a diploma, or from a diploma to a degree).
Certificate – Certificates come in many forms and are distributed in informal and formal settings. Different types of organizations and institutions issue this credential to signify completion of a body of work or academic studies. Certificates are also embedded within qualifications frameworks with specified learning outcomes and usually are completed in one year or less.
Code – An institution-provided course code identifier for each of its courses (e.g., “CHEM” in CHEM 101). The institutions are responsible for providing this course code to correspond with their own systems.
Collaborative Programs – Internationally, there are many forms of Collaborative Programs. Four main types of international collaborative programs include: (i) Joint Degree Program - awards one joint qualification and is completed in the same time period as it would have taken to complete an individual program; (ii) Multiple Degree Program - awards more than two individual qualifications at equivalent levels and takes longer to complete than an individual program; (iii) Double Degree Program awards two individual qualifications at equivalent levels and takes longer to complete than an individual program (e.g., Dual Degrees, Double Degrees); and a, (iv) Combined Degree Program - awards two individual qualifications at consecutive levels (e.g., Bachelor/Master, Master/Doctoral) and takes longer than one degree but is shorter than if the two degrees were taken separately.
Comment – Institution-provided course comments for their courses that will be publicly accessible (e.g., a footnote, a disclaimer). The institutions are responsible for providing comment information to correspond with their own systems. ACAT will also use this information provided within the Learner Pathways Catalog and System.
Co-requisite is a course or credit that must be taken at the same time as another course.
Course (or Program) Outline refers to an institution’s description of the main content, organization, and expected outcomes of a course, normally including the number of credits awarded, hours of class time, how it is evaluated, assignments, and texts (may also be called a syllabus or master syllabus, as determined by the institution and relevant to the course being offered). A similar, higher level description is provided for a program outline, providing a summary of the program area and course requirements.
Course Equivalent – A course equivalent is a course for which credit is given by the “To” institution, i.e., the one receiving the course.
Course Load refers to the number of courses a student undertakes in any given term, semester, or session. The calculation varies by institution as it depends on how many credits are assigned per course and how many courses in a term or semester denote part-time or full-time study.
Credential refers to official documentation recognizing completion of a course of study/program area that is issued by the individual institution, to be awarded after a student has successfully completed all of the curricular requirements, normally including the accumulation of a minimum number of credits. Credentials can include Diploma, Certificates and Degrees. Find out more at https://www.alberta.ca/post-secondary-credential-types.aspx
Credit – The numerical value assigned to a course by a post-secondary institution, normally based upon the number of contact/classroom hours per week.
Credit Type – Course credit type is used to manage the type of credit associated with the course. Credit Type can range from credits to work experience (but are not limited to these types). Credit is usually either graded (awarded a grade point) or credit/non-credit (as in work experience placements).
Credit Value is the value assigned to a course that refers to the credit value for the purpose of counting its value towards a credential such as a certificate, diploma or degree. Number signifying the value of credit (0.00-9999.99) that may be related to the number of hours of instruction. The majority of academic courses are worth three credits, with some variance depending on the program and institution. Many certificates require 30 credits, diplomas 60 credits, and undergraduate degrees 120 credits.
Decision(s) Refers to a unilateral decision made by an institution for a specific course and/or program, where this institution agrees to recognize and honour credit for incoming students at their institution for a specific course and/or program completed at another identified institution(s).
Description – Institution-provided course and program descriptions for their offerings (e.g., institution academic calendar descriptions). The Institution is responsible for providing these descriptions to correspond with their own systems and academic calendars. ACAT will also use this description within the Learner Pathways Catalog and System.
Degree – A degree signifies the completion of an academic program of study from an accredited post-secondary educational institution.
Dual Credit – Dual credit may involve dual environment in which the student is concurrently enrolled in a high school and post-secondary institution, or consecutive enrolment in which the student completes high school and subsequently is provided credit for learning when they are admitted to the specified post-secondary institution (e.g., IB and AP courses).
End-Dated – Any course or program offering or agreement that is still considered valid for the date ranges specified between its start date and end.
Formal Learning – Credit courses and programs offered at post-secondary institutions.
From Institution – The post-secondary institution a student transfers from.
Grading System – The system used for evaluating a learners' success in attaining the learning outcomes of a post-secondary course.
Honours degree – These allow students to pursue in depth knowledge of a specified discipline. Honours degrees may have higher admission standards than general degrees, and are traditionally the degree route students who want to continue with graduate studies in the discipline pursue.
Informal Learning – Knowledge and skills acquired through life and work experience.
Instruction Type – Instruction type is used to manage or identify the type of instruction basis for the course. Types can range from hours to system defined types such as Lab; Lecture, Seminar; Tutorial; and others as well as the number of hours (e.g., “20H Lab, 1000H work experience hours”).
Instructor Qualification – Description of the institution-provided Instructor Qualifications required for the course being offered. The Institution is responsible for providing the description to correspond with their own systems. It is the total of an instructor's recognized education, skills, and knowledge directly relevant to instructing in a specific field of study.
Learner Pathways – refers to the different routes that a learner can take during lifelong learning in the education system, with a focus on access to routes that support movement into, within, from, and back into post-secondary education.
Learner Pathways System (System) – All of the identified technology systems and tools that together comprise ACAT-related supports for learner pathways and mobility in Alberta’s post-secondary system, including the Alberta Transfer System.
Learning Outcomes – Learning outcomes are statements of what a learner is expected to know, understand and/or be able to demonstrate after completion of a process of learning. Learning outcomes may be included in course and/or program outlines.
Letter of Permission – A letter from a student’s home institution guaranteeing that a course the student successfully completes at another institution will be counted by the home institution toward the student’s program of study. A Letter of Permission should be sought before commencing studies at another institution.
Major refers to the main focus or specialized area of study (e.g., psychology or mathematics), usually specified in an undergraduate degree (e.g., B.A Psychology).
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – A formal agreement of intent between two or more institutions to accept courses (or clusters of courses) for credit. Generally MOU's also incorporate other factors such as recognition of co-op placements, reduced course load (beyond what is accepted for advanced credit) for completion, etc. that is not normally found in a Transfer Agreement.
Minor refers to a secondary or subsidiary area of study. While not all undergraduate degree programs allow students to select a minor, some programs of study allow for double minors.
Number – Institution-provided unique course numbers (e.g., number “101” in CHEM 101) for their courses. Institutions are responsible for providing these unique course number identifiers to correspond with their own systems.
Offerings – Offerings refers to a specific course and/or program available at an institution, based on a course and program master and offered at a particular date and time at a post-secondary institution.
Official Transcripts – Official documents summarizing a student’s academic progression at an educational institution.
Pan-Canadian Protocol on Transferability of University Credits (PDF) – A statement describing transferability between research-intensive universities across Canada.
Pre-requisite – A Course or credit that must be completed before a more advanced course can be taken (e.g., “pre-requisites” of this course offering).
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is defined as a process for institution/organization assessment, identification, documentation, and recognition of a person’s knowledge and skills, acquired through non-formal and informal learning and experience, in relation to a certain goal. PLAR is a learner pathway that can be used towards the requirements of education and training programs via an institution or organization where offered and applicable.
Program refers to a specific program offering, based on a program master and offered at a particular date and time at a post-secondary institution.
Residency Requirement – Specified number of credits that must be completed at an institution in order to be awarded a credential for a program of study at that institution.
Selection Criteria – Categories of qualifications, capabilities, or experience (academic or other) that provide the basis for screening and admission to a program of study.
Student Mobility refers to a learner’s ability to access different learner pathways (routes) during his/her program of study(s) in post-secondary education, including movement into, within, from, or back into post-secondary education. Mobility allows students to earn credits toward a credential at more than one institution, ladder from one credential to another credential, build on foundational learning and high school upgrading to enter post-secondary studies, and/or access to many other learner pathways.
Shelf Life – A time limit imposed by an institution for granting transfer credit for certain courses that acknowledges the changing relevance of the information initially imparted.
Six Sector Model – The Six Sector Model refers to the institutional arrangement of Campus Alberta's 26 publicly funded institutions. An update to this model is planned for February 2019. 1. Comprehensive Academic and Research Institution (CARI) 2. Baccalaureate and Applied Studies Institution (BASI); 3. Polytechnical Institution (PI); 4. Comprehensive Community Institution (CCI); 5. Independent Academic Institution (IAI); 6. Specialized Arts and Culture Institution. Although all 26 Campus Alberta institutions are members of the Alberta Transfer System (ATS), the ATS is comprised of 41 institutions in Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.
Specified Credit – A course that is close enough in learning outcomes to a receiving institution's course to be given transfer credit for an exact course code.
Subject Matter Expert (SME) – An individual who understands an area of inquiry well enough to assess courses and/or programs for transfer credit. Usually an instructional faculty member.
Title – Institution-provided unique course titles for their courses (e.g., “Introductory University Chemistry I”). Institutions are responsible for providing these unique course title identifiers to correspond with their own systems and transcripts.
To Institution – The post-secondary institution to which a student transfers.
Transfer – The mobility of students among post-secondary institutions on the basis of their having transfer credit. (See also Transfer Credit.)
Transfer Agreement – An agreement between two institutions (a sender and a receiver) that specifies how the sending institution's course or program will be accepted for credit at the receiving institution. See also transfer
Transfer Alberta Search Tool – Available from the Transfer Alberta website, is led by ACAT, and shares the same data source and functionality as the Transfer Alberta Mobile App. Provides accessible student/user access to transfer agreements and decisions, as well as high school transitions and upgrading data.
Transfer Alberta Website – A student-focused website led by ACAT and designed to provide learner pathways and mobility planning tools, supports, and information to support students’ pathways into, within, from, and back into post-secondary education.
Transfer Courses – Courses designed to transfer from one institution to another institution, e.g., those courses offered within a university transfer program.
Transfer Credit – Credit completed at one post-secondary institution and accepted for credit at a different post-secondary institution. Transfer credit may be unspecified (e.g., awarded a general Arts or Science credit), generic (awarded credit within a discipline e.g., BIOL 2XX), or specific (mapped onto a course).
Transfer Decision – A unilateral decision made by a post-secondary institution to award credit for another PSI’s courses and/or programs. This decision is internal to the receiving institution and has not gone through the transfer articulation process. These unilateral decisions are searchable in the Transfer Alberta system. See also transfer agreement.
Transferable Courses - Courses designed to complete an institution's own credential, which may transfer to another institution through a transfer agreement.
Transfer Student – A student who has earned credit at one or more post-secondary institutions and is transferring that credit to another post-secondary institution to continue a program of study.
Transferability - Refers to a student’s ability to successfully receive transfer credit for an applicable course(s) and/or program(s) when he/she moves between post-secondary institutions and/or between program areas.
Undergraduate Student – A student enrolled in a program leading to a certificate, diploma or bachelor’s degree.
University Transfer Program – A program specifically developed whereby up to the first two years of a degree-level program are completed before transferring to an institution with an accredited degree program.
Unspecified Credit (or course) – Credit or course that will transfer towards satisfying requirements for a credential, but is not close enough to a receiving institution specific required credit courses to be given transfer credit for an exact course code.
Upgrading – Adult students, students of at least 19 years of age and having been out of high school for at least one year, taking the high school courses necessary to gain admission to post-secondary studies.