First Generation Students

Key Terms and Definitions

Academic Affairs Division

The collection of offices at MICA whose primary goals are to support the academic growth and development of students during their time at MICA. These include academic advising, financial aid, and faculty. 


Academic Calendar

A calendar unique to each college or university that lays out major events important to the campus community. These include course registration dates, college breaks, and deadlines for making schedule changes. You can find MICA’s Academic Calendar here. 

Academic Dismissal

When a student is dismissed from MICA due to a failure to improve their GPA after going through academic probation. All students placed on academic dismissal are provided with the opportunity to appeal their dismissal and request reinstatement.

Academic Probation

A status or period of time in which students with GPAs below 2.0 must improve their performance. Students are offered resources at MICA through the Academic Support Program to work with a mentor to set goals towards improving their GPA. Students who are unable to make significant progress may be dismissed from the school.


The period of time during the first week of classes at MICA, where students can make changes to their academic schedule without penalty. This can include dropping current classes, adding new ones, or changing the date/time of your class if other options are available.

Building Designations

All MICA buildings use a combination of letters and numbers to designate the individual rooms. The letter designates the building, the first number is which floor the room is on.
B207 = Bunting Center on the 2nd floor 

B - Bunting

Br - Brown Center

D - Dolphin

F - Fox

GT - Gateway

L - Lazarus Center

LH - Leake Hall 

M - Main

MH - Meyerhoff

Mo - Mosher

MP - MICA Place

S - Station


The online learning system that MICA faculty use in many courses to share content, create discussion boards, assign quizzes and writing assignments, post grades, and share updates to the syllabus throughout the semester. 


Units that a school uses to indicate that a student has completed and passed courses that are required for a degree. Each school defines the total number and types of credits necessary for degree completion. 12 credits is the number that designates a student as full-time.


The combination of classes and course content that make up the requirements for each major or minor. 


Courses that students can choose to take for credit toward a degree, but are not required.


(Free Application for Federal Student Aid): Application used by U.S. citizens and permanent residents to apply for financial aid from U.S. federal and state governments. International students are not eligible for U.S. government aid, but schools may ask international students to submit a FAFSA to determine financial need. (Note—A social security number is required to complete the FAFSA.)


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is the legislation that ensures that student's educational and personal information is protected by educational institutions. 

Financial Aid

All types of money offered to a student to help pay tuition, fees, and other educational expenses. This can include scholarships, loans, grants, and work study positions.


A type of financial aid that consists of an amount of free money given to a student, often by the federal or a state government, a company, a school, or a charity. A grant does not have to be repaid.

Hybrid Course

A course that is taught partially through in-person classroom instruction and partially through online resources such as Canvas assignments and virtual meetings.

Office Hours

Specific times when you can meet with your professors and teaching assistants to discuss the material being presented in class or other related interests you have. Professors usually announce their office hours on the first day of class or on their print or web-based course material.


The academic subject area that a student chooses to focus on during their undergraduate studies ex: graphic design, painting, fibers


An exam or project given after half of the academic semester has passed and that covers the material studied in a particular course until that point. Not all courses have midterm exams or projects. 


An academic subject area that a student chooses to have a secondary focus on during their undergraduate studies. Unlike a major, a minor is typically not required, but it allows a student to take a few additional courses in a subject different from their major.


A required course that must be completed before a student is allowed to enroll in a more advanced one.


The senior academic officer of a college or university who typically oversees all academic policies and curriculum-related matters.


Merit Based

A type of financial aid awarded by a college or university to students who have demonstrated special academic ability or talents, regardless of their financial need. Most merit aid has specific requirements if students want to continue to receive it, such as maintaining a certain GPA.

Needs Based

Financial aid that is awarded to students due to their financial inability to pay the full cost of attending a specific college or university, rather than specifically because of their grades or other merit.


Periods of study that divide the academic year into two equal segments of approximately 15 to 18 weeks each. Some schools also offer a shorter summer semester, beyond the traditional academic year. Fall semester at MICA is typically the end of August - early December and Spring semester is typically the end of January - early May. 

Student Affairs Division

The collection of offices at MICA whose primary goal is to provide resources for student growth and development alongside and outside of their academics. These include health and wellness, student engagement, career development and residence life. 


(plural: syllabi) An outline plan for a particular class, including textbook requirements, class meeting dates, assignments, projects, and attendance policies

Teaching Assistant 

Teaching Assistant (TA)

An undergrad student who assists a faculty member in the teaching of an undergraduate course. 

Graduate Teaching Intern/Assistant (GTI/GTA)

An undergraduate student who assists a faculty member in the teaching of an undergraduate or graduate course. 

Title IX

Federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination at educational institutions that receive federal funding. This includes harassment on the basis of sex such as written or verbal harassment, sexual assault, stalking, dating and domestic violence. 

Work Study

A financial aid program funded by the U.S. federal government that allows undergraduate or graduate students to work part time on campus or with approved off-campus employers. To participate in work-study, students must complete the FAFSA. In general, international students are not eligible for work-study positions.