Non-Traditional Glossary

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Non-Traditional Programs Terms Defined

NTP Student:  Non-traditional students have different needs and different goals. Balancing family, work, and college can be difficult. West Virginia University at Parkersburg offers affordable options to fit into your life and schedule.

Portfolio:  What you already know may be worth college credit. Adults continually learn new skills in many situations – on the job, through travel, reading, volunteering and special interests.  Get a head start on your degree program by completing a portfolio for prior work and life experiences. The portfolio process can validate your college-level learning experiences and credentials as well as save precious time. The portfolio process is convenient, flexible and cost-effective.

Residency: To meet the Regents Bachelor of Arts degree program residency requirement, students are required to complete 30 hours of on-campus or online courses from WVU Parkersburg.  For the Board of Governors AAS degree, 15 credit hours completed at WVUP will meet the residency requirements.

Transient: If you are attending another college and want to take classes here to transfer back to your home college, submit a transient approval form or letter of good standing from your home institution.

Reciprocity: West Virginia University at Parkersburg provides the opportunity for Ohio residents to attend WVU Parkersburg at WV tuition rates. Eligibility information is available here.

Official transcript:  Transcripts can be ordered via the Web 24/7 through the National Student Clearinghouse, or through OLSIS by logging in, going to “Student Records,” then “National Student Clearinghouse” and then clicking “Order or track a transcript.”

State Standardized Awards: RBA students may earn credit through traditional college courses, standardized exams, cooperative education, institutional-based challenge exams, licensure/certification/formal training programs met through state standardized awards, military training assessed by the American Council on Education (ACE), or by portfolio review.

Full-Time vs. Part-Time Student:  A student enrolling for one to 11 credit hours is considered part-time.  Twelve or more hours constitutes a full-time student.  If a student qualifies for financial aid, six to eight hours will give you part-time funding; nine to 11 hours will be awarded three-quarter money; 12 or more hours are considered a full-time financial aid recipient.

Area of emphasis: RBA students are provided a comprehensive general education degree without the requirement of a major, and students design a course of study that best fits their own needs. However, RBA students may choose a plan of study that includes an Area of Emphasis (AOE) that will allow them to continue for graduate and/or professional studies.

Regents Bachelor of Arts degree: The RBA degree is similar to all other Bachelor degrees, but with incredible flexibility. RBA graduates can continue their education by pursuing graduate degrees in such programs as Business Administration (MBA), Psychology (MS), Communication Studies (MA), Medical School (MA), or Law School (MS).

Board of Governors AAS degree: If you have attended college in the past but never earned a degree, this flexible program can put a degree within reach. This is a flexible degree that offers an opportunity to transform life experience into college credit.

Cooperative Education:  Co-op is for students who want to earn college credit while getting a paycheck, and it is for employers who want educated and employable workers. The program is based upon the idea that on-the-job training is an integral part of a student’s academic background. It connects West Virginia University at Parkersburg with businesses, community agencies, and industries in creating a vital educational experience.

Occupational Development degree:  Labor union members go through an intense apprenticeship program as part of their training. WVU-Parkersburg offers many of the local unions a chance to combine the apprenticeship with general education courses for an Associate in Applied Science in Occupational Development.

Technical Studies degree: Similar to the Occupational Development Degree, the Technical Studies Degree brings together technical school learning and general education requirements. Learning that takes place outside of the college complements courses taken at WVU-Parkersburg to establish this degree.

OLSIS:  After you have been a student for one semester, you can use OLSIS (Online Student Information System) to register for classes. In addition, OLSIS is a tool that students can use to add or drop classes, view your academic transcript, check on the status of your financial aid, etc.

Admission to RBA program:  Admission to the RBA program is open to those who graduated from high school at least four years ago. For those passing the high school equivalency test (GED), admission is four years after their class graduated from high school. Potential students must complete an application for admission and submit official copies of all regionally accredited transcripts.  Almost all credits, except remedial credits, earned in the past from regionally accredited institutions are honored.

Semester vs. quarter hours:  WVUP runs on a semester calendar, but quarter hours will transfer in. For example, a four credit hour class from a college that runs on quarter hours will transfer in at 2.67 semester hours.

Accreditation: WVU Parkersburg is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a commission of the North Central Association. WVU Parkersburg was last accredited in April 2014. WVU Parkersburg was first accredited in 1971.

Upper-level course: An upper-level course is a 300 or 400 Junior or Senior level class that is applicable towards baccalaureate degrees.

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