We all have them. We all say them. We sometimes know what they stand for… but do our students?
Acronyms – An 8-letter word that has hundreds, thousands, millions of iterations, and heavily relied on in higher education. We have the FAFSA, FERPA, and FOIPOP. FOIPOP? Yes, FOIPOP! CLEP, PSEO, and ESOL. Let’s be honest, half the time we can’t keep our acronyms straight, so how can we expect our students to understand them?
What does FAFSA stand for? Listen to these students!
There was a recent article from The Hechinger Report titled, “One surprising barrier to college success: Dense higher education lingo” which describes the challenges that students face given the complex language used in higher education and demonstrates that this complex language can actually be a barrier to students. The article further states that institutions can fix this problem by “writing in the active voice, using more concise grammar and bullet points, explaining abbreviations and acronyms and simply subbing the word “you” for wordy descriptions of students”.
We’ve started a list of acronyms, which we will continue to build with your help. What acronyms do you use that could be a barrier to students? What is the craziest or most often misunderstood acronym that you know? Add your acronyms to the discussion below.
GPA= Grade Point Average
ERIC=Educational Resources Information Center
CTE=Career and Technical Education
MOU=Memorandum of Understanding
BOT=Board of Trustees
Ed.D.=Doctor of Education
BIT=Behavior Intervention Team
RFP=Request for Proposals
MOU= Memorandum of Understanding
SURE = Student undergraduate research experience
DEI = diversity, equity and inclusion
SOARS = Strategic Opportunity for Academic Reach and Success
SF/TF = Smoke-free, tobacco-free
DEEDS = dynamic education and engagement of diverse students
UR = under represented
DKS = Destination Kent State (student orientation)
TKS = Transfer Kent State (transfer student orientation)
RCM = Responsibility-centered management
GPI = Great place initiative
…and SO many more!
A little bit more for the alphabet soup
NSLDS — National Student Loan Data System for Students
HEOP — Higher Education Opportunity Program
CSTEP — Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (New York grant funded program)
EFC — Expected Family Contribution
MPN — Master Promissory Note
FERPA =Family Education Right to Privacy Act
MTF= Maximum Time Frame
GPA = Grade point Average
IVF= Independent Verification Form
DVF= Dependent Verification Form
PJ = Professional Judgement
As Alexandra previously stated “So many acronyms….”
LMS = learning management system
ALP = accelerated learning program
SAP = satisfactory academic progress
FT/PT = full-time/part-time
FTIC = first time in college
ALEKS = Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces (online tutoring and course placement tool)
ABE = adult basic education
GTF = graduate teaching fellow
OSCE = objective structured clinical exam
CPX = clinical performance exam
SP = standardized patient
So many acronyms….