Acronyms and Definitions

Master Acronym List

Bristol's Strategic Planning process aided with the development of a Master Acronym List that serves as a resource to foster communication between departments and across the college. The spreadsheet is organized by college area. If, after reviewing it, you think that a term should be added/edited for your respective area, please reach out to

View the Bristol Acronym List.

Data Dictionary

1/2 Time Student  According to financial aid, students registered for 6 credits are considered 1/2 time. 
3/4 Time Student  According to financial aid, students registered for 9 credits are considered ¾ time. 
Academic Year  Reports data using the Fall, Spring, and Summer terms. Example: Fall 2018, Spring 2019, and Summer 2019  
Adult Learner Student Success Rate (Equity Metric) Students age 25 and older at the time of the census. Data are stored in Banner, metrics are not in PMRS. 
BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) This term acknowledges that not all people of color face equal levels of injustice. BIPOC recognizes that Black and Indigenous people are significantly impacted by systemic racial injustices.
Black and African American vs. White Student Success Rate (Equity Metric) PMRS Metric: African American student enrollment as a percentage of total enrollment. First-year progress and long-term success metrics are provided. Bristol Notes: Student-identified race and ethnicity are captured in Banner. Students are not required to provide their race/ethnicity. 
Campus Bristol's Argos reports typically report "Primary Campus" using method one listed below. We have also received requests that use the other methods listed. 
 1. Where students take most of their credits. A tie results in a random choice between the two.  
 2. Where students take one or more courses.
 3. Where students take 50% or more classes.
 4. Using zip codes of towns “around” that campus.
 5. Using Service Area defined by Admissions in the recruitment module.
 6. Using “Preferred Campus” based on the Student Preference Survey.
Cancelled Course  A course available to students for registration that is cancelled during the registration period. 
Census Date    Bristol captures the credit census file the day after the 100% add/drop date. In financial aid, the census date marks when credits are locked, and aid can no longer be adjusted. 
Confidential Flag Students with confidential flags can be emailed, but Bristol cannot externally share their information. INTERNAL Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA),  schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them.
Course Cancellation Data  Course cancellation data are provided one month after a semester begins. Cancellation data includes all visible courses that are cancelled once courses go live for the semester and students begin planning their semester. 
DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) Diversity is the presence of differences that may include gender, religion, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, (dis)ability, age, or political view. Equity is about promoting justice and fairness within the processes and distribution of resources by institutions or systems. Inclusion is an outcome to ensure those that are diverse actually feel and/or are welcomed.
Delete for Non-payment The process by which students are dropped from courses based on non-payment. 
Developmental Course Progression   PMRS Metric: First-time, degree-seeking students completing college-level math and English classes by the end of their first academic year and by the end of their second academic year, disaggregated by initial enrollment in developmental courses. Bristol Notes: Bristol no longer offers standalone developmental Math courses. MTH 119S or MTH 125S is paired with MTH 060.  
Enrollment Verification  Window of time each semester following the add/drop period, determined by the Registrar's Office, that captured and dropped students who registered for courses but never attended. The students are coded as if they never attended and do not incur any charges. 
Equity Metrics  A set of equity metrics has been established by the Data Governance Team (DGT) to ensure that consistent definitions are being used for data reports and Equity Agenda initiatives at the college. 
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a federal law that affords students certain rights with respect to their education records and defines situations in which the college may release information from student records with student consent. These rights transfer from parents to students when either the student turns eighteen years old or enters a postsecondary educational institution, regardless of age. In the vast majority of cases, FERPA’s “directory information” exception allows Bristol to disclose a student’s name, address, Bristol program, and other basic information.
First-generation Student  Bristol’s Demographics Survey asks the following question:
Who in your family has attended at least some college? (Mark all that apply).
• Parent 1
• Parent 2
• Brother/Sister
• Child
• Spouse/Partner
• Legal Guardian
• No one

On the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE), if respondents indicate that their mother or father had attended at least some college, then those students are classified as Not First-Generation; otherwise, students are classified as First-Generation.
Fiscal Year  The period of time from July 1, XXXX to June 30, XXXX. 
FTE (Full-time Equivalent) Annual FTE: Total annual credit hours divided by 30. Term FTE: Total term credit hours divided by 15. Both are consistent with Massachusetts HEIRS calculations. 
Full-time Faculty vs. Part-time Faculty Data  Faculty data will be provided approximately one month after a semester begins. There will be three data points: FT Load only (a sections), FT including adjunct sections, FT faculty and staff including adjunct sections.   
Full-time Faculty  Massachusetts Community College Council (MCCC) unit members occupying benefitted positions as Instructors, Assistant Professors, Associate Professors or Professors. 
Full-time Student  According to financial aid, being registered for 12 credits counts as full-time. The Massachusetts DHE definition considers full-time as students registered for 15 credits. 
Gateway Courses 

PMRS Metric: First-time degree-seeking students completing college-level math and English classes by the end of their first academic year and by the end of their second academic year, disaggregated by initial enrollment in developmental courses. Bristol Notes: Bristol’s academic deans identified the following list of gateway courses in 2021:

• ACC: 101 
• BIO: 111, 121 
• BUS: 111 
• CAD: 101  
• CHM: 090 
• CIS: 120, 121, 123 
• CRJ: 101 
• CUL: 100 
• ECE: 111 
• ECN: 111 
• EGR: 131 
• ENG: 091, 092, 101, 102  
• ESL: 012, 013, 014, 015; 112, 113, 114, 115 
• GIS: 101 
• HLT: 106 
• HST: 111,112,113,114 
• MAN: 101 
• MAR: 101 
• MTH: 119, 119S, 125, 125S, 127, 127S, 130, 130S, 152, 152S, 172, 172S 
• PLS: 100 
• PSY: 101 
• SER: 101 
• SOC: 101

GPA GPA is based on a 4.0 scale. Degree GPA is calculated by Banner for transcripts. Overall and transfer GPA are used for credits. Institutional GPA is the most commonly used metric. 
Graduation Rate  IPEDS collects graduation rates for full-time, first-time degree and certificate-seeking undergraduate students. The 100% IPEDS Graduation Rate is referred to as “normal” time to degree which would examine students who complete associate degrees within two academic years and certificates within one academic year. The 150% IPEDS Graduation Rate is most often used for community colleges. For associate degrees, 150% would include three academic years, for certificates 150% would include two academic years. The 200% IPEDS Graduation Rate captures associate degree completions within four academic years, for certificates 200% would include two academic years. 
Hard Stop Deadline  Deadline by which students have to be enrolled in at least one class registration deadline Dates have fluctuated from Fall 2019.   
HEIRS (Higher Education Information Resource System) The Higher Education Information Resource System is Massachusetts’ data warehouse through which student unit record files are provided for state reporting and analytics purposes. Unit record files with student, course, and enrollment data are submitted each semester for credit students. Annual student, course, and enrollment data are provided for credit and non-credit. Data for specific programs are also submitted to HEIRS including information for STEM Starter Academy, dual enrollment, and Commonwealth Commitment.  
International Student According to Admissions, a student who is admitted and enrolled at Bristol on an F1 Visa.  
IPEDS (Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System)  IPEDS is the national education data collection program. IPEDS data are submitted at the aggregated-level from postsecondary institutions and do not have student-level information. Institutions submit data through 12 interrelated surveys. Unit-level records are not submitted. IPEDS is required by the Federal Government for all institutions who award federal financial aid. The data provided are used by the Federal Department of Education. Several federal definitions that are used by the college.  
Leading for Change Dashboard Data dashboard with diversity information for all Leading for Change Consortium members. 
Latinx vs. White Student Success Rate (Equity Metric) PMRS Metric: Latinx student enrollment as a percentage of total enrollment. First-year progress and long-term success metrics are provided. Bristol Notes: Student-identified race and ethnicity are captured in Banner. Students are not required to provide their race/ethnicity. 
Less than 1/2 Time Student  According to financial aid, students registered for less than 6 credits are considered less than 1/2 time. 
Male vs. Female Student Success Rate (Equity Metric)  PMRS Metric: Student gender as a percent of total enrollment. Bristol Notes: Student-identified gender is captured in Banner.  Students are not required to provide their gender.
Part-time Faculty  Division of Continuing Education (DCE) MCCC unit members teaching credit courses during any part of the part of an academic year. Full-time faculty often are DCE members and teach adjunct sections. Part-time faculty are often called adjuncts. 
Part-time Student  According to financial aid, less than 12 credits counts as part-time. The Massachusetts DHE definition considers part-time as students registered for less than 15 credits. 
Pell vs. Non-Pell Student Success Rate (Equity Metric) PMRS Metric: Enrollment of Pell Grant recipients as a percent of total undergraduate enrollment. Bristol Notes: Bristol uses “Pell Paid” in Banner to capture recipients of the Pell grant. This metric provides information regarding students’ socioeconomic status.  Refer to Financial Aid disbursement dates.
Performance Measurement Reporting System (PMRS)  The Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s PMRS provides metrics to assist state institutions with data-informed decisions. A full description of the PMRS metrics can be found in the Technical Notes for Performance Measurement Reporting System
Persistence Rate  Examines students’ progress from semester to semester. IPEDS does not capture persistence. Fall-to-Spring persistence for first-time, full-time students or first-time, part-time students was once captured by HEIRS. The department stopped reporting this metric as of the 2015 cohort because of the narrow definition: The Fall-to-Spring rate is based on the fall cohort of students returning to the institution in the spring who initially enroll as degree-seeking, are not enrolled in ESL coursework in the fall, earn 9 or more credits in the fall, and haven't graduated prior to the spring term. 
Portuguese Student Success Rate (Equity Metric) Students who self-identify as Portuguese. Data are stored in Banner, metrics are not in PMRS. 
Retention Rate  Examines students’ progress from year to year. IPEDS and HEIRS capture Fall-to-Fall enrollment for first-time, full-time students or first-time, part-time students.  
STEM Degrees/Programs  The Massachusetts DHE has a list of designated CIP Codes that count as “STEM”. These will be updated during the 2020 CIP Code update. Kristin Almeida, Assistant Director of STEM Activities, identified the following programs as Bristol STEM programs as of Spring 2020: Engineering Technology, Advanced and Biomedical Manufacturing Technology Career, Architectural and Civil Technology Career, Electrical Technology Career, Electro-Mechanical Technology Career, Environmental Technology Career, Marine Science and Technology Career, Mechanical Technology, Offshore Wind Power Technology (only NB), Engineering Transfer, Engineering Transfer Electives, Bio-Engineering Electives, Civil-and-Environmental-Engineering Electives,  Electrical-and-Computer-Engineering Electives, Energy-Systems-and-Facilities-Engineering Electives, Mechanical-Engineering Electives, Other Engineering Disciplines, General Studies Career or Transfer, Applied Technical Studies, Health & Life Sciences Studies (FR/A/NB), STEM Transfer Studies, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Math and Science Transfer (FR/A/NB),  Life Sciences, Biology (FR/A/NB), Biotechnology and Forensic DNA (FR/A/NB), Chemistry, Environmental Science Transfer, Physics,  Sustainable-Agriculture, MassTransfer Electives and A2B Programs, MassTransfer Electives, Biology A2B MassTransfer, Chemistry A2B MassTransfer. 
Students/Faculty of Color (SOC/FOC) Includes all Underrepresented Minorities (URM) plus Asian, and Two or more races.
Underrepresented Minorities (URM) Includes students who report their race/ethnicity as Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.