nontraditional students:

those who may attend college at any time after receiving a diploma or GED, work to support themselves and fund their education, and may have dependents and households to maintain

traditional students:

those who attend college immediately after high school, graduate within four or five years, have no dependents, and often have family resources for funding their education


the practice of abstaining from sexual contact

academic articles

a stand-alone text authored by a specialist in a given field, and typically peer-reviewed by other scholars

academic dishonesty

any violation of scholarly ethics, such as plagiarism or the fabrication of data, that can lead to serious disciplinary consequences

academic honesty

a set of sound scholarly practices that includes keeping careful notes when researching, scrupulously citing one's sources, and only claiming credit for thinking and phrasing that is the result of one's own work


the goal of making education accessible to all, and providing effective support to students, faculty, and staff with disabilities

action plan

a set of sequential steps you have identified to help guide you through the process of achieving your goal, often within a certain timeframe and with the help of others

active learning

student strategies that involve doing something, such as completing a project or giving a presentation, as opposed to passively receiving information without consciously processing it

active partner

the self-regulating status that a college student assumes in contrast to the ready-made schedules of high school, which entails greater responsibility for managing one's own time within the parameters set by one's teachers

active reading

a form of metacognition where one takes notes while reading so as to be more aware of questions or connections evoked by the material

affective domain

the category of learning skills that addresses what you should care about

anorexia nervosa

an eating disorder characterized by self-starvation and extreme weight loss either through restriction or cyclical bingeing-purging

anxiety disorder

a condition diagnosed if an individual has an inappropriate fear and dread response to a situation, cannot control the response, and has an altered way of life as a result of the anxiety

asynchronous learning

an online learning environment where participants may participate on any schedule that suits them

behavioral interview questions

those that leave you more latitude to tell a story about how you accomplished a task or solved a problem

binge-eating disorder

excessive food consumption associated with feelings of loss of control and shame surrounding eating

Boolean operator

terms such as AND, OR, and NOT that can be inserted to categorically focus an online search


a specific financial plan for a specified time, consisting of three elements: income, saving and investing, and expenses

bulimia nervosa

an eating disorder characterized by a cycle of eating large amounts of food (bingeing) at least two times a week and then vomiting (also purging)

campus resources

the array of services and specialist advisors available to help students navigate financial aid, career planning, residential life, and other matters that are key to student success


a consciously crafted plan for work that leads to increased mastery, professional development, and personal and financial satisfaction in a long-term sense

career development

a lifelong process in which we become aware of, interested in, knowledgeable about, and skilled in a career


the status of one who has gained the necessary knowledge, skills, and professional behaviors to enter the workplace and succeed


the practice of working through disagreements while maintaining respect for others’ points of view

cognitive domain

the category of learning skills that addresses what you should know

cognitive skills

capabilities such as remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating, any of which may be assessed by an exam

college costs

in an obvious sense, tuition and room and board, but also fees, books and supplies (including technology), transportation, and other personal expenses

community of inquiry

an understanding of learning spaces that prioritizes opportunities for affective expression, open communication, and a sense of group cohesion

compounding interest

this is effectively interest paid on interest, which can snowball and result in an unmanageable debt load later on

Conscious Competence

the more advanced learning stage where we understand and confidently repeat the skills we need to practice

Conscious Incompetence

the more focused learning stage where we understand what we do not know and will need to learn


an agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity, which should be clearly and freely communicated

Cornell System

a note-taking method where the notebook page has one section for in-class notes, one for related questions formulated after class, and a third for a summary of the lecture material

course format

one of the different class types you can choose, such as lectures, seminars, or labs, any of which may be offered with or without an online component; knowing how to tailor your student behaviors for each unique environment is crucial to your success in college.

cover letter

a short letter of introduction that explains to a potential employer why you are well-suited to a position

creative problem-solving

a practice that seeks new and novel solutions to problems, often by using imagination rather than linear reason

credit score

a number derived from one's credit report that reflects payment history and other metrics and largely determines future credit-worthiness

critical thinking

clear, reasonable, reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do, often as a result of challenging assumptions

cultural competency

the ability to recognize and adapt to cultural differences and similarities

daily interest

what credit card issuers charge each day from the date of making a card purchase

daily top three

the time management strategy that requires making a list of three top priorities to achieve each day

deductive argument

one whose conclusions can be established with absolute certainty, often as a result of their form

deep learning

the ability to create, analyze, synthesize, problem-solve, and be consciously aware of the process of problem-solving

deliberate practice

repeated, close focus on improving a skill


distinct from passing sadness, this is a condition characterized by persistent feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, and irritability, which can be accompanied by physical symptoms such as fatigue, body aches, and dietary issues

digital civility

the practice of leading with empathy, kindness, and mutual respect in all online interactions

Direct Subsidized Loans

student loans that do not accrue interest during the student's enrollment

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

student loans that accrue interest during a students' enrollment, an arrangement that can add significantly to the overall debt

distraction-free environment

the ideal work space whose features do not not interrupt our focused thinking or workflow, thus enabling maximum productivity


the great variety of human characteristics, especially those that may significantly affect some people’s perceptions of others


a chemical substance that can change how your body and mind work

eat the frog

the time management strategy that suggests we should get the hardest task done first, which reduces anxiety and makes subsequent tasks seem easier

eating disorders

mental health illnesses that involve emotional and behavioral disturbance surrounding weight and food issues


a status where one effectively thinks, understands society and the world, and responds to problems and new situations

Effective listening

engaging with the speaker and the material you hear in an active way, perhaps by taking notes and paraphrasing the material

effective social interactions

those which are beneficial and lead to growth for all involved, ideally resulting in a healthy interdependence


the name for policies that level the playing field so that everyone’s needs are anticipated and everyone has an equal starting point

experience-based interview questions

those keyed to the accomplishments and experience summarized in your cover letter and resume


the standard, annual form that students fill out to determine their eligibility for most forms of financial aid

first-year experiences

the range of orientations, introductory seminars, remedial coaching, and other forms of outreach intended to help new college students establish a solid foundation for success in their future work

food insecurity

limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, or limited or uncertain access to acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways

formative assessments

an inquiry into what a student is learning during a still-unfolding period of instruction

forward-looking interview questions

those that inquire about your action plan for the future and how it matches the position

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

the standard, annual form that students fill out to determine their eligibility for most forms of financial aid

generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)

excessive, intrusive anxiety and worry that are present more days than not for at least six months about a variety of situations, such as home, work, school, and/or relationships

getting to know you interview questions

broad "ice-breaker" questions that are not typically focused on details of the position or company


a desired result that you envision and then plan and commit to achieve, often in accordance with a particular timeline

Grants and scholarships

forms of free student aid that do not have to be paid back, and that may come from a variety of federal, state, local, and private sources

gross pay

the larger paycheck amount that is listed on your pay stub prior to deductions for taxes

group interview

a format that allows the interviewer to save time and to observe how applicants conduct themselves in a group setting

Group presentations

one in which you will collaborate with others to divide the work and perhaps to focus individually on different aspects of the topic

group work

a study format where students work together to address material, solve problems, and present ideas and interpretations to each other

habits of mind

the personal commitments, values, and standards you have about the principle of good thinking

hard skills

clearly defined, more job-specific abilities such as working with computers, speaking a language, or operating a machine

healthy diet

the beneficial outcome of making food choices that contribute to short- and long-term health

homework journal

a week-to-week written record of your online math homework, which will help you keep track of the material as you progress through it

hybrid learning

a combination of online and face-to-face instruction

implicit bias

internalized assumptions that influence one's judgments and perceptions of others


the idea that there should be a multiplicity of voices, skills, and interests represented in any given situation

Individual presentations

one in which the preparation, research, and delivery are entirely your responsibility

inductive argument

one whose conclusions can only be established with a high degree of probability

information literacy

knowing how to access the sources you need to gain knowledge and complete a research project


the unique quality of online texts that allows a reader to move in a non-linear fashion to hyperlinked material and mixed-media resources


interdependence: the mutual reliance, or mutual dependence, between two or more people or groups


the idea that identities, for example "Black" and "woman," combine in specific and inseparable ways

intrinsic motivation

the impetus to achieve our goals that comes from our sense of enjoyment and a genuine interest in the work

iterative process

one that can be repeatedly applied


what one does in exchange for a paycheck, an arrangement that allows for a minimal level of financial security but is purely transactional

learning management systems

an interactive online learning environment such as Canvas or Moodle

learning outcomes

goals that specify what someone will be capable of as a result of a learning experience

level of interest interview questions

those meant to gauge your level of investment in the position as well as your motivations for pursuing it

life stage

a concept from the social sciences that addresses how our values will shape our behaviors and priorities during different phases of our life plan

lifelong learning

a popular phrase that acknowledges the many resources available to us for ongoing professional self-improvement, it refers to a broadly applicable understanding of the learning process itself and not to any one skill


typically refers to novels, short stories, poetry, and drama


the study and evaluation of arguments to distinguish good reasoning from bad

logical fallacy

a commonplace error in one's thinking or rationale that undermines and discredits an argument


distinct from enjoyable solitude, this condition is characterized by feeling feeling empty, unwanted, or isolated

lunch interview

a semi-casual format where the interviewee is invited to a meal but still needs to conduct herself in a professional manner


a specialized focus on a particular discipline within one's college studies, typically in preparation for a line of work that requires a relevant credential

mental health

a state of well-being in which the individual realizes their own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community

mental illness

disorders or health conditions characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior (or some combination thereof) associated with distress and/or impaired functioning


thinking about thinking, or being in a state where we are aware of our own


acts of insensitivity that reveal our inherent biases, cultural incompetency, and hostility toward someone outside of our community


very brief episodes of sleep in an otherwise awake person, often a mark of sleep deprivation

mind maps

a more visual note-taking method where a central idea is positioned in the middle of a page and the supporting ideas branch out from it

multimodal learning

the strategy of employing more than one learning approach, which can be helpful for students who do not have any set ideas about a single approach that works best for them


a popular term describing the ability to successfully execute multiple tasks simultaneously, a capability that is not realistic according to research

Mutual monogamy

a sexual relationship in which both partners agree to only have sexual contact with each other

net pay

the smaller paycheck amount that remains after taxes and other deductions; this is the number you should use to plan a budget

net worth

the total measure of one's wealth, calculated by subtracting what one owes (liabilities) from what one owns (assets)


guidelines for ethical and appropriate behavior in online environments, including interactive learning spaces


the process by which people build relationships with one another for the purpose of helping one another achieve professional goals

news articles

a general interest piece found in a newspaper, magazine, or website

nonfiction books

history, biography, reference materials, creative nonfiction, or stories told from real life

nontraditional students

those who may attend college at any time after receiving a diploma or GED, work to support themselves and fund their education, and may have dependents and households to maintain

obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

a condition marked by repeated, upsetting thoughts called obsessions

one-on-one interview

the most common and likely in-depth format, consisting of one interviewer and one interviewee


statements offered without supporting evidence

panel interview

a format where several representatives from different departments within the organization interview the applicant at once

panic disorder

a condition where one experiences panic attacks, or sudden feelings of terror for no reason, sometimes accompanied by physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, chest pain, and dizziness

personal values

one's core beliefs and guiding principles; carefully assessing them can help us make effective decisions when planning our educational path


a strong, irrational fear of something that poses little or no actual danger

phone or web conference interview

a format aided by communication technology to account for geographical barriers to an in-person meeting

phrase searching

the online research technique that involves placing quotations around a phrase, which tells a search tool to look for those words together

Physical fitness

a state of well-being that gives you sufficient energy to perform daily physical activities without getting overly tired or winded


a form of academic dishonesty in which a student claims credit for thinking or phrasing which is not her own


broad institutional and course-specific rules that outline expectations and define requirements

pomodoro technique

the time management strategy that uses a timer to break large tasks into smaller, more manageable segments

post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

a lingering stress and fear response that follows from living through or witnessing a traumatic event


getting a first impression of a text by reading the title, back cover, and table of contents


the process of deciding which tasks are the most important and in what order we plan to complete them


the degree of control we have over who sees our online data and identity

Private loans

distinct from federal loans, these are offered by private lending institutions and are best avoided, as they typically have higher interest rates and few of the protections and repayment options available to federal loan borrowers


a right or exemption from liability or duty granted as a special benefit or advantage


the act of delaying some task that needs to be completed, often for subtle psychological reasons that are worth understanding and addressing


a final step that involves checking one's spelling, grammar, punctuation, formatting, and other technical details

psychomotor domain

the category of learning skills that addresses what you should be able to do


in an academic context, best done with a pen in hand so you can actively engage with the text, highlighting, circling key terms, and annotating as you go


the process of honestly assessing the relationship between our values, goals, and sense of enjoyment, which may require us to change our action plan


expectations we meet in both institutional and personal settings, often in accordance with existing rules and the attainment of our goals


an inventory of your education, work experience, job-related skills, accomplishments, volunteer history, internships, residencies, and/or more


revisiting the reading to refresh your memory, especially before a class discussion, exam, or other activity keyed to the material


to revisit a draft for the purpose of gaining a fresh perspective and thus improving the next draft

Safety consciousness

a term describing your awareness of hazards and your alertness to potential danger, ideally in operation no matter where you are or what time of day it is

screening interview

a shorter format, often conducted over the phone for the purpose of quickly narrowing down a sizable cohort of applicants


the degree to which we protect our online data and identity

serial interview

a format consisting of repeated short interviews by different representatives from the organization

Sexual assault

any type of sexual activity that a person doesn't agree to

Sexually transmitted diseases

those passed from one person to another through sexual contact, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), syphilis, and HIV


getting derailed from our action plan, often as the result of an emergency or unexpected obstacle

signal phrases

a verb phrase that tells your reader you are about to summarize, paraphrase, or directly quote a source that is both correctly cited and listed in your bibliography

situational interview questions

those that propose a hypothetical workplace scenario to gauge how you would effectively respond

sleep debt

a cumulative sleep deficit for which your body will eventually need to compensate

social conflicts

obstacles to successful student life such as excessive party-going, academic struggles, and homesickness

social roles

those identities we assume in relationship to others

soft skills

more universal and transferable abilities such as habits of mind, ways of communicating with and listening to people, and collaborating effectively

starting salary

the amount of money you can expect to make after graduation at the start of your career; this number should help you decide on a realistic debt load

stereotype threat

a form of test anxiety in which students fear they will confirm a stereotype that predicts poor performance become distracted from this worry, which in turn measurably affects their result


a condition characterized by symptoms of physical or emotional tension in response to a situation in which one feels threatened or anxious

student organization

one that is created and run by current students, sponsored by an executive officer, dean, or director, and focused on work that is consistent with the mission of the college

student success

the standards we set for ourselves to assess whether or not we are meeting our academic and broader life goals, a question that can be usefully informed by metrics such as individual course grades and GPA (grade point average)

study myth

a misconception, perhaps of long standing, that keeps one from adopting new, more effective study methods and self-understandings

study myths

a misconception, perhaps of long standing, that keeps one from adopting new, more effective study methods and self-understandings

substance use disorder

a condition in which one has a pathological pattern of behaviors related to the use of a substance


writing up a condensed overview of the material that can help you process the material and provide you a quick reference for studying


a writing task that asks the student to restate in shorter form what the source says

summative assessment

an inquiry into what a student has learned at the end of a specified period of instruction


the practice of checking for schedule alignment between your student responsibilities and other areas of your life such as family and work commitments

Synchronous learning

an online learning environment where participants attend the session together at a scheduled time

task urgency

the degree of importance we ascribe to different tasks, a measure that helps us place them in an appropriate order

teaching styles

the variety of techniques that teachers employ in learning spaces; knowing them can make you a more versatile, active learner


a state of adequate preparation where a student has the necessary computer skills, hardware, and connectivity to complete her schoolwork

test anxiety

a mental and embodied sense of threat in response to an imminent exam, a reaction that can disrupt the learner's attention and working memory

text coding

an active reading practice where one takes notes and poses questions to keep track of one's evolving understanding of the material


an assigned academic text that typically addresses one subject area

time management style

one's particular way of organizing workload in accordance with deadlines and other requirements

time ratio

in an academic context, this refers to the number of hours a student should plan to work for each hour spent in a scheduled class

Traditional students

those who attend college immediately after high school, graduate within four or five years, have no dependents, and often have family resources for funding their education

transferrable skills

those which are widely applicable, such as speaking, writing, critical thinking, and problem-solving, which are valued by prospective employers and can be cultivated within many different college majors.


the online research technique that places an asterisk after a term to find terms that include and extend from the original term

Try It

Unconscious Competence

the final learning stage where we can execute a task without thinking because we have successfully done so many times

Unconscious Incompetence

the initial learning stage where we do not know what we do not know and are perhaps merely curious

undefined-topic assignments

a writing task based on a broadly identified topic that the student is expected to pull into focus

valid argument

one whose premises guarantee the truth of the conclusion


a term describing an authoritative text that has been carefully reviewed, edited, and most likely peer-reviewed by qualified scholars

warning signs

early indicators of a potential for self-harm, such as expressing a desire to self-harm, looking for ways to do so, or sharing feelings of being trapped or hopeless (among others); such indicators are serious and require one to seek help or to assist others in getting help

whole-person approach

a view of testing that considers our student role within the broader context of our other roles in life such as caregiver, employee, athlete, homemaker, etc., ideally producing a healthy and sustainable balance

work space

the environment in which you can effectively study, write, and collaborate, ideally at an optimal time of the day or night and with the most appropriate technology available to you

writing process

the steps one follows when completing a writing assignment, which may include drafting a thesis statement, completing an outline, turning in a rough draft, and participating in a peer review

writing prompt

instructional material provided by the teacher explaining the purpose of the assignment, required parameters, and criteria for evaluation


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Cornerstone Experience Copyright © 2023 by April Ring; Sonji Nicholas; and David Evans is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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