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#EDUC 1300: First Year Experience

This guide provides additional resources in support of the EDUC 1300 course.

Terms to Know: The Language of Higher Ed

Terms are in alphabetical order. Use the "filter" option to search for a term. Click the tile to view the full explanation. Where possible, direct links to relevant Lone Star pages have been provided.

This or That

Talk to an advisor for issues relating to class registrations and your degree plan.

Talk to a counselor if you're struggling with the emotional, stressful side of college.

Both types of transcript show a record of all your classes for each semester along with your grades (for each class plus your semester GPAs plus your cumulative GPAs).


Official transcripts are what you need when you're transferring to another school. Many jobs may ask for an official transcript, as well, when you're applying. Official transcripts are sent by the school directly to wherever it needs to go: it never comes in contact with you directly. (Keep this in mind for application deadlines: you need the transcript to get in before the cut-off, just like the rest of your materials.) It usually costs money for each transcript you need sent.

Unofficial transcripts are free, and you can just download these for your own records to see what's on your transcript. These can also suffice for some jobs or other cases where maybe someone is really just looking to see you're actually in classes. If the instructions say "official," though, don't try sending an unofficial one. You can always ask for clarification!

Bookstores sell or rent books (or other things): either way, you're giving them money before you get your stuff. If you buy a book (used or new), it's yours forever until you re-sell it or recycle it. Rental books should be kept in good condition since you must return them at the end of the semester.

Libraries loan books (or other things) for free, i.e. you borrow them from the library. You only give the library money if you've lost or damaged an item, or kept it past the due date. Regular library books can be borrowed for 2 weeks or more; textbooks are usually a short-term, 2-hours-in-library check-out (but there are a few classes with semester-long checkouts available, too).

At Lone Star (and probably most colleges, in our experience, but definitely at LSC), the bookstores and libraries have nothing to do with each other. Make sure you return your books to the place you got them from!

There are a lot of different employees at the college you might be talking to, and who should be called what is a little more complicated than high school, where everyone was probably just a Mr. or Mrs. or Ms.

Unless or until you're told otherwise, you should probably err on the side of being more formal the first time you contact someone, especially if you're emailing.

For instructors
try Professor Lastname. "Professor" is respectful while also having the benefit of being totally neutral: regardless of gender, marital status, or exact degree (masters vs doctorate), you can't go wrong!
For other employees
like advisors, librarians, counselors, and so on: alas, we don't have a handy catch-all term here. In our experience, at LSC-UP, most are cool with being on a first-name basis with students (which also you means you don't have to guess at Mr./Mrs./Ms.), but again, it doesn't hurt to be more formal -- we'll let you know if we preferred you didn't!


Pay attention to how people sign off their emails. If "Sarah Smith" signs her emails "Susie," presumably that's the name she goes by conversationally (and therefore how she'd like to be addressed). If your professor signs their emails "Mr. Jones," you can probably call him that rather than "Professor."

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