Western Nevada CollegeWestern Nevada College Policies

Policy iv: Definition of Terms and Organizational Structure

WNC Policy iv
Procedure: Definition of Terms and Organizational Structure
Policy No.: Introduction: iv
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The purpose of this policy is to define the terminology that is used to describe various aspects of Western Nevada College so that consistent terms are used across the campus by faculty, staff, and students and should reduce confusion in communication. This policy does not attempt to redefine any organizational structures, only to clarify the terminology used for what is already in existence at WNC. This is intentionally limited in scope to the academic areas of the campus, with the exception of section 1, which is included to differentiate between Administrative and Academic Divisions and Departments. All examples are accurate as of January 2007.

  • Section 1: Organizational Units - Administrative
    • A. (Administrative) Divisions: Administrative divisions are the broadest groupings of organization on the WNC campus. A vice president, who reports directly to the college president, is the head of each division. There are presently four Divisions: "Academic and Student Affairs," "Finance and Administration," "Human Resources and Legal Services" and "Institutional Advancement." Administrative divisions are usually referred to as "divisions."
      • 1. Under the Academic and Student Affairs administrative division, there are additional administrative divisions. They include (but are not limited to) "Student Services" and "Instruction." These are functionally similar to academic divisions in that there is a dean that reports to the Academic and Student Affairs division. Under the Instruction division are academic divisions (see below) instead of administrative departments.
    • B. (Administrative) Departments: Administrative Departments are non-academic organizational areas of the college. A director or coordinator heads each department who usually reports to an administrative division or another administrative department. Some departments may report directly to the president instead. Administrative departments are usually referred to as "departments."
  • Section 2: Organizational Units - Academic
    • A. (Academic) Division: A collection of departments that grant degrees in particular fields.i These are the broadest divisions of academic areas. An Academic Director, who reports to the dean of instruction under the division of Academic and Student Affairs, heads each academic division. There are presently five divisions: "Business & Technology," "Communications & Fine Arts," "Nursing & Allied Health," "Science, Mathematics & Engineering," "Social Science, Education, Humanities & Public Service." Academic divisions may be referred to as "division" when in context of academic areas.
    • B. (Academic) Discipline: Academic disciplines are distinct areas of study, branch of instruction, or academic field.ii At WNC, academic disciplines are individual areas of instruction and are directly supervised by the academic divisions (or department if there is a designated department head). There are currently more than 40 academic disciplines on campus, including history, philosophy, music, Italian, etc. Academic disciplines may have an appointed "lead faculty" that oversees the academic discipline. Academic disciplines may be referred to as "discipline." All academic disciplines have a three or four letter designation, such as ACC for accounting, or MUS for music.
  • Section 3: Programs, Specializations, and Degrees
    • A. Degrees: the award given to graduates based on educational level. The basic levels include associate degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctorate.iii This is the terminal result of a degree program.
      • 1. Programs: An academic title that signifies completion of a [program] of study.iv There are four degrees programs of study that WNC currently offers: Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), Associate of Applied Science (AAS), Associate of General Studies (AGS).
        • a. Emphasis: Emphasis refers to individual programs of study within a broader program, such as Associate of Arts, Computer Science Emphasis.
        • b. Specializations: Specializations are a specific area or branch of study within a student's [Emphasis]. For example: a student majoring in [Associate of Applied Science in Web Technology] may choose to pursue an emphasis (i.e. option or concentration) in [Web Administration].v Specializations are smaller divisions of emphasis.
        • c. Certificate Programs: An award made for satisfactory completion of a certain level of skill in an occupational curriculum.vi
    • B. Non-Degree Programs: Non-Degree programs are programs of study that do not end with the award of a degree
      • 1. Transfer Programs: Are programs of study similar to a degree program but do not carry a degree. Instead these programs are designed to facilitate transferring of credits to another institution degree program.
      • 2. Special Academic Programs: There are various Special Academic Programs. These have neither a degree nor certificate, but usually lead towards a certification or other industry accepted academic standing.
      • 3. Certification and Licensing Preparation: Are non-degree programs of study designed to help students take external certification or licensing exams. No degree, certificate or license is awarded
  • Section 4: Courses and Sections
    • A. Courses: A single instructional subject commonly described by title, number, and credits in the college catalog or bulletin.vii There may be multiple "sections" of a course in any one semester.
      • 1. Courses are referred to by their course number. As each course is under a specific academic discipline, the course number starts with the academic disciplines three or four letter designation, followed by a three or four digit to differentiate a specific course. For example, ACC 201 refers to "Financial Accounting," while BUS 101 refers to "Intro to Business."
    • B. Classes or Sections: Classes, or Sections, refer to the individual courses being taught and are listed in the schedule of classes.
      • 1. Classes are referred to by the course number followed by a one letter and two digit number. The first letter refers to the "location" of the class. For example, C01 would be the first section of a particular course on the Carson campus, D03 would be the third section of a particular course at the Douglas campus, and W02 would be the second section taught on the web.
      • 2. Classes are also assigned individual call numbers, which is a five-digit number that starts with the semester it is being offered. For example, a 32005 number would be a fall semester call number while 18635 would be a spring semester call number.

i NSHE Procedures and Guidelines Manual, Section 7, Chapter 6
ii NSHE Procedures and Guidelines Manual, Section 7, Chapter 6
iii NSHE Procedures and Guidelines Manual, Section 7, Chapter 6
iv Western Nevada College Catalog 2006-2007
v NSHE Procedures and Guidelines Manual, Section 7, Chapter 6
vi Western Nevada College Catalog 2006-2007
vii Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, Accreditation Handbook

Date Adopted and Dates Revised
Date Adopted February 20, 2007 Dates Revised June 19, 2013; September 2, 2008
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URL: https://www.wnc.edu/policymanual/iv.php
Date Printed: September 21, 2019