Humboldt IRAR Data Glossary

This is a list of the most commonly used data elements and abbreviations used by Institutional Research, Analysis, and Reporting (IRAR). For a complete list of fields used in data files, see the ODD Data Dictionary. For a complete list of terms as defined by Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), see

Alphabetical Data Element List:


ACADEMIC PLAN - An area of study within a Career/Program resulting in awards that are directly associated with the Program.  Click here to view a detailed listing of Academic Plan codes for majors, minors, credential, and certificate plans.

ACADEMIC PLANNING DATA BASE (APDB) - Class Sections and Faculty files transmitted to the Chancellor’s Office each term for standardized system-wide reporting. The campus uses 2 reports from this system: FAD - Faculty Assignments by Department, and the CSR – Course Section Report provides FTEF data to derive Student/Faculty Ratios.

ACADEMIC PROGRAM - An academic program is commonly defined as a sequence of courses leading to a degree or credential. Some academic programs constitute an entire department, some share department designation with other academic programs, and some span multiple departments.

ACADEMIC STANDING (acadStanding) - Academic standing (GOOD, PROB, REIN, DISQ, or blank if a new student) during the term (based on the previous term).

ACADEMIC STANDING END OF TERM (acadStanding_EOT; Acad Stding) - Academic standing (GOOD, PROB, REIN, DISQ, or NONE (sometimes blank or NULL if a new student) at the end of the term current term.

ACADEMIC YEAR (AY) - Academic Year (AY) refers to Fall and Spring terms only. AY averages are the sum of Fall and Spring divided by 2. An academic year does not include the summer term; however, a COLLEGE YEAR does.

ACTIVE ADMITS - excludes students who have told us they do not plan to attend and those who have been denied admittance.

ACTIVE APPS - excludes applications that have been withdrawn, denied, or who have told us they do not plan to attend.

ADMINISTRATIVE GRADING SYMBOLS - Consistent with CSU Executive Order 1037, administrative grading symbols include AU (Audit), I (Incomplete Authorized), RD (Report Delayed), RP (Report in Progress), and W (Withdrawal).

AVERAGE ANNUAL DATA - Average annual data is usually published for the Academic Year terms (Fall and Spring). It is compiled and posted in July or early August after all year-end records processing is complete.

AVERAGE UNITS/STUDENT - The average unit-per-student load is a measure of the student's ability to move toward the completion of a degree objective.


BIOLOGICAL SEX - refers to a person’s biological status and is typically categorized as male, female, or intersex (i.e., atypical combinations of features that usually distinguish male from female). There are a number of indicators of biological sex, including sex chromosomes, gonads, internal reproductive organs, and external genitalia. SOURCE: American Psychological Association. (2012). Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients. American Psychologist, 67(1), 10–42. doi: 10.1037/a0024659. Also, see legal sex.

Also, see 'gender' for related information.

BOTTLENECK COURSE - The California State University Chancellor’s Office has broadly described a bottleneck course as a course that may limit a student’s ability to make progress toward graduation. Blanchard, Hanley, & Sullivan (2016) identified five causes of bottleneck courses, two of which are tracked at Humboldt.

  1. Bottleneck Course - Budget: Insufficient budget to hire qualified faculty.
  2. Bottleneck Course - Faculty Recruitment: Difficulty recruiting faculty to teach in certain disciplines.
  3. Bottleneck Course - Scheduling: Insufficient options for scheduling courses.
  4. Bottleneck Course - Capacity: Insufficient facilities or seating capacity.
  5. Bottleneck Course - Success: High failure rates of students result in repeating courses.

BOTTLENECK CAPACITY COURSE A course is designated as a bottleneck capacity course when it appears to have insufficient seating capacity (i.e., fewer than three free seats) to meet student demand. Only primary sections (i.e., graded) are included. Independent study courses (e.g., directed study, comprehensive exams, master's projects, thesis, research, internship, etc.) and physical education activity (PE subject area) courses are excluded. Courses with fewer than ten students in the aggregate are also excluded. 

BOTTLENECK SUCCESS COURSE A course is designated as a bottleneck success course (also referred to as a gateway course) when fifteen percent or more of the total grades awarded are repeatable grades (i.e., below C). Courses awarding fewer than 20 grades (excluding administrative grades AU, I RD, RP, and W) are excluded. Only primary sections (i.e., graded) are included. Independent study courses (e.g., directed study, comprehensive exams, master's projects, thesis, research, internship, etc.) and physical education activity (PE subject area) courses are excluded.


CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY COLLEGE (CCC) TRANSFER - A student who transferred to Humboldt from a California Community College (CCC) with 30 or more units (sophomore level and above).

CA LEGAL GENDER - CA Legal Gender refers to a person’s legal gender status in the state of California and is typically categorized as male, female, non-binary, or unknown. These data are collected in accordance with Gender Recognition Act (CA SB -179, 2017). See also Gender and Gender Identity

CAMPUS HOUSING - Humboldt has space for about 2,100 students to live on campus in one of six living areas. This field indicates at census if a student lived in one of these six living areas. The intention of Residence Life is to focus on the education and holistic growth of the student by creating a safe, socially just, and environmentally responsible community.

CLASS LEVEL - Class level is based on units earned: freshmen (less than 30 units), Sophomore (30 to less than 60 units), Junior (60 to less than 90 units), Senior (90 or more units).

CENSUS DATE - The date of the official count of majors and class enrollments as of the 4th week of instruction each term (spring and fall). Most of the student headcount and FTES data are based on census enrollments. The statistics for each term are usually published about 1-2 weeks after the official census date depending on how long it takes to clean the data of errors.

CENSUS ENROLLMENT - This is the official count of students (Headcount), majors, and class enrollments as of the official census date.

COHORT - A cohort is a group of students who start at the same time and in similar situations. Humboldt defines three undergraduate cohorts based on CSU application status and the number of units enrolled in during the first term: First-time full-time undergraduate (FTFTUG), Lower Division (LD) Transfer, and Upper Division (UD) Transfer.

COHORT GI2025- For the purposes of the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025, the CSU defines two cohorts: FTFTUG and a CCC Transfer.

COLLEGE - The college associated with the student's major. Cal Poly Humboldt has three colleges: Arts, Humanities & Social Science, Natural Resources & Science, and Professional Studies; see the Humboldt Colleges, Departments, Study Fields, and Majors for detailed information.  Colleges are also associated with Academic Organization codes, see the College and Division Codes report for detailed information.

COLLEGE YEAR (CY) - College year (CY) refers to all state-supported terms.  Summer is considered the leading term for a college year. College year averages are the sum of Summer, Fall, and Spring, divided by 2.  Another way to look at this is that one-half of Summer FTES is added to the Academic Year average to obtain College Year averages.

COMPARABLE DATE (TO-DATE) - reports initially use the number of days to (or from) the start of the application cycle (e.g. Oct. 1 for fall terms). As we move through the application cycle, the comparable date will change to reflect year-to-year variations in significant dates, such as the number of days to (or from) the actual start of term. Because of changes in processing, the numbers in the different columns are not always comparable. For example, students are now allowed to apply as early as Oct. 1 via the web - in the past, we didn't begin processing fall applications until November 1. Also, the number and dates of HOP sessions do not remain the same from year to year, so registration numbers may vary widely. Further explanation from the Office of Enrollment Management may be required to fully understand year-to-year differences.

CONFIRMED - includes any student who has told us they intended to enroll, applied to attend a future HOP session, paid a housing deposit, or registered for classes.

CONTINUING STUDENT - Those previously enrolled at the University. A Continuing Student may be new to a program as a change of major, but not new to the University.

COURSE and CLASS - A Course is a record in the PeopleSoft system representing the instruction students receive on a subject at an academic institution; shows what is being taught, the structure for reporting, and credit awarded for successful study. A Class is a specific instance of the time, place, and term of a course. Students enroll in classes. Grades are based on classes.  Courses have attributes that are passed to classes by default; however, classes may or may not have attributes related to a course.  Click here to view the Course and Class attributes that have been used at Humboldt.

COURSE LEARNING OUTCOME (CLO) - CLOs are learning outcomes specific to a particular course. Program policies and the particular course determine any constraints on instructors’ design of CLOs.

COURSE NUMBERING - The table below briefly describes the course number system, but for detailed information see the Humboldt Catalogue and Humboldt Policies.

Level IndicatorsStudents (typically)Course Numbers
LD – Lower DivisionFreshmen/Sophomores100-299
UD – Upper DivisionJuniors/Seniors300-499
GR – Graduate LevelGraduate/Post-Bac500-699
CR - Credential/LicensureCredential700-799

CREDENTIAL - students are enrolled with the primary objective of earning a teaching credential.

CULTURAL TAXATION - Cultural taxation describes the unique burden placed on faculty in minoritized groups in their efforts to meet their university-service responsibilities. Coined by Amado Padilla in 1994, Padilla defined it as the obligation to show good citizenship towards the institution by serving its needs for ethnic representation on committees, or the obligation to demonstrate knowledge and commitment to a cultural group, which, though it may bring accolades to the institution, is not usually rewarded by the institution on whose behalf the service was performed.

Some ways in which faculty from minoritized groups find their responsibilities increased include serving as de facto

  • experts on diversity,
  • diversity educators for the majority group,
  • liaisons between campus and minoritized communities,
  • advisors to minoritized students, and
  • linguistic and cultural translators.


DEGREE - the primary degree objective (BA, BS, MA, MS, MFA, MSW, PBCRED, or 0 for none).

DEGREES GRANTED - The number of degrees granted in a College Year (Summer, Fall, and Spring).

DEPARTMENT - Description of the University department that houses the student's major; see the Humboldt Colleges, Departments, Study Fields, and Majors for detailed information.  A department is also associated with an academic organization code.  see the Academic Department Codes report for detailed information.


END OF YEAR (EoY) - This is a term used in certain fields to indicate a measurement at the end of the 'following' semester. For a student who started in a Spring term, this would be at the end of the Fall semester.

ENROLLED - applicants include anyone who attended school as a result of a particular application. This number may not always match census registration numbers for new students, since anyone who registers and then withdraws is eligible to enroll the following term without reapplying. This exception means that the number of enrolled applicants for a given term may actually change if one or more of these students ends up enrolling later without reapplying.

ETHNICITY [ETHNICITY_CIT] - nine categories of ethnicity/race (CSU breakdown). Some prospective students tell us their ethnicity before they apply to the University; however, most answer this question on their CSU application. A few students decline to provide this information and are considered unknown. See Race for related information.


FEDERAL FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT (FERPA) - affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. See the Humboldt Registrars website for more information (

FIRST GENERATION (1st Gen or First Gen) - A student is considered to be first-generation if, at the time of CSU application, neither parent graduated from a 4-year college/university.

FIRST GENERATION - GI 2025 (1st Gen or First Gen) - At the time of CSU application, neither parent attended a 4-year college.

FIRST-TIME FULL-TIME UNDERGRADUATES (FTFTUG) - Same definition as FTUG (see below), except that the student has enrolled full-time (12 or more units) for their first term. Humboldt does not ask students about their objectives in college, so the status of full-time during the first term is used to show the intentionality of the student to finish a four-year degree.

FIRST-TIME UNDERGRADUATES (FTUG) or FIRST-TIME FROSH - Includes all matriculated first-year students, even if they have enough units to be considered sophomores/juniors, who enroll in the fall semester. FTUG does not include current high-school students taking classes at Humboldt (see TRANSITORY).

FULL-TIME - Indicates if a student is considered full-time or part-time. 

  • UNDERGRADUATE – An undergraduate student enrolled for 12 or more semester units.
  • GRADUATE – A postbaccalaureate student enrolled for 9 or more semester units. 

FULL-TIME EQUIVALENT FACULTY (FTEF) - Identifies the fractions of faculty positions used to teach the FTES. This number excludes faculty time not used for teaching, such as department chair administrative time. For more info, download this more technical explanation.

FULL-TIME EQUIVALENT STUDENTS (FTES) – Every 12 units taken by students working on a Masters's degree or 15 units taken by all other students counts as one FTE.  (Before the summer of 2006, 15 units applied to all students, including Masters. Some reports the older or archived reports may still report FTEs according to the older definition.


GATEWAY COURSE: see Bottleneck Success Course.

GENDER - refers to the attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that a given culture associates with a person’s biological sex. SOURCE: American Psychological Association. (2012). Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients. American Psychologist, 67(1), 10–42. doi: 10.1037/a0024659 

Prior to Fall 2016, the CSU application asked students to select male, female, or declined to state and that information was coded as M, F, or null under the field name: SEX. For presentation purposes, the term gender was commonly used instead of the term sex..

GENDER IDENTITY - Gender Identity is your sense of self. Who you internally know yourself to be. Where you locate yourself within your understanding of gender options. (Interpreted from The CSU collects these data in accordance with Section 66010.2 of the Education Code as amended (CA AB-620, 2011). See also Gender and CA Legal gender.

GRADES - See the Office of the Registrar's website for more information:

Also of interest may be Executive Order No. 1037 from the CSU Chancellor's Office, which consolidates policies that were earlier detailed in three executive orders (792, 320, and 213).

GRADE POINT AVERAGE (GPA) - A grade point average (GPA) is a number representing the average value of the accumulated final grades earned in courses over a specific time period. A student’s grade point average is calculated by adding up all accumulated course grade values and dividing that figure by the number of grades awarded. There are multiple fields (variables) that measure GPA in different ways and at different times. The following are examples of GPA’s commonly used at HSU:

GPAs before attending HSU:

  • GPA_HS: GPA from high school
  • GPA_XFER: GPA transferred from other schools

GPAs at the beginning of the term:

  • GPA: Overall GPA for courses taken before the current term
  • GPA_HSU: Overall GPA for classes taken at Humboldt before the current term

GPAs after the end of the term (EOT):

  • GPA _EOT: Overall GPA for courses taken at end of term
  • GPA_FINAL: Student's final GPA
  • GPA_HSU_EOT: Overall GPA for classes taken at Humboldt at end of term
  • GPA_TERM: GPA for classes taken this term at Humboldt
  • GPA_LAST_TERM: GPA at the end of student's last term of attendance

The most commonly used GPAs are GPAGPA Humboldt, and GPA Term.

GRADUATION INITIATIVE 2025 (GI 2025) - An initiative launched by the California State University in January 2015 with the goal of increasing graduation rates for the 475,000 students across all 23 campuses. Using common definitions, all campuses will work toward the common goals of: increasing the six-year graduation rate for first-time freshmen to 70 percent; increasing the four-year graduation rate for first-time freshmen to 40 percent; increasing the four-year graduation rate for CCC transfer students to 85 percent; increasing the two-year graduation rate for CCC transfer students to 45 percent; and eliminating the equity gap.

GRADUATION RATE - A graduation rate is the cumulative percentage of a cohort who started in a given fall term and graduated within a designated period of time in 1-year increments. For example, the “graduated in five years” rate for fall 2008 FTFTUG cohort is the percentage of fall 2008 first-time full-time undergraduates who graduated from Humboldt by the fall 2013 term, including those students who completed their courses during the summer of 2013 (CSU Explanatory Notes)


HEADCOUNT (HC) - the Unduplicated number of students enrolled for a particular term at Census. See Census Enrollment for other types of enrollment counts.

HIGH-IMPACT PRACTICES - Activities that educational research suggests increase rates of student retention and student engagement. More information at: and

Humboldt GPA (HSUGPA) - Current cumulative grade point average of credit-bearing courses taken at Humboldt. See GPA for more information.

HIGH SCHOOL GPA (GPA_HS) - This is the CSU application reported high school GPA. This GPA is replaced with a confirmed transcript GPA for registered students. See GPA for more information.

Humboldt EARNED UNITS (HSUEARNED) - units earned at Humboldt.

Humboldt ID NUMBER (HSUID) - the nine-digit ID assigned by the University to all individuals in our database (replaced SSN) with a hyphen between the 4th and 5th digit.


IMMUTABLE (NON-REPEATABLE) GRADE - Consistent with CSU Executive Order 1037, an immutable (non-repeatable) grade is defined as a grade at or above a C. Immutable (non-repeatable) grades specifically include A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, and CR. Repeatable grades C-, D+, D, F, NC, and WU and administrative grading symbols AU, I, IC, RD, RP, and W are excluded.

INQUIRED - includes all prospective students who asked for information about Humboldt State University. It does not include those we mailed a SEARCH letter to who did not respond. If a student inquired but did not apply for multiple terms, they are only counted as an inquiry for the term they mentioned most recently. Applicants are counted for every term they submitted an application.

INSTITUTION OF ORIGIN - Is the school a student attended before applying to Humboldt. For freshmen or graduate students, this will generally be the high school or college they graduated from. For transfers, this will be the institution where they earned the greatest number of units. When looking at longitudinal data, graduate students who completed school at Humboldt will show Humboldt as their institution of origin in their grad record while their undergrad record will remain the same.

INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD (IRB) - An IRB is a committee that performs an ethical review of proposed research (Office for Human Research Protections). For information regarding the Humboldt IRB, see their website for more information (

INSTITUTIONAL LEARNING OUTCOME (ILO) - ILOs identify the general knowledge, skill, and dispositions that all students are expected to have upon graduation. Humboldt has seven ILOs, new in 2019.

INSUFFICIENT SEATING CAPACITY - Insufficient seating capacity is defined as fewer than three free seats in aggregate after registration is final; courses not meeting this requirement will be flagged as a bottleneck.

INTEGRATED POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION DATA SYSTEM (IPEDS) - Every institution that participates in federal student aid programs report data to IPDES on enrollments, program completions, graduation rates, faculty and staff, finances, institutional prices, and student financial aid. See more at:







LEGAL SEX - Refers to a person’s legal status and is typically categorized as male, female, non-binary, or unknown. This is not the same thing as gender identity or gender expression.

LOWER DIVISION TRANSFER (LDxfer) - Students who transfer to Humboldt, but have completed fewer than 60 transferable semester (90 quarter) units. See Transfer for more information.

LOW INCOME (low_income) - When applying for financial aid, low-income standing is based on the family's self-report taxable income (total-standard deduction) less than 150% federal poverty level.


MAJOR - Description of the student's current major; see the Humboldt Colleges, Departments, Study Fields, and Majors for detailed information.

MASTERS - are students seeking a master's degree (MA, MBA, MS, MSW, or MFA).

MINOR - students may declare a minor or a second major, but are not required to do so until they apply for graduation. Because of this, the minor code information provided for current students is extremely incomplete.


NATIONAL STUDENT CLEARINGHOUSE - More than 3,500 colleges and universities, enrolling over 98% of all students in public and private U.S. institutions, participate in the Clearinghouse. Participating institutions provide access to actual enrollment and degree information on each of their students to us. See more at:

NEW STUDENTS - New Students identifies those newly admitted to the University for a given term.


ORIGIN OF STUDENTS - At the time of CSU application, a student’s last attended institution is considered their Institution of Origin. The address of that institutions is used to create reports which group origin by state, region, county, city, or zip code. Read more about Region of Origin.


PART-TIME - Indicates if a student is considered full-time or part-time. 

  • UNDERGRADUATE – An undergraduate student enrolled for fewer than 12-semester units.
  • GRADUATE – A postbaccalaureate student enrolled for fewer than 9-semester units.

PELL GRANT ELIGIBLE - Indicates if a student qualified for a grant from the Pell Grant Program.

PELL GRANT GI 2025- Indicates if a student received a grant from the Pell Grant Program in the first term they were enrolled.

PELL GRANT PROGRAM - The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate and certain postbaccalaureate students to promote access to postsecondary education. Grant amounts are dependent on: the student's expected family contribution (EFC) (see below); the cost of attendance (as determined by the institution); the student's enrollment status (full-time or part-time); and whether the student attends for a full academic year or less. See more at:

PELL GRANT RECIPIENT The Pell Grant Program provides grant assistance to eligible undergraduate postsecondary students with demonstrated financial need to help meet education expenses. Participation in the Pell Grant Program is a nationally recognize proxy for low-income.

PERSISTENCE RATE - A measure of the rate at which students persist in any educational program at any institution from one year to the next, expressed as a percentage. Humboldt does not currently report a persistence rate. For more information, see

PROGRAM LEARNING OUTCOME (PLO) PLOs identify the discipline’s knowledge, skills, and dispositions that program graduates are expected to have upon graduation.

PROGRAM PARTICIPATION - The program participation metric reflects a count of all students who have declared a particular program as either a first, second, or third major as of census for a particular term. While these counts are useful to analyze participation in individual programs, these figures will sum to a value greater than university enrollment. 




RACE - Cal Poly Humboldt and the California State University Chancellor's Office use the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) categories developed in 1997 by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that are used to describe groups to which individuals belong, identify with, or belong in the eyes of the community. The categories do not denote scientific definitions of anthropological origins. The designations are used to categorize U.S. citizens, resident aliens, and other eligible non-citizens. See more at: and at

See the 1997 report on Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity for more information on the minimum categories for data on race and ethnicity for Federal statistics, program administrative reporting, and civil rights compliance reporting.

REGION OF ORIGIN - The Enrollment Planning Service (EPS) regions are grouped by “market areas,” defined according to demographic similarities. While the EPS markets and region groups are shown below are similar, they are not identical. For an exact definition of EPS regions and markets, please refer to reference manuals published by the Enrollment Planning Service.

OriginCounties or States
LocalHumboldt and Del Norte
Northern CAButte, Colusa, Glenn, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sonoma, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo, Yuba
SF Bay AreaAlameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano
CoastMonterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz
Central CAAlpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Inyo, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne
Los AngelesKern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura
San DiegoImperial, San Diego
WUE StatesAlaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, North Datoka, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Datoka, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
Out of StateOther U.S. States
ForeignForeign Countries

REPEATABLE GRADE - Consistent with CSU Executive Order 1037, a repeatable grade is defined as a grade lower than a C. Repeatable grades specifically include C-, D+, D, F, NC, and WU. Immutable (non-repeatable) grades (e.g., A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, and CR) and administrative grading symbols AU, I, IC, RD, RP, and W are excluded.

RESIDENCY - R for CA resident, N for out of state, F for foreign

RETENTION RATE - A measure of the rate students persists in their educational program at an institution from one year to the next. This rate is calculated as the percentage of a fall cohort that is enrolled in a subsequent term. For example, if the fall 2022 first-time full-time undergraduate (FTFTUG) cohort consists of 1,000 students and 900 return to the fall 2023 semester, the one-year retention rate would be 90%.

Important notes. It is thus possible for a student to be retained for 1-year and 3-years, but not 2-years if the student had taken their second fall term off. A retention rate is not the same as a persistence rate, though the terms are commonly used interchangeably. Actual data may be found at 

RETURNING UG - Are past Humboldt students who are applying to be readmitted after a period of nonattendance. Returning post-baccalaureate applicants are included with new students in their respective categories (masters, credential, 2nd bachelors, or unclassified).


SEX - See legal sexBiological Sex, and Sex (IPEDS)

Sex (IPEDS)  - Sex (IPEDS) refers to a person’s sex status as reported to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and is typically categorized as male or female. This is not the same thing as gender identity or legal gender (State of California).

SECOND BACHELORS (2nd BACHELORS) - Student already has earned an undergraduate degree and are interested in getting another.

SIGNATURE ASSIGNMENT Signature assignments are the assessment activities used to measure the behaviors described in student learning outcomes (SLOs) so as to evaluate student achievement of program learning outcomes (PLOs).

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT MEASURE (SAM) - A partnership between a university, the National Student Clearinghouse, SAM, and the Voluntary System of Accountability to provide an improved way to report student progress and graduation by including a greater proportion of an institution’s undergraduate students as well as tracking students who enroll in multiple higher education institutions. For more information on SAM, see the SAM Website or to see SAM data for Humboldt see the College Portrait Student Success & Progress Rate Webpage.

History Note: In June 2013, Humboldt was among the first nine California universities to begin participating in SAM and displaying results on the VSA College Portrait website ( On August 20, 2013, the CSU Chancellors Office began requiring all CSU's to participate in SAM.

STUDENT CLASSIFICATION - Identifies the progress a student is making towards their degree.

Student ClassificationUnit value ranges
Freshmenless than 30
Sophomore30 to less than 60
Junior60 to less than 90
Senior90 or more

STUDENT-FACULTY RATIO (SFR) - The full-time equivalent of students taught in a discipline divided by the full-time equivalent of faculty positions used to conduct the instruction.

STUDENT GROUPS - Students groups are coded categories in People Soft used to track student participation and/or membership in certain groups and activities. The following are code typically found in Humboldt Reports.

AthletesStudents who are on the squad list for an NCAA varsity sport.
DevelopmentalStudents with academic deficiencies when they matriculated at Humboldt, based on test scores.
EOPStudents belong to one of the EOP student groups that begins with the letters EO or SS.
InternationalStudents have a Foreign Residency Status (for university fee purposes).  Note: a few students with a foreign residency status may pay resident fees as part of a special program.
ITEPPStudents are a member of the ITEPP student group which is maintained by the Indian Teacher and Education Personnel Program.
Native AmericansStudents who have self-identified as affiliated with a North American Native American tribe.
Pre-collegiateCourses taken to meet academic deficiencies that do not count toward a college degree.
STEMStudents majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (College of Natural Resources and Sciences).
VeteranStudents who belong to the VET student group, maintained by the office of Veterans Enrollment and Transition Services.


STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOME - SLOs convey the specific and measurable behaviors that students will demonstrate in achieving the program learning outcomes (PLOs).

STUDENT-RIGHT-TO-KNOW ACT - The Federal government prescribes a student cohort for reporting persistence and graduation rates.  This cohort consists of first-time full-time freshmen. All admit types are included (Federal reporting definition). See more information at:


STUDENT TYPE - Student type is locally defined as three types of new students (New First-time Undergraduate, New Transfer, or New Post-baccalaureate), three types of continuing or returning students (Continuing Undergraduate, Continuing Undergraduate, or Continuing Post-baccalaureate), and Transitory students.


STUDY FIELDS - Description of the University study fields that houses the student's major; see the Humboldt Colleges, Departments, Study Fields, and Majors for detailed information.  Also available is the Subject Codes by College report.


TERM NAME - Based on TERM, this field recodes term into a descriptive field of term type (Fall, Spring, or Summer) followed by the four-digit year (e.g. Fall 2014).TERM - Is based on a six-digit banner code, the first four digits are the year, the last two are 20, 30, or 40 for spring, summer, or fall (e.g. 200340). In PeopleSoft, "term" is a four-digit code consisting of the year (first digit and last two digits) followed by the term type (2=Spring, 3=Summer, 4=Fall). For example 2134 = Fall 2013, 2142 = Spring 2014, 2143 = Summer 2014.

TRANSFER STUDENT (TRANSFERS, Xfer) - are all undergraduates transferring from another institution. There are two kinds of cohorts designated within transfers – Lower Division Transfer (LDxfer) and Upper Division Transfer (UDxfer). For more information, see the Office of Admissions website.


UNCLASSIFIED GR - are post-baccalaureate students who are taking classes, but are not yet in a degree-granting program.� Some of these students are seeking a Certificate of Study; others are taking classes in preparation for applying to a degree program.

UNDERREPRESENTED GROUPS (URG) - Students who at the time of admission self-reported their ethnicity as Hispanic or Latino and/or their race as Black or African-American, American Indian and Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander. Beginning in 2009, students were able to select more than one race, thus URG also includes all students who indicated they had two or more races, but at least one from the above three races. Non-underrepresented Groups (non-URG) include White, Asian, or a combination of both races. Students who declined to state, left the ethnicity and race question blank, or who were non-resident aliens were categorized as unknown.

UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITY (URM) - The term “underrepresented minority” (URM) has many different definitions that vary by the institution to include classification based on racial/ethnic categories, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and disability (Page, Castillo-Page, Poll-Hunter, Garrison, & Wright, 2013). The California State University System (CSU Analytic Studies, 2013) does not currently mandate a single definition and recommends that campuses tailor their definition according to an external reporting agency.

Humboldt defines underrepresented minority (URM) as students who at the time of admission self-reported their ethnicity as Hispanic or Latino and/or their race as Black or African-American, American Indian and Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander. Beginning in 2009, students were able to select more than one race, thus URM also includes all students who indicated they had two or more races, but at least one from the above three races. Non-underrepresented (non-URM) students include White, Asian, or a combination of both races. Students who declined to state, left the ethnicity and race questions blank, or who were non-resident aliens are categorized as unknown. Readers may also be interested in reading the definitions for ethnicity and race.

UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITY - GI 2025(URM GI) - For the purposes of reporting for the GI 2025 the following two categories will be used when referring to URM: Category (1): Underrepresented minority (IPEDS Ethnic/Race reporting categories of Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and American Indian/Native American); Category (2): Not underrepresented minority (IPEDS Ethnic/Race reporting categories of white, Asian, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Two or More Races, Unknown, and Non-Resident Alien/International)

UNDERREPRESENTED STUDENTS (URM) - The term “underrepresented” refers to ethnic groups that are traditionally underrepresented in higher education. At Humboldt, underrepresented students (often abbreviated as URM, not URS) include students identifying as Black or African-American, Hispanic or Latino/a, Native American, and/or Pacific Islander. This category also includes students who identify as having two or more ethnicities but who include at least one of the above four groups among their stated ethnicities. “Non-underrepresented” students (non-URM) include students identifying as Asian-American and/or White.

UPPER DIVISION TRANSFER (UDxfer) - Students who transfer to Humboldt, and have completed more than 60 transferable semester (90 quarter) units. See Transfer for more information.


VOLUNTARY SYSTEM OF ACCOUNTABILITY - An initiative by public 4-year universities to supply clear, accessible, and comparable information on the undergraduate student experience to important constituencies through a common web report – the College Portrait. See more at:


WESTERN UNDERGRADUATE EXCHANGE (WUE) - A program that allows students from 14 Western US states to attend an out-of-state university for near in-state prices. See more at:


XFER (Xfer) - An abbreviation used to refer to a transfer student.



ZIG - One of a series of sharp turns (i.e., to Zigzag). It is has nothing to do with this dictionary, but it's a good word to know! 


California State University Office of the Chancellor, Analytic Studies. CSU Graduation Rates Consortium for Student Retention Data Exchange (CSRDE) - Explanatory Notes.

California State University Office of the Chancellor, Analytic Studies. (2013, June 27). URM Definitions Unpublished Report.

Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. (1997). Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity. Retrieved from

Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Page, K. R., Castillo-Page, L., Poll-Hunter, N., Garrison, G., & Wright, S.M. (2013). Assessing the evolving definition of underrepresented minority and its application in academic medicine. Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 88, 67-72. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e318276466c