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Definitions of Commonly Used Terms in Enrollment and Course Management




WSCH - Weekly student contact hours

The number of class contact hours a course is scheduled to meet per week in a given semester.  A “full load” is considered to be 15 WSCH for two semesters, or 30 WSCH.

FTES - “Full Time Equivalent Students”

1 FTES equals 1 student taking a full load of classes for one academic year.  Thus,

1 FTES = 15 WSCH for two semesters = 30 WSCH.

Since a standard semester meets for 17.5 weeks, it follows that

1 FTES = 15 WSCH x 17.5 weeks x 2 = 525 class contact hours.

FTES for a class = (Enrollment) x WSCH / 30

Example: 25 students in a class that meets 3 hours per week:

FTES = 25 x 3/30 = 75/30 = 2.5

Official FTES reports use enrollment at census date.  In order to be counted at census date a student must have added before census date and either dropped on or after census date or not dropped at all.

FTEF – “Full Time Equivalent Faculty” for one semester (aka “Faculty Load”)

1 “equated hour” = 1 faculty pay hour.  For lecture classes, equated hours = class contact hours.  For lab classes, equated hours = 0.8 x class contact hours.

1 FTEF = 1 instructor teaching 15 equated hours per week for 1 semester.

Example – An instructor teaching a lecture class that meets 3 hours per week for 1 semester:  FTEF = 3/15 =.2

Example – An instructor teaching a lecture class that meets 3 hours per week and a lab class that meets 5 hours per week: FTEF = (3 + 5x.8)/15 = 7/15 = 0.8

FTES/FTEF – Productivity

FTES/FTEF is used as a measure of the productivity of a class or group of classes (e.g, department, division, special program, college).

Interpretation: FTES/FTEF = number of full time students per full time faculty member

Example:  40 students taking a lecture class that meets 3 hours per week:

FTES = 40 x 3 /30 = 4

FTEF = 3/15 = 0.2

FTES/FTEF = Productivity = 4/0.2 = 20

In this example, Productivity = 20 and Enrollment = 40, and so Productivity =  Enrollment/2.

This is true whenever class contact hours = equated hours:

FTES/FTEF for a lecture class = Enrollment/2.

To see this, use the formula:

FTES/FTEF = (Enrollment x class contact hours/30) / (equated hours/15) =

FTES/FTEF = (Enrollment x class contact hours/30) / (class contact hours/15) = Enrollment/2.

DSCH – Daily student contact hours (applies only to DSCH designated classes)

Number of class hours a course is regularly scheduled to meet each day.  DSCH total for a class is obtained by multiplying DSCH by the number of students actively enrolled in the class and then multiplying by the number of days the course is scheduled to meet (CLM) in the semester.

Concurrent sections

Concurrent sections are different classes that are held in the same room with the same instructor(s).  For example: PE 14 held with PE 202, or ENGL 201A with ENGL 201B.

Master Sections

 Master sections are groupings of lecture, lab, and concurrent sections for one course or combined set of courses.  A master section can be “stand-alone” (a lecture or lab with no concurrent section(s)), one that has concurrent sections, one that has both lecture and lab components or one that has all three.

In the Peralta Business Intelligence tool, the master section code pulls together lecture, lab and concurrent sections under one master code number.    FTES, which is accrued in each section, is totaled for all sections in the master section. The FTEF is designated once for the master section (lecture and lab totaled).

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Unduplicated student head count by department (CD snapshot)

The student is counted only once in the subject (department) at that college for the specified term

Unduplicated student head count by college (CD snapshot)

The student is counted only once at the college for the specified term

Unduplicated student head count by PCC district (CD snapshot)

The student is counted only once for the specified term

Unduplicated student head count for academic year by college (CD snapshot)

The student is counted only once for the academic year for the college.  Usually, summer session is not included.

CD (Census Date) Snapshot

Unduplicated student headcount at full-term census date.  This is a frozen count meaning it will only be run once in a term after it is determined that the census rosters are sufficiently entered.  A student is counted if they are enrolled in at least one class (full term, short term, positive attendance or open entry/open exit) at the full-term census date.

End-of-term Census date counts

Unduplicated student headcount using class census dates or student having positive attendance hours greater than zero.  This is run at the end-of-term.  The difference between this count and the CD Snapshot is that a student who had not enrolled in any class by the full-term census date, but who enrolled in a class of any kind after the full-term census date would be counted.  It also includes any student who might have taken only a short term class that ended before the full-term census date.


A student enrolled in a class is counted once.  If the class has a lecture and lab component, the student is still counted only once.  Enrollment for a department, division, or college is “duplicated” in the sense that all class enrollments are counted, including students taking multiple courses.

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Successful Course Completion Rate for a Class

Number of course completions with grade A, B, C or Pass divided by Total number of course completions:  Successful Completion / Course Completion

Course completions = A, B, C, D, F, I, W, Pass, No Pass, In Progress, Report Delayed.

Retention Rate for a Class

Class completion with grade other than W divided by Census Enrollment (CW1) not counting non-graded courses:  Completion / Census Enrollment

Grade other than W = A, B, C, D, F, I, Pass, No Pass, In Progress, Report Delayed, No Grade.

Persistence Rate Fall to Spring

[Number of students enrolled in at least one course in Fall Semester who then enrolled in at least one course in Spring Semester] divided by [Number of students enrolled in Fall Semester at census date]

College Drop Rate

Number of students who dropped all classes, including W grades, divided by Students enrolled at census date: Drops / Census Enrollment

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