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Data Dictionary

This page defines terminology commonly used in PCC Institutional Effectiveness (IE) reports. Choose a term from the list below to view its definition.




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The following terms are related to courses, degrees, and general terminology about studies at PCC.

Academic Year

IE reports an academic year as beginning in summer term and ending with the next spring term. This approach considers students entering PCC in the summer as entering in the same academic year as the subsequent fall, winter and spring terms.

Example: The 2022-23 academic year consists of the 2022 Summer, 2022 Fall, 2023 Winter, and 2023 Spring terms.

See also: catalog year


Represents program completion by a student, where the student is awarded a degree or certificate in a particular field of study.

See also: major; degree; PCC catalog – Granting Degrees and Certificates

Catalog Year

The PCC Catalog is published and dated with each academic year, which begins fall term and ends with the next summer term. IE typically reports awards and credentials using the PCC catalog year.

Example: The 2022-23 catalog year year consists of the 2022 Fall, 2023 Winter, 2023 Spring, and 2023 Summer terms.

See also: Academic year; PCC catalog


A cohort is a group of students with one or more shared characteristics. Ex: A “2023 Fall, first-time student cohort” contains all of the students new to PCC as of the 2023 Fall term.

Credit Hour

A credit hour typically represents one hour of classroom instruction per week for a quarter-long class.

Except as provided in 34 CFR 668.8(k) and (l), a credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally-established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  • One hour of classroom or direct-faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or ten to twelve weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time.

– or –

  • At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.

See also: PCC credit guidelines


PCC degrees and certificates are based on an institutional awarding standard, and are awarded upon completion of requirements for the student’s recorded program of study.

PCC confers five Associate Degrees:

  • Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer (AAOT)
  • Associate of Science (AS)
  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
  • Associate of General Studies (AGS)
  • Associate of Science Oregon Transfer in Business (ASOT-BUS)

In addition, PCC offers numerous certificates in career technical education programs.

See also: Degree, Certificate and Course Overview

Enrollment Intensity (also Credit Load)

Enrollment Intensity, also known as Credit Load, summarizes the number of credit hours in which a a student enrolls in  any given term. IE reports this in two different ways, depending on reporting requirements.

Method 1: Full/Part time

  • Full Time = Student attempted 12 or more credit hours in a term.
  • Part Time = Student attempted less than 12 credit hours in a term.

Method 2: Full/Half/Part time

  • Full Time = Student attempted 12 or more credit hours in a term.
  • Half Time = Student attempted between 6 and 11.99 credit hours in a term.
  • Part Time = Student attempted less than 6 credit hours in a term.

See also: Credit Hour


“Major” refers to an area of study, or a concentration of studies associated with a credential; for example, “Welding Technology” or “Aviation Science”. Majors are typically associated with specific degree/certificate types to comprise an academic degree; for example, “Associate Degree in Welding Technology”.

See also: Degree/Certificate


Describes the way in which instruction is delivered to students.

  • In Person = All of the required contact hours for a course are scheduled with the student and instructor interacting at a scheduled day and time (synchronous) and being at the same physical location such as a campus, community center, training center, or a business location.
  • Remote = All of the required contact hours for a course are scheduled with the student and instructor interacting at a scheduled day and time (synchronous) and communicating via a video conferencing platform such as Zoom or Google Meet.
  • Online = All of the required contact hours for a course are scheduled with the student interacting with a Learning Management System (LMS) at the student’s convenience (asynchronous).
  • Remote + Online = Some of the required contact hours for a course are scheduled remotely and some are scheduled online (see Remote and Online definitions above).
  • In Person + Remote = Some of the required contact hours for a course are scheduled in person and some are scheduled remotely (see In Person and Remote definitions above).
  • In Person + Online = Some of the required contact hours for a course are scheduled in person, and some are scheduled online (See In Person and Online definitions above).
  • In Person + Remote + Online = Some of the required contact hours for a course are scheduled in person, some are scheduled remotely, and some are scheduled online (see In Person, Remote, and Online definitions above).

Note: Modality codes such as “Remote + Online”, “In Person + Remote”, and “In Person + Remote + Online” are new to PCC course data as of the 2023-24 academic year.

Organization Code

Organization codes are used to identify the department that budgets for the instructional cost of a course. These codes form a Pathway Rollup hierarchy that was updated in 2023-24 to better reflect PCC’s organizational structure.

See also: Financial Services Operations – Campus and Pathway Rollups

Reimbursement Code

Reimbursement codes are assigned to PCC courses, and are used to align PCC course offerings with state-defined activity (ACTI) codes. PCC’s reimbursement codes are grouped and reported using the following titles: Lower Division Transfer; Career Technical; CEU (Continuing Education Unit); Apprentice; Non-Credit ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages); ABE (Adult Basic Education); GED (General Education Development); Postsecondary Remedial; Self Improvement; and Non-reimbursable FTE.

See also: PCC/ACTI Code Crosswalk [intranet]; Oregon.gov ACTI Code Definitions.

SAC (Subject Area Committee)

A Subject Area Committee (SAC) is composed of PCC faculty who teach in one or more subject area or program. SACs address the instructional and curriculum concerns of its programs or disciplines. SACs represent and articulate subject area and program issues which are defined by the PCC Mission Statement, the Core Outcomes, and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. As the curricular and content experts for their subject areas, SACs will make recommendations and must be consulted regarding all relevant academic and curricular issues.

See also: APS Handbook, Subject Area Committees


Subjects reflect a course’s area of study; for example, “History”. Subjects play an important role in determining degree program requirements, and identifying which Subject Area Committee (SAC) addresses the instructional and curriculum concerns of a course.


The following terms relate to demographic data about PCC students. IE reports aggregate demographic data with the goal of attaining equitable student success for all students, and to meet state and federal reporting requirements. Individual responses are not shared.

See also: Legal sex, gender and sexual orientation data collection; PCC Title IX Policies


IE reports aggregate data around PCC students with disabilities for the purpose of supporting equitable student success. IE counts a student if they have engaged in the accommodation process with Accessible Ed and Disability Resources (AEDR) and have disability-related data on record.

See also: PCC Accessible Ed and Disability Resources

First-Generation College Student

IE reports aggregate data around first-generation college students to support PCC student success initiatives. A student is reported as first-generation if they respond “No” to the following question on PCC’s admission application: “Did either of your parents or guardians earn a 4-year degree?”.

First Time in College

A student who has never taken a college course at any college is considered to be a first time in college student. IE reports a student as first time in college if all of the following are true for a given term:

  • Student has no PCC course history recorded.
  • Student has no college transcripts recorded.
  • Student has no prior college information recorded.
  • Student has not attempted to transfer any college credits to PCC.

It should be noted that students with prior college experience who do not submit transcripts to the college are assigned the status of “first time in college” in IE reporting

  • The First Time in College calculation for YESS reporting is done by selecting the student type code in the college database. This calculation is made in the database when the student is added after applying.
Gender (IE-Reported)

IE sometimes reports gender using students’ responses to both gender identity and legal sex questions on PCC’s application form. This approach groups students into the categories of: Men; Women; Non-binary; and Gender not reported. This approach is used to reduce the amount of data that would be suppressed in public-facing reports due to enrollments being <5 for a given metric, and attempts to represent as many PCC students as possible.

This method also reports a student’s legal sex if no gender identity data is on record. Historically, PCC student records do not contain information about students’ gender identities- only legal sex data. Currently, gender identity is not a required response on PCC’s application, but legal sex is. Currently, there are still many students who report their legal sex but not their gender identity. While recognizing the difference between gender and sex, IE reports legal sex when no gender data is on record in an attempt to represent as many PCC students as possible in IE reports.

The following table shows how student responses are used in returning a value:

Student’s Response to Gender Identity Student’s Response to Legal Sex IE-Reported Value
Woman N/A Women
Man N/A Men
Transgender; Trans Woman; Genderqueer; Non-binary; Questioning; Agender; Fluid Gender or Genderfluid; Trans Man; Other N/A Non-binary
No response from student Female Women
No response from student Male Men
No response from student Unknown/Not Reported Gender Not Reported

See also: Sex; Gender Identity; PCC Queer Resource Center – Data Collection and Glossary of Terms

Gender Identity

Your internal sense of self; how you relate to your gender(s).

IE uses students’ optional responses to “What is your gender identity?”, along with required legal sex information when no gender identity information is on record, to report a student’s gender. Response options to “What is your gender identity?” on PCC’s application are:

  • Agender
  • Genderqueer
  • Man
  • Non-binary, including gender fluid, gender non-conforming, etc.
  • Transgender
  • Trans man
  • Trans woman
  • Woman
  • Questioning or unsure
  • Identity or identities not listed
  • Prefer not to answer

See also: Sex; Gender (IE Rollup); PCC Queer Resource Center – Data Collection and Glossary of Terms


Federal Pell Grants are typically awarded to undergraduate students who display financial need and have not earned a college degree. In IE reporting, students who were offered any Pell amount during a term or academic year are counted, regardless of whether or not the amount was paid.

See also: Office of Federal Student Aid


Institutions must use the following 2-part question to give students and staff the opportunity to self-report their race and ethnicity. Responses are optional. The questions are:

Are you Hispanic or Latino?

Select one or more of the following races:

  • American Indian or Alaska Native
  • Asian
  • Black or African American
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander
  • White

The process flow for determining the race/ethnicity category is as follows:

  1. Is the student a US citizen? This is based on the visa and citizenship information on PCC’s record for the student:
    1. If No, category is International
    2. If Yes, go to question 2
  2. Did the student respond “Yes” for “Are you Hispanic or Latino?”:
    1. If Yes, category is Latino/a/x/Hispanic
    2. If No, go to question 3
  3. Did the student select more than one race/ethnicity?:
    1. If Yes, category is Multiracial
    2. If No, go to question 4
  4. Did the student select a race/ethnicity?:
    1. If No, category is Race/Ethnicity Not Reported
    2. If Yes, category is based on one of the following race/ethnicity selections:
      1. If American Indian or Alaska Native, category is American Indian/Alaska Native
      2. If Asian, category is Asian/Asian American
      3. If Black or African American, category is Black/African American
      4. If Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, category is Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
      5. If White, category is White

PCC is required to collect legal sex data in order to comply with federal reporting including IPEDS reporting, student employment, international student status, and the granting of federal financial aid. This is the sex that is indicated on government issued ID, such as a passport, driver’s license or social security registration.

See also: Gender Identity; Gender (IE Rollup); PCC Queer Resource Center



The number of course registrations. This value duplicates individual students for each class they take.  For example, a student registered for 3 classes in a term equals 3 enrollments for that student.

FTE (Full Time Equivalency)

This value is used in the formula that determines the distribution of state reimbursement funds to each community college in Oregon.

According to OAR 589-001-0300, “a Full Time Equivalent Student for the purpose of receiving state reimbursement, means a student who carries 510 clock hours over three terms of instruction.”

Reimbursable FTE =  Generated from enrollments in courses meeting the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) reimbursement eligibility criteria.

Non-Reimbursable FTE =  Generated from enrollments in courses that do not meet HECC reimbursement eligibility criteria.

FTE is calculated as:

FTE = Weekly Contact Hours × Number of Weeks × Enrollment

The easiest way to explain this is with an example.

1 FTE = 2.5 Hours × 12 Weeks × 17 Students

The above example shows that every 17 students in that class section is equivalent to one full-time student getting 510 contact hours for the academic year.

Standard courses for fall, winter, and spring are 12 weeks in length.


The number of distinct students. This value represents individual students, regardless of how many classes they take.  For example, a student registered for 3 classes in a term equals 1 headcount for that student.

Success Rates

Success rate (% S) represents the percentage of students who successfully complete a course.  IE defines and calculates it as:

% S = Number of students receiving a grade of A, B, C, P, PR, SC or CM
Number of students receiving a grade of A, B, C, D, F, P, NP, I, W, PR, SC, CM, N, UP

PR, SC, CM, N, and UP are non-credit grades.

In public reports, success rates for gender and race/ethnicity are not provided when the enrollment is less than or equal to 5.