In university, you may encounter new or unfamiliar terms related to policy, services, roles, or other institutional structures. Some of these terms are particular to Trent University, while others are common at other institutions. You may also find the Academic Glossary, prepared by the Office of the Registrar, to be helpful.
Academic Advisor - Academic Advisors help undergraduate students clarify their academic goals, decide which courses to take, understand academic regulations and degree requirements, connect with the services they need and, ultimately, take charge of their own education. Learn more about Academic Advising.
Academic Skills Instructor - Academic Skills instructors provide individual appointments, workshops, and online resources to support students in strengthening skills needed for learning at university: managing time, organization, reading, notetaking, math skills, research, citations and documentation, writing skills, studying and exam preparation, and more. Learn more about Academic Skills.
Academic Calendar - A document containing information about academic programs and requirements, course descriptions, University policies and procedures, and important dates. Explore the Academic Calendar.
Academic Dishonesty - Academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, cheating, and the unauthorized sharing and distribution of course content, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. Engaging in any form of academic dishonesty or misconduct in order to obtain academic credit or advantage of any kind is an offence under the Undergraduate Academic Integrity Policy.
Academic Integrity - Academic integrity is defined by the basic principles of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility (as articulated by the International Center for Academic Integrity, academicintegrity.org). These values serve as the foundation for the development and acquisition of knowledge and all members of the University community are expected to uphold them. Trent University’s Academic Integrity website provides helpful information on why integrity is important and how to avoid integrity infractions.
Academic Standing - Academic standings are based on cumulative and term averages. Your cumulative average is the average of all the courses you have ever taken at Trent. Your term average is the average of the courses you took in the most recent term. Learn more about Academic Standing.
Academic Timetable - The Academic Timetable contains all of the information needed to understand which courses are offered online (web-based) or in-person at the Peterborough and Durham GTA campuses, along with when and where they will be offered. The Academic Timetable is a great tool to use when you simply want to see a list of courses that are offered filtered by term, campus, and department.
Blackboard Learning System - Blackboard is a learning management system that houses all of your courses. You'll find course syllabi, lecture and reading materials, online quizzes and tests, assignment submission boxes, as well as your grades. Visit your Blackboard frequently so you don't miss any announcements from your course instructor or fall behind in the course. You can find Blackboard on your myTrent portal.
Cheating - As defined by Trent University’s Academic Integrity Policy for Undergraduate Students (2023), “Cheating is dishonest academic conduct or attempted dishonest academic conduct during tests or examinations or in the preparation of any other course work or in the presentation of credentials for admission to the University or one of its programs” (Section 1.6). Review common examples of cheating.
Colleges - At Trent, everyone belongs to a college. Trent’s colleges are communities that promote learning, embrace diversity, and foster meaningful connections among students, faculty and staff. Each college offers academic support, events and traditions, a student government, and so much more. Explore Trent’s colleges.
Lab/Laboratory - Labs are predominantly in science courses where students can apply and practice what is learned from lectures and course materials. Working with a partner or in a group is common.
Lecture - Lectures can range from 50-150 minutes and are typically presented by a course instructor to a large number of students. Students predominately listen and take notes. Learn more about the lecture experience.
Office Hours - Course instructors and teaching assistants (TAs) typically set aside time each week during which they are available for students to contact with questions or for support regarding the course. Attending office hours is a great way to get to know your instructors and enhance your understanding of course content. Information about office hours is usually found in the course syllabus.
Plagiarism - As defined by Trent University’s Academic Integrity Policy for Undergraduate Students (2023), “Plagiarism is knowingly presenting words, ideas, images, data, or any other form of work of another person or source, including an AI generator (including essays, theses, lab reports, projects, assignments, presentations and posters) in a way that represents or could be reasonably seen to represent the work as one’s own. “Knowingly” includes ought reasonably to have known. Plagiarism includes failure to acknowledge sources correctly and submitting materials copied from or generated by another source without proper acknowledgement of the source. Draft work submitted for evaluation is subject to the same standard as final work.” (Section 1.5)
Professor - Your course instructor, or professor, designs and presents course content, sets deadlines for assessment, and evaluates student performance.
Reading Week - Typically occurring half-way through the fall and winter semesters, this is a week when classes do not run. Reading Week dates can be found in the Important Dates section of the Academic Calendar.
Semester - Also called term, a portion of the academic year during which classes run. Start and end dates of semesters can be found in the Important Dates section of the Academic Calendar.
Seminar - Seminars, also sometimes called workshops or tutorials, are usually smaller settings with more interaction between students compared to lectures. They may be facilitated by your Course Instructor or a Teaching Assistant (TA) for the course. Seminars are often discussion-based, encouraging student participation.
Student Accessibility Services (SAS) - Student Accessibility Services (SAS) is a team of interdisciplinary professionals who provide support to students with disabilities through one-on-one advising, referrals to campus supports, and adaptive technology. Learn more about SAS.
Syllabus - Each course has what's called a syllabus, a course outline that gives you everything you need to know for the course such as weekly lecture topics and assigned course materials, due dates and deadlines for tests and assignments, and how you will be graded in the course. Make sure you read it thoroughly and refer to it many times throughout the semester.
Teaching Assistant (TA) - Your Teaching Assistant (TA), also sometimes called Seminar Leader or Lab Demonstrator, supplements course content by conducting seminars or labs, helps to mark assessments, and provides feedback to students.
Confused by the Trent acronyms? Check out the glossary of terms that are good to know, prepared by the Office of the Registrar