CourseKey Glossary

Learn more about the problems we solve and the programs we serve.

Programs We Serve: 

  • Cosmetology Schools and Institutes
  • Beauty and Wellness Schools and Institutes 
    • Massage Schools, Nail Institutes
  • Allied Health Colleges and Institutes
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) education programs and schools
  • Nursing Colleges and Institutes
  • Trade Schools, Vocational Schools, Career Colleges
  • Apprenticeship and Training Programs 
    • We support trade programs including HVAC, plumbing, electrician, linemen, welding, truck driving, and more.
    • We also support other skilled programs like animal behavior institutes, Scuba/diving training, and real estate licensing courses/programs. 
  • Proprietary Colleges and Institutes 
  • Culinary Schools 


Learning Environments

Externship: An externship is when a student leaves campus to complete hands-on learning in a real-world setting. Externships are common for nursing, allied health, and some trade schools. There is typically no school staff member on-site. 


Clinical: A clinical is when a student leaves campus to complete hands-on learning in a real-world setting WITH a staff member on-site. Clinicals are common for nursing and allied health schools. 


Blended Courses: Also known as blended learning, a blended course combines synchronous and asynchronous work. 


Hybrid Programs: Also known as hybrid learning, a hybrid program has a combination of synchronous, asynchronous, and blended courses. 


Synchronous learning: Classes occur in real time, either on-ground or online, via a video conferencing solution. 


Asynchronous learning: Students complete assignments on their own time outside of scheduled class sessions. 


On-ground learning: On-ground learning is conducted on campus or at an off-site location. 


Online learning: Students learn online, synchronously via video conferencing or asynchronous. 


Clock Hour attendance: Attendance based on how much time students spend in their program. Some states require a certain number of hours for specific programs. A clock hour is typically defined as 50 minutes of instruction for every 60 minutes. 


Clock-to-credit hour attendance: Program that tracks attendance in clock hours and converts completed hours into credits towards graduation. 


Credit hour attendance: Every course a student receives is worth a varying amount of credit hours depending on the class length and workload. Students must complete a specified number of credit hours to complete their program. 


Biometric scanner: A palm, finger, or retinal scanner that remains in a fixed location on a school’s campus. Students line up at the beginning and end of class to check in and check out with the scanner. Attendance data must then be manually entered into the SIS.   


Time clock: A time clock is used to measure clock hour attendance. It is often paired with a biometric scanner that starts the time clock. 



Title IV: Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 covers federal student financial aid programs. Most schools participate in Title IV so that students can use federal funds to pay their tuition costs. However, inclusion in Title IV does require schools to follow set rules and regulations. 


Title IV Drawdown: When a student attends his/her first day of school, schools can begin pulling funds from Title IV to cover tuition costs. 

  • First Day Attended: Schools can begin pulling down funds as soon as a student attends his/her first day of class. 


Return to Title IV: If a student can no longer continue his/her educational journey, schools must return any unused funds within 14 days of the student’s last day attended. 

  • Last Day Attended: The last day of a program a student attended in person or the last asynchronous activity they began online. Students do not need to COMPLETE an asynchronous activity, simply begin an activity.


Finding: If a school does not follow all the rules and regulations set forth by Title IV, they receive a finding, essentially a warning that the school must adjust processes and procedures to meet Title IV requirements. 


Heightened Cash Management: If a school receives too many findings, it is put on Heightened Cash Management, meaning the Department of Education provides additional oversight to ensure schools follow the regulations set forth by Title IV. 


Accreditation: To participate in Title IV, schools must receive “accreditation” from an outside accrediting body. Accreditors look at school programs, policies, data, and more to ensure they’re remaining compliant with state, federal, and accreditor policies. 


Audits: To remain accredited, schools must participate in regular audits. Auditors will visit schools and request a sample of data, then review that data for accuracy. All data must be verifiable. For example, if an auditor requests a student’s attendance record, a school must verify that it was in fact the enrolled student who attended class every single time. 



At-risk student: A student who is not on track to remain in their program or graduate on time due to absences, tardiness, or other factors. Schools may define at-risk students differently depending on their policies. 


Retention: A school’s ability to keep students in their program. Retention has a direct impact on revenue as every student who drops means fewer Title IV dollars earned.