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An Acronym Analysis (AAA)

Quinn writes about different acronyms that Carleton College students use!

Quinn writes about different acronyms that Carleton College students use!

If you’ve had the distinct pleasure of visiting the Carleton campus, you might have noticed some of the many acronyms that get thrown around our campus. We have enough to make your head spin – even after a full two years here, I still encounter new ones every now and then! I hope that this dictionary of sorts will help you orient yourself, whether you’re just discovering the place or a Carleton expert. A little disclaimer – this is not a comprehensive list, simply because it would be much too long for a blog post!


ACE – Academic Civic Engagement A class that has some component of civic engagement as part of its curriculum.

Example sentence: I got to go visit the Northfield Library as part of my ACE class today!

Examples of ACE classes.
Examples of ACE Classes

A&I – Argument and Inquiry Seminar A class that you take in the fall of your first year to prepare you for college writing.

Example sentence: Your A&I topic sounds fascinating, do you know what you’ll write about yet?

CMC – Center for Math and Computing The building that houses the math and statistics department (but not CS!)

Example sentence: I gotta run to CMC or I’ll be late for calc!

MSC – Math Skills Center Housed in the CMC, this is where you can get peer support for math or stats questions.

Example sentence: I think I’m going to apply to be an MSC tutor next year.

S/Cr/Nc – Satisfactory, Credit, No Credit Pronounced “scrunch”, this is Carleton’s pass/fail option. 

Example sentence: This class is really stressing me out – I might scrunch just so I can relax!

SDA – Student Departmental Advisor student who is familiar with the department and can offer advice and support.

Example sentence: The Theater SDA helped me decide which class I should take next term.

Students working in the Math Skills Center
Hard at work in the Math Skills Center!

Offices/Student Life

CCCE – Center for Civic and Community Engagement Pronounced trip-c-e, the office connects Carleton with Northfield.

Example sentence: I found a great volunteer opportunity through CCCE last week.

CSA – Carleton Student Association All students are members – we elect the CSA senate, our student government.

Example sentence: I heard she was planning on running for CSA president next year, I’d love it if she did!

ITS – Information Technology Services Our resident tech gods – they can help with any technological problem!

Example sentence: I spilled coffee on my laptop on Thursday but thankfully ITS was able to get me a loaner.

LDC – Language and Dining Center One of our dining halls, which shares a building with the language departments.

Example sentence: I’m gonna do lunch at LDC because I have Spanish right after.

Students enjoy Late Night Breakfast
Late Night Breakfast in LDC!

OAR – Office of Accessibility Resources This office assists with accommodations/other needs for disabled students.

Example sentence: My broken ankle has made things difficult, I’m going to talk to OAR about temporary accommodations.

OHP – Office of Health Promotion Responsible for student wellness – they promote self-care across campus.

Example sentence: I’m going to OHP to see the SWA dogs! (Bonus acronym! SWA – Student Wellness Advocate)

OIL – Office of Intercultural Life Provides programming and support for BIPOC students (and all students).

Example sentence: I heard OIL is running a trip to the Asia Mall in Eden Prairie, should we go?

OCS – Off Campus Studies Carleton term for study abroad – this refers to both the office and actually traveling.

Example sentence: I had no idea they were on OCS this term, which program are they doing?

SAO – Student Activities Office Offers a wide variety of programming and events around campus.

Example sentence: SAO really outdid themselves with Sproncert this year, the headliner was incredible.

spring concert 2023
Sproncert 2023!

SHAC – Student Health and Counseling Our health center which offers free medical and counseling appointments.

Example sentence: I’m feeling a little sick, I might swing by SHAC to take a strep test later.

This concludes the first installation of An Acronym Analysis. Stay tuned for possible future editions…

Quinn (she/her/hers) has deep love of the Carleton community; she says she is so lucky to be surrounded by such brilliant and kind people. Quinn is an active member of student-run radio station KRLX, the orchestra, equestrian club, and the music department! Following her love of music and radio, her favorite place on campus is the record library. And finally, a fun fact about Quinn is that her family helped to found the Minneapolis St. Patrick’s Day Parade!