Postsecondary Education

NCES 2006-160
May 2006

FICM Glossary

Please choose from the following letters to find your FICM glossary term.

    A-D    |    E-H    |    I-L    |    M-P    |    Q-T    |    U-Z
Circular A-21, Principles for Determining Costs Applicable to Grants, Contracts, and Other Agreements with Educational Institutions, published by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) (
American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care.
Academic Discipline (Coding)
A listing of the two-digit level program codes published by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in 2002 and implemented for data collection by NCES in 2004. For definitions and more detailed descriptions and codes, consult the Classification of Instructional Programs: 2000 Edition, published by the U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, and available at  (1.28 MB).
See Coding for Academic Disciplines, appendix C.
Academic Program
An instructional program leading toward an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctor’s, or first-professional degree or other formal award or resulting in credits that can be applied to one of these degrees.
Academic Year
The period of time generally extending from September to June; usually equated to two semesters or trimesters, three quarters, or the period covered by a 4-1-4 calendar system.
Administratively Equal Institution
Separately organized, or independently administered site or campus with its own full administration and records system within an institutional system. This institution may report to a system office but does not report to any other institution.
The Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers. APPA is the commonly used acronym from the original name of this association, the Association of Physical Plant Administrators.
As-built Drawings
Architectural and engineering drawings that record the current locations of primary building features, walls, primary building equipment, mechanical system outlets, and equipment.
Building Owners and Managers Association.
Building Owners and Managers Institute.
Branch Institution (Campus)
A campus or site of an educational institution that is not temporary, is located in a community beyond a reasonable commuting distance from its parent institution, and offers full programs of study, not just courses.
A roofed structure for permanent or temporary shelter of persons, animals, plants, materials, or equipment. A building is a) attached to a foundation; b) roofed; c) serviced by a utility, exclusive of lighting; and d) a source of significant repair and maintenance activities. See section 2.3, What to Include in a Building Inventory, for inclusions and exclusions.
Building Condition
The physical status of the building at the time of the inventory or facility audit, based on the best judgment of those persons familiar with the physical characteristics and condition of the campus. See section 5.5, Building and Space Optional Data Element.
Building Data
Descriptive characteristics of a building, such as gross area, assignable area, condition, ownership, estimated replacement cost, and year of construction. See section 5.2, Required Data Elements, section 5.3, Optional Data Elements, and section 3.2, Definitions of Building Areas.
Building Ownership Status
The type of ownership and the relation of title holder to the institution. See definitions in section 5.3, Optional Data Elements.
Building Service Area
The sum of all areas on all floors of a building used for custodial supplies, sink rooms, janitorial closets, and public rest rooms. See section 3.2, Definitions of Building Areas.
Computer-aided design software systems primarily used to develop design and construction drawings for new construction or renovations. With additional efforts, such systems can be used to generate and store space inventory information.
Computer-aided facilities management systems. CAFM systems offer one or more solutions, often differing in nature, of these facilities management activities: call center work, design and construction drawings including specifications, equipment and furniture inventories, hoteling, lease management, real property portfolio tracking, preventive maintainence, project management, safety, security, space management, utilization studies, wire and cabling, and more.
Central Office or System Office
The administrative body or component responsible for supervision of a multi-institutional system.
Circulation Area
The sum of all areas on all floors of a building required for physical access to some subdivision of space, whether physically bounded by partitions or not. See section 3.2, Definitions of Building Areas.
Classification of Instruction Programs (CIP)
A taxonomic scheme for secondary and postsecondary instructional programs. It is intended to facilitate the organization, collection, and reporting of program data using classifications that capture the majority of reportable data. The CIP is the accepted federal government statistical standard on instructional program classifications and is used in a variety of education information surveys and databases. See appendix C, Coding for Academic Disciplines (CIP System). The full text is available at  (1.28 MB).
Computerized maintenance management system. A computerized database and tracking system for managing requests for facilities management, planning, and maintenance tasks. Also called a work order system.
Contact Hour
A unit of measure that represents an hour of scheduled instruction given to students. Also referred to as clock hour.
Core Factor
In commercial space measurement systems, the percentage of the rentable area of each floor that is not part of a tenant’s own space.
A method of instruction with students receiving structured units of information and accompanying material completely through the mail.
Cost of Latest Major Renovation
The dollar value of the latest renovation that cost in excess of 25 percent of the estimated replacement cost of the structure and that significantly extended its useful life.
Credit Hour
A unit of measure representing the equivalent of an hour (50 minutes) of instruction per week over the entire term. It is applied toward the total number of hours needed for completing the requirements of a degree, diploma, certificate, or other formal award.
Data Element
An individual item of data related to a particular space.
Data Field
A location of specific data elements that make up a data record. Example: A space record requires a minimum of these four data fields—a unique space number, area, space use, and organizational assignment.
Data Record
A collection of all fields pertaining to a single data element.