Branding Standards Guide

Acronyms, Abbreviations and Organization Names

An acronym is a word formed from the first letter (or letters) of a series of words (e.g., NASA, BOT). Unless pronounced as a word, an abbreviation is not an acronym. The choice between using a or an with an acronym or abbreviation depends on how it is spoken rather than whether the first initial is a vowel or consonant (a NASA scientist; an HTML class; a HEERA regulation; an FTF; a UFO).

Try to avoid pages filled with acronyms and abbreviations. Although they are useful to avoid repetition of organizations and programs with lengthy names, their overuse can be disruptive to the reader. Spell out the abbreviation or acronym on the first use and follow with the abbreviation in parentheses. If the subsequent reference is too far away for the average reader to remember what the abbreviation stands for, spell it out again.

Do not italicize an acronym or abbreviation even if it is the title of a printed piece (e.g., FAFSA).

AAHE: American Association for Higher Education (note for)

ACE: American Council on Education

ACT: American College Test

ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act

APC: Academic Professionals of California

API: Academic Performance Index

asf or ASF: assignable square foot (feet)

BCLAD: Bilingual Crosscultural, Language and Academic Development

BOT: Board of Trustees (use abbreviation only in internal, informal use)

BTSA: Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment

CAE: Council for Aid to Education

CalPERS: California Public Employees’ Retirement System

CAPP: California Academic Partnership Program

CASE: Council for Support and Advancement of Education (no the before Support)

CBEST: California Basic Education Skills Test

CCC: California Community Colleges

CCCI (followed by a number): California Construction Cost Index

CCE: Center for Community Engagement

CCTC: California Commission on Teacher Credentialing

CDE: California Department of Education

CEQA: California Environmental Quality Act

CFA: California Faculty Association

CLAD: Crosscultural, Language and Academic Development

CO: Chancellor’s Office

CPDC: Capital Planning, Design and Construction (no ampersand in initials)

CPEC: California Postsecondary Education Commission

CSSA: California State Student Association

CSUEU: California State University Employees Union

CTA: California Teachers Association

CTAP: California Technology Assistance Project

CTC: Commission on Teacher Credentialing

DEIR: Draft Environmental Impact Report

DOF: Department of Finance

EIN: Employer Identification Number

EIR: Environmental Impact Report

EOP: Educational Opportunity Program

ESL: English as a Second Language

FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid

FAQ: frequently asked questions

FASB: Financial Accounting Standards Board

FEA: Future Educators of America

FEIR: Final Environmental Impact Report

FIPSE: Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education

FISMA: Financial Integrity and State Manager’s Accountability Act

FTEF: full-time equivalent faculty

FTES: full-time equivalent students

FTF: first-time freshman

FY: fiscal year

GAAP: generally accepted accounting principles

GASB: Governmental Accounting Standards Board

GIS: Geographic Information Systems

GPA: grade point average (all capital letters, no periods)

gsf or GSF: gross square foot (feet)

GRE: Graduate Record Examinations

HEERA: Higher Education Employer Employee Relations Act

IHE: Institution of Higher Education

IP: International Programs

IT: information technology

IPEDS: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System

ITL: Institute for Teaching and Learning

IUOE: International Union of Operating Engineers

LAO: Legislative Analyst’s Office

MOU: Memorandum of Understanding

MPP: Management Personnel Plan

MSAT: Multiple Subject Assessment Test

NASULGC: National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges

NCES: National Center for Education Statistics

NOP: Notice of Preparation

NCAA: National Collegiate Athletic Association (divisions noted by Roman numerals I-A, I-AA, II, III)

NCATE: National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

NEA: National Education Association (headquarters in Washington, D.C.)

NEA: National Endowment for the Arts

NEH: National Endowment for the Humanities

RFP: Request for Proposal

RICA: Reading Instruction Competency Assessment

SAC: Student Aid Commission

SAM: State Administrative Manual

SEIU: Service Employees International Union

SETC: State Employees Trades Council

SNAPS: Student Needs and Priorities Survey

SSAT: Single Subject Assessment Test

SSN: Social Security number

SUAM: State University Administrative Manual

SUH: State University House

SUPA: Statewide University Police Association

TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language

UAPD: Union of American Physicians and Dentists

UAW: United Auto Workers

UC: University of California

WASC: Western Association of Schools and Colleges

WWW: World Wide Web

YRO: year-round operations