Glossary of Terms

What is the E-number?

When an individual is admitted to the University, he/she is assigned an E-number by which all records are stored. Anytime you call a University office and ask for help that requires access to your student records, it will be necessary to provide your E-number.

Some time ago students’ social security numbers were used to access information, but for more security E-numbers are now assigned. To obtain your E-number, contact your advisor.

What is the Net ID and Password
?The Net ID and Password will be used by students to access any site essential for academic function such as PAWS (the online student information system), EIU email (PantherMail), Desire2Learn for internet classes, etc. To obtain your Net ID and Password, contact your advisor or call Cheryl Clapp, the School of Continuing Education's technology assistant (217-581-7227).

The original password that is randomly assigned to you can be changed to one that is easier to remember. Just be sure to reset it to something that would be hard for others to guess. All passwords should be “strong” which means they should contain a combination of capital and lower case letters, at least one symbol (! # % * + ?) and at least one numeral. To have your password reset, call Cheryl Clapp, the School of Continuing Education's technology assistant (217-581-7227).

What is PAWS (Panther Access Web Services)?

PAWS is an on-line system which enables students to access a variety of information via the Internet.  Through PAWS students can securely:

•  Review status at EIU

•  Register for classes

•  View grades

•  View Transcript Evaluations

•  Review the financial aid status

•  Access Student Account information

Paws can be found at:

What is Desire2Learn?

Desire2Learn is a tool that enables instructors to develop entire online courses, or publish materials that supplement existing courses. Students access and participate in online (technology delivered) courses through Desire2Learn.

What is the Electronic Writing Portfolio (EWP)?
The Electronic Writing Portfolio (EWP) is the method by which the University is able to ensure that all graduates communicate as effective writers; it is a requirement for all Eastern students. The portfolio is a compilation of three samples of a student’s writing. Those three EWP submissions may come from any undergraduate course for which the student has completed an appropriate writing assignment.

What is an academic hold?
An academic hold is a restriction placed on a student's record that does not allow them to register for classes, or in some cases, have transcripts released. To have the hold removed, students must contact the office which placed the hold and clear their account. A hold is an indication to the student that something was not done (i.e. there is an unpaid balance on the student’s account, a textbook was not returned, etc.).

What is Alpha Sigma Lambda?
Alpha Sigma Lambda (ASL) is an honor society for adult students in higher education. Membership is by invitation only. Students must be in the top 20% of their major and they need to have earned at least 24 hours through EIU.

What is the difference between dropping and withdrawing from a course?
There is a difference between “dropping” a course and “withdrawing” from a course. A drop occurs either prior to the start date of the class or by a specific deadline early in the term. (See the academic calendar for deadlines.) Students are not responsible for payment of hours for a dropped course and there will be no grade on the transcript.

Withdrawal occurs after the drop deadline and students are held responsible for payment of the hours even though they are no longer enrolled in the class. A “W” grade will be posted on the student transcript.