a.m., p.m.

Use lower case with periods in-between.

academic terms and class standing

Use lowercase for seasons, academic terms and class standing:

  • the fall semester 2023 (not Fall Semester or Fall semester)
  • the spring term (not Spring Term or Spring term) 


Not adviser (contrary to AP Style)


Use alumnus for an individual male, alumna for an individual female; alumni for a group of males, alumnae for a group of females; use of alumni when referring to a group composed of men and women is commonly accepted. When a gender-neutral term is needed, use alum or alums.

ampersand (&)

The ampersand should not be used in place of ‘and’. Only use the ampersand when it is part of a company’s formal name (Proctor & Gamble) or part of an official event or other title.

Note: Due to ADA compliance, PHSC event and position titles should refrain from using the ampersand in all titles. Ampersand should not be used on PHSC websites.


PHSC men’s basketball, baseball and cross country teams and women’s volleyball, softball, cross country, and soccer teams are all members of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and the Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA). All athletic teams are referred to as the Bobcats. The team mascot is the Bobcat (see ‘mascot’).

board of trustees/DBOT

District Board of Trustees for first reference; trustees on subsequent references. Capitalize second reference for formal usage; DBOT can be used on second reference.


PHSC athletic mascot, college moniker (see ‘mascot’)


reference of a group of individuals associated with PHSC, i.e. student body, athletic teams, alumni; do not use an apostrophe


Campuses are always denoted as their official name followed by their location, if not in name

  • East Campus in Dade City
  • North Campus in Brooksville
  • Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch (first reference) Note: Although not required, it is recommended to include the city of location also (e.g. Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch in Wesley Chapel).
  • Spring Hill Campus
  • West Campus in New Port Richey

Lower case when not using full or formal name.


One word, no hyphen


Academic courses, divisions, departments and programs are capitalized, contrary to AP style.

  • Division of Arts and Sciences
  • Department of Nursing
  • Continuing Education department
  • Office of Marketing and Communications
Chair, Vice Chair

As a leadership title (along with Chairman, Chairwoman, Chairperson), contrary to AP style in which lower case should be used, unless listed before or after name.

College Store (formerly bookstore)

For second reference to PHSC College Store.
If PHSC needs to be spelled out, then use:

Pasco-Hernando State College Store

College, college

Capitalize as part of a title or when PHSC is specifically referred to, contrary to AP style:

  • Pasco-Hernando State College campus is...
  • The College has five campuses and one center…

Lower case in instances when PHSC is not specifically referred to:

  • The colleges in Florida… 

One word, lowercase

dates, months, years, days of the week

Use figures for dates and years. Do not use st, nd, rd, or th with dates. (December 2, 1986 not December 2nd, 1986)

Always capitalize months. Spell out months and days of the week. If necessary for space, you can abbreviate Jan., Feb., Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. 

Use the letter ‘s’ but not an apostrophe after figures expressing decades or centuries (1700s. The '70s.). Years can be used to start a sentence, contrary to the general rule in numerals (2022 was a good year).


Capitalize the full degree title; lowercase the shorter form. 

  • Associate in Arts degree (AA) (PHSC uses this version)
  • Associate of Arts degree (AA)
  • associate degree
  • Bachelor of Arts degree (BA)
  • bachelor’s degree
  • baccalaureate or baccalaureate degree 

In general, do not use abbreviations for degrees after a person’s name (e.g., Joel Stein, Ph.D.), unless necessary to establish her or his credentials.

Do not use periods in abbreviations of academic degrees. 
AA, AS, AAS, GED, BS, BA, MA (exception is doctoral degrees, e.g. Ph.D. or Ed.D., M.D.)

The word degree should not follow a degree abbreviation.


One word, no hyphen


Use “Dr.” before a name when the person has an M.D., D.V.M., D.D.S., D.M.D., or other medical degree for the first reference, use last name for second reference. For individuals who hold other types of doctoral degrees, do not use “Dr.” before their names.

Note: First name mention with title should indicate credentials without ‘Dr.’

Foundation, foundation

Capitalize as part of a title or when PHSC Foundation is specifically referred to, contrary to AP style:

  • Pasco-Hernando State College Foundation is...
  • The Foundation raised funds for…

Lower case in instances when PHSC Foundation is not specifically referred to:

  • The mission of a college foundation is… 
health care/ healthcare

Two words, unless used as one word in an official name of an organization

hyphens and dashes

hyphens: Use when separating noninclusive numbers or in compound nouns. Not required to hyphenate most compound modifiers after the verb to be. Do not use spaces around the hyphen. Do not use hyphen to designate dual heritage (African American, Mexican American). 

Generally, do not use a hyphen when using a prefix with a word starting with a consonant (corequisite, midmanagement, noncredit, noneducation, nonregionally, prehospital). Hyphenate modifiers of three or more words (black-and-white photography).

Generally, use a hyphen if the prefix ends in a vowel and the word that follows begins with the same vowel (meta-analysis, anti-intellectual). 

The rules for ‘non’ – same rules of prefixes above apply, but in general no hyphen when forming a compound that does not have special meaning and can be understood if not is used before the base word. Use a hyphen, however, before proper nouns or in awkward combinations, such as non-nuclear.

en-dash: Use to separate ranges of items, such as dates or quantities. Do not use spaces around the en-dash. 

  • There will be 30–50 people there.
  • The event runs Oct. 10–15. 

em-dash: Use in place of double dashes to set off a section of the sentence that requires special emphasis— think of the em dash as a pause or parenthesis with somewhat more emphasis than a comma and somewhat less than parentheses. Do not use spaces around the em-dash. 


Always use first and last name in first mention; last name only in all others. Do not use courtesy titles such as Ms., Mr., Mrs., unless part of a quote or needed to differentiate between two people with same name, i.e. Mr. Jones and Ms. Jones.


Avoid beginning a sentence with a figure, however if necessary to do so, then spell out the number unless it is a year.

  • 1985 was a year of change.
  • Three hundred men gathered in the townhall.

Generally, spell out numbers below 10 and use the numerals for 10 and above.

  • The woman has 12 goldfish and two guppies.

When using an ordinal number (a number that defines a position), spell out first through ninth; use figures for 10th and above.

  • The girl threw the ball to third base.
  • She was fifth in the line-up.
  • His position was in the 4th District. 

Money: use figures except for cents, million, trillion, billion. $54.37, $74, $365, $2 million, 7 cents. Hyphens are not needed when linking numerals and the word million, billion or trillion. 

Pasco-Hernando State College

Hyphenate between Pasco and Hernando when spelled out, no hyphenation in acronym PHSC. Spell out full name, abbreviate/acronym on second reference.


Use the word percent in non-technical text. It is also permitted in most cases to use the % sign when paired with a number with no space.

Use the symbol % in statistical, technical text, non-technical text and in tables and charts.


Use single space after period.
Commas and periods should be placed inside quotes.

  • “The red lollipop fell to the ground,” said Smith.
  • “The student was overwhelmed with homework.”

In a simple series, AP doesn't use a comma before the last item.

  • “The dog, cat and frog were all hungry.”  

For a series of complex terms, use commas after each for clarity.

titles of people

Official personal titles immediately preceding or following a name are capitalized. This rule applies to both academic and administrative titles.

Exception to this rule: Do not use caps in press release when title follows name in press release, according to AP style guidelines.

  • Susan Jones, Administrative Director
  • Susan Jones, administrative director—press release only
  • John Maxwell, Provost
  • (John Maxwell, provost—press release only)
  • President John Smith

Note: Do not capitalize a title that follows a name if the title is preceded by any words other than the person's name.

  • Jacob Long has been the director of marketing for five years.

If title appears directly after name, capitalize and offset with commas:

  • Jane Doe, Dean of Health Occupations, attended the event. 

Lower case in other instances

  • The dean of health occupations…
  • John Doe is the dean of health occupations.
web page, home page

Two words, lower case.

website, webcam, webcast and webmaster

One word, lower case.

Capitalize webmaster when it follows as a title of a person unless in press release

  • Claudia Banks, Webmaster
  • Claudia Banks, webmaster—press release only