Welcome to our Editorial Style Guide

The Mt. San Antonio College Editorial Style Guide is a set of standards for writing and designing content for the college. It helps maintain consistency and clarity in written communication. Different styles of writing call for different editorial standards. This guide refers to writing style for communicators, such as those writing for marketing materials or our college web sites. 

Bias-Free Language

In keeping with the college's commitment to diversity and inclusivity, the Marketing & Communication Office recommends using bias-free language to create inclusive and respectful content.  For example:

  • Choose terms that are inclusive and respectful, especially when discussing sensitive topics. Be open to feedback and willing to make adjustments as language evolves.
  • Steer clear of perpetuating stereotypes based on gender, race, ethnicity, age, or other characteristics.
  • Acknowledge and use the pronouns that individuals prefer.
  • Be mindful of age-related language and stereotypes. Avoid assumptions about abilities or preferences based on age.
  • Use language that respects the dignity and abilities of individuals with disabilities. Avoid terms that may be considered derogatory or stigmatizing.
  • Be aware of cultural differences and avoid language that may perpetuate stereotypes or misunderstandings.
  • Be sensitive to religious diversity and avoid language that may be offensive or exclusive to certain religious groups.

Language is dynamic. It's essential to stay informed, be open to feedback, and adapt language use accordingly. Excellent free resources are available through the American Psychological Association (APA) Style Guides:



Street, Avenue, Drive, Road, and Boulevard are abbreviated in narrative text only when used with a complete address: 1100 N. Grand Ave.
But stand-alone street names are spelled out: The center is located on Grand Avenue. In charted data/material, abbreviations would be appropriate to save space.


Lowercase with periods: 9 a.m. or 9 p.m.  Avoid the redundant 10 a.m. this morning. Do not repeat “a.m.” or “p.m.” when the time of day is the same: 8 – 9:30 a.m. (not 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.). O’clock has become obsolete, except in printed formal invitations.

Days of Week

For class session listings, abbreviate days of the week: M, T, W, Th, F, S, Su. Do not abbreviate names of days in narrative text.


Abbreviate Doctor as a title: Dr. Martha Garcia. Or the degree after the name: Martha Garcia, Ed.D. But NOT both: Dr. Martha Garcia, E.D.

Grade Point Average

GPA is the accepted standard.



Generic reference is lowercased: Many students are attending college. Also lowercase “college” in subsequent references to Mt. SAC: Mt. SAC’s actions will benefit the college and the district.


Capitalize the formal names of departments and divisions: Humanities & Social Sciences Division; the English Department. Do not capitalize division or department in subsequent references: The division will offer additional courses.

Plural Entities

When referring to multiple departments, divisions, like-groups, streets, etc., the plural entity is lowercased: English and Math departments; the corner of Grand and Temple avenues.


These are lowercased unless they are part of a formal name: He received a state grant and a contract from the Federal Communications Commission.


Capitalize official titles before and after a name: Music Professor Jason Chevalier is an award-winning conductor. Kelly Fowler, Vice President of Instruction, will speak at noon. Note: Vice President is not hyphenated. Generic titles are NOT capitalized: He is a professor.

College Terms

Academic Degrees

Academic degrees can be abbreviated: A.A., A.S., B.A., B.S., M.A., M.S., M.D., Ph.D., J.D. (Juris Doctorate or Doctor of Jurisprudence). But no periods for MBA (business administration). Separate degrees by a comma after the name: The conference speaker is Jerry Nogy, Ph.D.
In formal reference it is preferable to spell out the degree: She earned an Associate in Arts, while he earned a Master of Science. 
In informal reference, it is easier to read to use a generic term: She earned a bachelor’s degree, while he earned an associate's. Bob and John earned associate degrees.

Academic/Fiscal Year

Academic: 2023-24.
Fiscal year: FY24 (covering period July 2023 - June 2024)


Right: Mt. SAC (or MT. SAC in all caps or logo).
Wrong: Mt. Sac, Mount SAC, MSAC.

Mt. San Antonio College

Right: Mt. San Antonio College.
Wrong: MT. San Antonio College, Mount San Antonio College, M. San Antonio College.

Programs and Departments

Ampersand (&)

Use the ampersand when it’s part of a formal name or a title: Humanities & Social Sciences Division, Office of Marketing & Communication. Do not use "&" in place of "and" in a sentence.
When listing multiple departments this also helps identify whether a singular office has multiple components or you are referring to multiple offices: The following departments will be represented at the meeting: Police & Campus Safety, Risk Management and Emergency Services.   


Capitalize the formal names of departments and divisions: Humanities & Social Sciences Division; the English Department. Do not capitalize division or department in subsequent references: The division will offer additional courses.