In the Selected Improvement pathway, the provider makes a case for meeting each standard through evidence supported by a summary statement. The standard is determined to be met through evidence provided by the provider.  While the case is made at the standard level, all components must be addressed in the standard.

The purpose of the summary statement in each standard is to present a compelling argument, based on the collection of evidence selected by the provider, that a CAEP standard has been met.  Providers should not assume reviewers will make the connection between evidence and expectations in the standards.  All components must be addressed, but the case is made at the standard level.  However, all components of Standard 4 on impact measures and components 5.3 and 5.4 on continuous, must meet CAEP Guidelines.

The following points and paragraph may help to guide preparation of this narrative:

  • Frame the argument to be made for a standard—what points will be offered, which support the argument, which are neutral or conflict with others
  • Describe the data sources and representativeness, especially with regard to their relevance in supporting the standard—why are the data credible for this standard
  • Present the results in a way that aligns with the standard
  • Draw a conclusion about the extent to which the data support the standard.  Where appropriate, address triangulation and convergence of different forms of evidence to compensate for limitations of any one data source
  • Discuss the implications of the findings for subsequent action by the provider.

As part of this process, the provider should disaggregate data and results for the program options and for other subgroups relevant to the issue under investigation.  This will allow for identification of noteworthy variations or provide evidence of consistency across subgroups.  Providers should also look for patterns in the data, such as variations over time or after changes to the program or context.  As multiple sources of data should be used to support each argument, the provider should examine the extent to which all available sources generate mutually reinforcing findings.  In the self-study report, the argument should highlight confirming and conflicting findings from the data.  Finally, when possible, provider should make comparisons between their data and any existing benchmarks, normative comparisons to peers, or performance standards.  These final steps generate a context for considering the implications of findings for program-related decisions. 

All components of a standard are covered in the summary statement, but different providers may give different emphases to each component in its statement.  The focus is on the standard itself, and the provider’s summary statement should emphasize the standard’s holistic and overarching expectation. The narrative should not be a rewording of the standard statement or a provider assertion left unsubstantiated by data or evidence.

During the first two years that the 2013 CAEP Standards are required, providers may submit plans in lieu of certain pieces of evidence.