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CAEP (Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation).

A nonprofit and nongovernmental agency that accredits educator preparation providers (EPPs). CAEP was created with the October 2010 adoption of a motion to consolidate the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) by the boards of the two organizations. CAEP became operational on July 1, 2013.

CAEP Coordinator.

An educator preparation provider (EPP) representative designated by the EPP as the primary recipient for CAEP related communications.

CAEP Eligiable.

The status conferred to an educator preparation provider (EPP) that has successfully completed CAEP’s 2-part request for evaluation process and maintains eligibility through the payment of annual fees and the submission of an Annual Report.


An individual engaged in the preparation process for professional education licensure/certification with an Educator Preparation Provider (EPP).


A culminating project or experience that generally takes place in a candidate’s final year of study and requires review, synthesis, and request for evaluation of what has been learned over the course of the candidate’s preparation program. The result may be a product (e.g., original research) or a performance (e.g., a teaching sequence). The capstone can provide evidence for assessment of a range of outcomes, (e.g., proficiencies) (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).

Case Study.

For CAEP a case study is a systematic study of some aspect of preparation that posits a problem of practice, identifies a means to address it, frames appropriate measures, gathers data, and analyzes results for the purposes of preparation improvement and/or accreditation evidence.

Certificate Level.

A professional educator preparation program that provides the courses for a specific certificate or license, but  does not lead to an academic degree.

Certificate/License/ Credential.

An official document issued by a state agency that an individual meets state requirements to (1) teach at a specific level or for a specialized discipline/population of students (e.g. middle grades, biology, English Language Learners, etc.); or (2) serve in a specific education role in a school (e.g. principal, reading specialist, etc.).

Certification Licensure.

The process by which a governmental agency or nongovernmental organization grants professional recognition to an individual who meets specified qualifications/requirements. (See Certificate and/or Certification/Licensure Level.)

Clinical Educators.

All educator preparation provider (EPP) and P-12-school-based individuals, including classroom teachers, who assess, support, and develop a candidate’s knowledge, skills, or professional dispositions at some stage in the clinical experiences.

Clinical Experiences.

Guided, hands-on, practical request for evaluations and demonstrations of professional knowledge of theory to practice, skills, and dispositions through collaborative and facilitated learning in field-based assignments, tasks, activities, and assessments across a variety of settings. These include, but are not limited to, culminating clinical practices such as student teaching or internship.

Clinical Internship.

The culminating clinical practice experience in some settings; can be of varying duration but no less than one university semester. During the clinical internship teacher candidates assume full responsibility for a pedagogical assignment under the coaching of school- and university-based teacher educators (AACTE “Lexicon of Practice,” 2017). [NOTE: In CAEP practice, which includes providers that are not located in either colleges or universities, there may be wider variation in the clinical internship duration and when it occurs. Some EPPs have multiple clinical experiences or are entirely clinically based, while others may have less than a “semester” duration.]

Clinical Practice.

Student teaching or internship opportunities that provide candidates with an intensive and extensive culminating field-based set of responsibilities, assignments, tasks, activities, and assessments that demonstrate candidates’ progressive development of the professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be effective educators.


A descriptor used in Standard 2 referring to a collaborative process through which features of clinical experiences are designed or arranged by EPPs together with their school or school district partners. Examples might include P-12 school outreach to community programs, request for evaluations of technology in the clinical experiences, and determining how candidates will receive timely descriptive feedback on their work.


A group of candidates or program completers admitted, enrolled, or graduated at the same time, e.g., a class entering in a fall semester or a class graduating in the spring semester.

Cohort Avarage.

Under CAEP Standard 3, component 3.2, the GPA and standardized test scores are averaged for all members of a cohort or class of admitted candidates. There may be a range of candidates’ grades and scores on standardized tests. Averaging does not require that every candidate meet the specified score (definition adapted from 2013 report of the CAEP Commission on Standards and Performance Reporting). The term “cohort average” could apply to other accreditation evidence, such as assessment scores used to document Standard 1, component 1.1.

Complaint Review Committee.

A committee of the Accreditation Council with responsibility for reviewing and taking action on valid complaints against an educator preparation provider (EPP) or CAEP.


The formal submission of documents and other materials to support an allegation (1) that an educator preparation provider (EPP) no longer meets one or more of the CAEP standard(s); (2) that CAEP did not follow its established policies and procedures; or (3) that a member of CAEP’s staff violated CAEP policies or procedures, including but not limited to its code of conduct.


Any candidate who exited a preparation program by successfully satisfying the requirements of the educator preparation provider (EPP).


Presenting sufficient evidence of meeting the standards or requirements of a regulatory or accrediting body.


Sub-indicators of a standard that elaborate upon and further define a standard. CAEP uses its components as evidence categories that are summarized by the educator preparation provider (EPP) and reviewed by the site review team in order to assign areas for improvement or stipulations that lead to a peer judgment of whether or not a standard is met.


A policy statement to which site reviewers, councilors, and staff are required to adhere. The policy includes expectations that individuals will not to disclose or discuss information from an educator preparation provider’s (EPP) self-study, related evidence, interviews, or CAEP’s decision-making process outside of the formal accreditation process meetings.

Conflict of Interest.

Any association, relationship, business arrangement, or circumstance related to an applicant for accreditation by anyone involved in the accreditation process that might suggest to disinterested and objective referees that his or her actions were contrary to CAEP policy; contrary to its stated duties to its clients, members, and stakeholders; or for personal gain or the gain of family, close friends, or non-CAEP associates.

Consumer Information.

Information about the status and trends of outcomes for completers that should be available for prospective candidates, parents of applicants, employers of completers, parents of P-12 students and generally for the public.

Content Knowledge.

The acquisition and understanding of facts, truths, or principles associated with the academic disciplines that are taught at the elementary, middle, and/or secondary levels, or a professional field of study such as special education, early childhood education, school psychology, reading, or school administration.

Continuing Accreditation.

The accreditation process for an educator preparation provider (EPP) to renew its accredited status.

Continuous Improvement.

A process of gathering information about all aspects of preparation activities and experiences, analyzing that information (looking for patterns, trends, making comparisons with peers), identifying what works and what seems to be troubled, making adjustments, and repeating the cycle.

Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

A nonprofit and nongovernmental agency that accredits educator preparation providers (EPPs). CAEP was created with the October 2010 adoption of a motion to consolidate the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) by the boards of the two organizations. CAEP became operational on July 1, 2013.


See definition for Certificate/License/Credential.


The quality of being believable or worthy of trust.


A characteristic mark or trait on the basis of which a judgment may be made (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).


Testing or assessment in which candidate performance is judged in relation to pre-established standards and not in relation to the performance of other students. Contrasts will norm-referenced (see glossary definition below) (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).

Cross-cutting Themes.

Overarching emphases on diversity and technology that are threaded throughout the standards and reflect the Commission’s perspective that they need to be integrated throughout preparation experiences.

Culture of Evidence.

A habit of using evidence in assessment, decision making, planning, resource allocation, and other processes that is embedded in and characteristic of an educator preparation provider’s (EPP’s) actions and practices (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).


For CAEP purposes, measures of candidate performance that increase or grow across successive administrations. Measures gain credibility as additional sources or methods for generating them are employed. The resulting triangulation helps guard against the inevitable flaws associated with any one approach. The same principle applies to qualitative evidence whose “weight” is enhanced as new cases or testimonies are added and when such additions are drawn from different sources. In sum, the entire set of measures used under a given Standard should be mutually reinforcing.

Cut Score.

A score or rating that is designated as the minimally acceptable level of performance on an assessment.