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For CAEP purposes, the degree of confidence and acceptance that a preparation program was satisfactory, dependable, and true to its purpose by an employer or candidate.

Scoring Rubric.

The established criteria, including rules, principles, procedures, and illustrations, used in scoring responses to individual items that do not provide enumerated responses from which test takers make a choice.

Self Study.

The process and document that an Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) creates/undergoes to evaluate its practices against CAEP standards. 

Shared Accountability.

A policy for holding Educator Preparation Providers (EPPs), P-12 schools and teachers mutually responsible for students' and candidates’ learning and academic progress.

Signature Assessment.

An embedded assessment method using an assignment—either the identical assignment or multiple assignment all constructed according to a common template— cross multiple courses or sections of courses. A sample of candidates’ work products is then examined using a rubric to arrive at judgments about the quality of candidate learning across the course or program (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).

Site Visit.

The two-to-three days in which site visitors conduct their summative review of an educator preparation provider’s (EPP) self-study report and evidence on location at the EPP’s campus or organizational headquarters.

Site Visitors.

Evaluators who review educator preparation providers (EPPs) that submit a selfstudy for one of CAEP’s accreditation pathways. Site visitors examine the EPP against the evidence presented to make the case for meeting the CAEP standards. Site visitors are selected from nominations by CAEP members, EPPs, states, and others; they must successfully complete training. 

Site Visitors Report.

The document prepared by site visitors during and/or following the site visit that verifies the evidence presented in the self-study report written by the educator preparation provider (EPP) to identify which evidence supports each CAEP standard and which evidence is inconsistent with the CAEP standard.

Specialized Professional Association (SPA).

A member of CAEP that is a national organization of teachers, professional education faculty, and/or other school professionals who teach a specific content area (e.g., mathematics or social studies), teach students at a specific developmental level (i.e., early childhood, elementary, middle level, or secondary), teach students with specific needs (e.g., special education teachers), or provide services to students (e.g., school counselors, school psychologists, or principals).


Partners, organizations, businesses, community groups, agencies, schools, districts, and/or EPPs interested in candidate preparation or education.

Standardized Test Scores.

The numerical expression of a student’s or educator candidate’s performance on an examination that was administered and scored consistently across all of the test takers who took the same examination. This consistency permits a more reliable comparison of student or educator candidate performance across test takers.


Normative statements about educator preparation providers (EPPs) and educator candidate practices, performances, and outcomes that are the basis for an accreditation review. Standards are written in broad terms with components that further explicate their meaning. (See Professional Standards).

State Partnership Agreement.

A formal agreement between a state and CAEP that defines the state’s recognition of accreditation decisions, the program review options available to educator preparation providers (EPPs) within the state, and the relationship between CAEP accreditation and state program approval. The agreement outlines the state’s presence and role in accreditation visits.

State Program Review.

The process by which a state governmental agency reviews a professional education program to determine if it meets the state’s standards for the preparation of school personnel.


Science, technology, engineering and mathematics.


The responsible oversight and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving.


A statement written by a site visit team or review panel which is confirmed by the Accreditation Council as a deficiency related to one or more components or a CAEP standard. A stipulation is of sufficient severity that a standard is determined to be unmet. For educator preparation providers (EPPs) seeking to continue their accreditation, a stipulation must be corrected within two years to retain accreditation. For EPPs seeking initial or first accreditation, a stipulation leading to an unmet standard will result in denial of accreditation.

Strategic Evaluation.

A component of CAEP Standard 5 (Provider Quality, Continuous Improvement, and Capacity) that refers to an educator preparation provider’s (EPP’s) use of a variety of methods and processes to provide timely, credible, and useful information that can be acted upon to increase its organizational effectiveness and its impact on its completers’ ability to support and improve P-12 student learning.


A quantitative research method commonly employed in survey research to ensure that each interview is presented with exactly the same questions in the same order; that answers can be reliably aggregated; and that comparisons can be made with confidence between sample subgroups or between different survey periods.  For CAEP purposes the terms is used in the context of structured observation instruments and structured student surveys.


A learner in a P-12 school setting or other structured learning environment but not a learner in an educator preparation program.

Student Learning.

The academic achievement of P-12 students. Educator preparation providers (EPPs) should prepare educator candidates to analyze student learning and data related to student learning and to be able to develop instructional experiences that improve student learning.

Student Surveys.

Questionnaires about the performance of teachers and other school professionals that are completed by P-12 students. Student surveys are one of the measures that an educator preparation provider (EPP) could use to demonstrate the teaching effectiveness of its candidates and completers.

Student Teaching.

Extensive and substantive clinical practice in P-12 schools for candidates preparing to teach.

Subject Matter Knowledge.

See Content Knowledge.

Substantive Change.

Any change in the published mission or objectives of the organization or educator preparation provider (EPP); the addition of courses or programs that represent a significant departure in terms of either content or delivery from those that were offered when the EPP was most recently accredited; a change from contracting with other providers for direct instructional services, including any teach-out agreements. Substantive changes are reported by EPPs in their annual report to CAEP.

Support Services for Candidates.

The provision of academic advising and systems that facilitate and encourage academic success; personal counseling services; employment assistance; financial aid guidance; the protection of student records; and extracurricular activities (e.g., student organizations, clubs, and professional activities) that are based on well-defined purposes that serve the educational needs of educator candidates.