CAEP Glossary

The following terms are gleaned from CAEP’s standards, by-laws, and its accreditation policies and procedures. The definitions are intended to be used in the accreditation process and are not intended to be generic in their application.

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Ability Competence in an activity or occupation because of one’s skill, training, or other qualification. For CAEP purposes, “ability to be hired” is the demonstrated competence to be hired in one’s field of preparation as determined by the Educator preparation Provider (EPP) in making its recommendation for licensure or professional certification.
Accountability In higher education, being answerable to the public, e. g., students, parents, policy makers, employers. Historically, accountability has focused on financial resources; emphasis now extends to an educator preparation provider’s candidates’ academic progress, including retention, acquisition of knowledge and skills, and degree completion (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).
Accreditation (1) A process for assessing and enhancing academic and educational quality through voluntary peer review that an educator preparation provider (EPP) has met standards of quality in educator preparation. (2) The decision awarded and process certified by the CAEP Accreditation Council based on the accreditation review process and documentation.
Accreditation Council The governance body that grants or withholds accreditation of an educator preparation provider (EPP), based on the review findings of a CAEP Commission and a joint review team. The Council also certifies whether or not the accreditation process followed CAEP’s policies and procedures.
Accreditation Cycle Sometimes known as the term of accreditation, the length of time, generally two to seven years, awarded by the Accreditation Council based on the accreditation review process.
Accreditation Eligible One of the two statuses of an Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) upon completion of the CAEP application process. Accreditation eligible indicates that an EPP is seeking accreditation for the first time and will submit its self-study and engage in its accreditation review within a five year period.
Accreditation Information Management System (AIMS) CAEP’s data collection and management system used by (1) educator preparation providers (EPPs) to submit and access reports and forms; (2) CAEP staff to monitor the accreditation process, site visitor assignments and reports, program reviews, annual reports, and state partnership agreements; and (3) CAEP site visitors, Commissioners, and Accreditation Council members as a workspace to review and complete assignments related to accreditation and/or governance.
Accreditation Pathways The three approaches to the accreditation process available to Educator Preparation Providers (EPPs) that guide the format of the self-study, the process of formative evaluation, and the emphasis of a site visit. The three pathways available under CAEP are: Continuous Improvement (CI), Inquiry Brief (IB), and Transformation Initiative (TI).
Accreditation Plan An educator preparation provider’s (EPP’s) identification of sites outside of the main campus or administrative headquarters and the programs for the preparation of educators that are offered at each site. This information is used by CAEP staff and site visit team chairs/leads to plan the site visit, including the sites that will be visited by team members in-person or via technology.
Accreditation Report The final report completed by the Accreditation Council and sent to an Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) in which the EPP is informed of the decision of the Accreditation Council, including the EPP’s accreditation status, standards met or unmet, any cited areas for improvement and/or stipulations, and the Accreditation Council’s rationale for its decisions.
Accreditation Status The public recognition that CAEP grants to an Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) to indicate the outcome of (1) an EPP’s application to CAEP, or (2) the accreditation review. The outcome of an application to CAEP can be either accreditation eligible or candidate for accreditation. The outcome of an accreditation review can be accreditation for five or seven years, probation, denial, or revocation.
Accredited The accreditation status of an Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) that meets all of CAEP’s standards and other requirements.
Actionable Good measures should provide programs with specific guidance for improvement. Many promising measures fail simply because they are too expensive, too complex, too time consuming, or too politically costly to implement. Often, the simplest are best, even if they seem less technically attractive. This principle also suggests that any measure should be able to be disaggregated to reveal underlying patterns of strength and weakness or to uncover populations who could be served more effectively. Finally, the measures provided should be reflectively analyzed and interpreted to reveal specific implications for the program.
Adverse Action The revocation or denial of accreditation following a special review process when it is confirmed that an Educator Preparation Provider’s (EPP’s): (1) fails to continue to meet one or more CAEP standards; (2) fails to continue to meet CAEP’s application requirements; (3) falsely reports data and/or plagiarizes information submitted for accreditation purposes; (4) fails to submit annual reports, annual dues, or other documents required for accreditation; and/or (5) results from an investigation into a valid complaint in which it is determined that the CAEP standards are no longer being met.
Aggregation A process of grouping distinct or varied data together and considering them as a whole. See disaggregation (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).
All P-12 Students Defined as children or youth attending P-12 schools including, but not limited to, students with disabilities or exceptionalities, students who are gifted, and students who represent diversity based on ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, language, religion, sexual identification, and/or geographic origin.
Annual Fees The payment required each year by an educator preparation provider (EPP) to retain its accreditation status, to have access to AIMS for annual report submission, and to support CAEP activities as outlined in its mission and strategic plan.
Annual Report (1) A yearly update submitted through AIMS by an Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) in which, the EPP provides CAEP with a summary of: (a) progress on removing any areas for improvement/stipulations, (b) substantive changes, (c) links to candidate performance data on its website, (d) eight annual measures of program outcomes and impact; and pathway specific progress, as requested. (2) CAEP’s yearly report to the public on the state/progress of accreditation.
Appeal CAEP’s process of reconsideration of denial or revocation of accreditation upon request by an educator preparation provider (EPP).
Appeals Committee A committee of the Accreditation Council from which a panel of reviewers are drawn to review an appeal.
Appeals Panel The five-member group appointed from the Appeals Committee by the CAEP President to review an appeal.
Appendix E A table included as part of the accreditation self-study for the Inquiry Brief pathway in which an inventory of the evidence available to demonstrate candidate achievement is recorded and is audited during the site visit.
Applicant The status of an Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) while its application to CAEP is being completed or is under review.
Area for Improvement (AFI) A statement written by a site visit team or Commission that identifies a weakness in the evidence for a component or a standard. A single AFI is usually not of sufficient severity that it leads to an unmet standard. However, a combination of AFIs may lead the site visit team to assign a stipulation or the Commission to determine that a stipulation is warranted. Areas for improvement should be remediated by the next accreditation cycle and progress toward improvement is reported annually in the annual report.
Assessment An ongoing, iterative process consisting of four basic steps: 1. Defining learning outcomes; 2. Choosing a method or approach and then using it to gather evidence of learning; 3. Analyzing and interpreting the evidence; and 4. Using this information to improve student learning (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).
Attributes Qualitative characteristics of an educator candidate (such as credentials, knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, etc.).
Audit A site visitor team’s examination and verification of the Inquiry Brief self-study/supporting evidence presented by the educator preparation provider (EPP) to make its case for accreditation.
Audit Task One of a series of activities related to a CAEP standard that is undertaken by site visitors. An audit task is composed of a target statement or table from the self-study report and a probe.
Benchmark A point of reference or standard of excellence in relation to which something can be compared and judged. A specific level of student performance may serve as the benchmark that candidates are expected to meet at a particular point in time or developmental progression. Retention and graduation rates may also be benchmarked against those of peer institutions or national norms (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).
Board of Directors The governance body responsible for policy development; the financial affairs of CAEP; and the election of CAEP’s board members, committee members, and co-chairs of the Council.
Bylaws The standing rules governing the regulation of CAEP’s internal affairs.
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 A role identified by some Educator Preparation Providers (EPPs) for an individual to coordinate the activities, reports and preparations for an accreditation review.
Candidate for Accreditation An accreditation status achieved after completion of an application to CAEP during which an Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) engages in a developmental/diagnostic evaluation of its readiness to engage in an accreditation review.
Candidate An individual engaged in the preparation process for professional education licensure/certification with an Educator Preparation Provider (EPP).
Candidate Learning The development of effective teaching performance in individuals preparing for professional educator roles in P-12 settings.
Capacity An Educator Preparation Provider’s (EPP) stated, reviewed and evaluated ability to deliver and maintain its obligations related to (1) the high quality preparation of candidates for professional roles/licensure/certification; (2) continuous improvement; and/or (3) transformation.
Capstone A culminating project or experience that generally takes place in a candidate’s final year of study and requires review, synthesis, and application 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 Analysis An analysis included in the Inquiry Brief site visit review that is focused on the CAEP standards of the educator preparation provider’s (EPP) case for accreditation. The analysis cites evidence in the record that is consistent or inconsistent with CAEP’s requirements and standards, including whether or not there are credible rival hypotheses for evidence put forward in the EPP’s self-study. The case analysis is prepared by the lead site visitor and the Commissioner responsible for presenting the case for use by IB Commissioners as they develop recommendations about standards being met.
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.
Ceiling/floor In assessment of learning a ceiling effect occurs when the assessment activity is not challenging enough, or the scoring rubric is not ambitious enough, to accommodate higher levels of candidate performance. A floor effect occurs when data cannot represent a value lower than what the assessment activity or rating scale allows (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).
Certificate 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.).
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.
Certification 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 Certificate Level.)
Claims The statements in the Inquiry Brief self-study report to describe how an educator preparation provider (EPP) meets CAEP standards in preparing competent, caring, and qualified educators (i.e., teachers, administrators, and other school professionals).
Clarification Questions A set of questions about the Inquiry Brief self-study report that are prepared as part of the formative evaluation that need clarification in writing before the site visit begins. These questions are included, with the educator preparation provider’s answers, in the site visit report and may lead to follow-up tasks during the visit.
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 applications 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.
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.
Coherence Logical interconnection; overall sense or understandability.
Cohort 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.
Commission The accreditation body specific to an accreditation pathway that reviews the accreditation documents from the Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) and site visit team to (1) confirm, revise, or assign areas for improvement and/or stipulations, (2) recommend whether or not the CAEP standards were met by the EPP, and (3) verify whether or not the accreditation process followed CAEP’s policies and procedures.
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.
Complaints 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 standards, 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.
Completer Any candidate who exited a preparation program by successfully satisfying the requirements of the Educator Preparation Provider (EPP).
Compliance Presenting sufficient evidence of meeting the standards or requirements of a regulatory or accrediting body.
Component 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 visit team in order to assign areas for improvement or stipulations that lead to a peer judgment of whether or not a standard is met.
Confidentiality A policy statement to which site visitors, Commissioners, 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 A policy statement and process that identifies the prior or existing relationships by which an individual is disqualified from participating in the accreditation process of an Educator Preparation Provider (EPP).
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 central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of a discipline.
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.
Continuous Improvement (CI) Pathway The CAEP approach to accreditation review in which the Educator Preparation Provider’s (EPP’s) self-study includes a specific plan for, or evidence of, continuous improvement in an EPP-selected focal area.
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.
Credibility The quality of being believable or worthy of trust. For CAEP purposes, the evidence-based practices of an EPP that the data gathering and analysis process is objective, has integrity, and is free of preconceived ideas or bias.
Criterion 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).
Criterion-referenced 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. See norm-referenced (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 actions and practices (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).
Cumulative 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.
Curriculum Courses, experiences, and assessments for preparing and evaluating educator candidates to teach students at a specific age level, to teach a specific subject area, or to work as another school professional such as a principal, school library media specialist, or superintendent.
Cut Score A score or rating that is designated as the minimally acceptable level of performance on an assessment.
Data Information with a user and a use that may include individual facts, statistics, or items of information. For CAEP purposes, data include results of assessment or information from statistical or numerical descriptions of phenomena, status, achievement, or trends.
Deep Understanding Knowledge of a particular thing to such a degree that it implies skill in dealing with or handling something, comprehension, and personal interpretation.
Denial The accreditation decision when an EPP’s case for initial accreditation fails to meet one or more CAEP standards.
Dependability Worthy of trust; reliable.
Disaggregation A process of breaking out aggregated data according to specific criteria in order to reveal patterns, trends and other information. Data such as retention and graduates rates are commonly disaggregated according to demographic characteristics such as race/ethnicity and gender. Data from assessment of candidate learning can be disaggregated to derive information about the needs of different subgroups and ways to improve their performance (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).
Discipline A branch of knowledge, typically studied in higher education, that becomes the specific subject area in which a teacher specializes (such as history), or the professional field in which an educator practices (such as educational administration).
Dispositions The habits of professional action and moral commitments that underlie an educator’s performance (InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards, p. 6.)
Distance Education A formal educational process in which instruction occurs when the learning and the instructor are not in the same place at the same time. Distance learning can occur through virtually any media and include asynchronous or synchronous modes as well as electronic or printed communications.
Diverse Showing a great deal of variety; very different, as in diverse clinical placements (See diversity).
Diversity (1) Individual differences (e.g., personality, interests, learning modalities, and life ex-periences),and (2) group differences (e.g., race, ethnicity, ability, gender identity, gender expres-sion, sexual orientation, nationality, language, religion, political affiliation, and socio-economic background) (InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards, p. 21).
Dues The yearly financial assessment paid by a member to maintain its partnership agreement and/or collaborative representation in CAEP’s governance system.
Educator Anyone who directly provides instruction or support services in P-12 or higher education settings.
Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) The entity responsible for the preparation of educators including a nonprofit or for-profit institution of higher education, a school district, an organization, a corporation, or a governmental agency.
Effectiveness Adequacy to accomplish a purpose; producing the intended or expected result. For CAEP purposes effectiveness includes the impact that a candidate or program completer has on P-12 student learning.
Elements A component or constituent of a whole or one of the parts into which a whole may be resolved by analysis. For CAEP purposes these are the components of a program including academic, pedagogical, clinical and other elements that constitute the total preparation program.
Endorsement An addition to an educator’s license or certification that officially sanctions an educator’s fulfillment of preparation requirements to teach a subject different from that specified on the original license/certificate, to work with another group or age level of students, or to provide professional services in schools.
Ethics The moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behaviors.
Evaluation A process for measuring and judging the quality of performance of a program, a process, or individuals (e.g., candidates, clinical faculty). While assessment of student learning and evaluation processes are related they do differ and it is best not to use the terms interchangeably (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).
Evidence The intentional use of documentation, multiple and valid measures, and analysis provided as support for and proof of an educator preparation provider’s (EPP) claims related to CAEP’s standards.
Extension A change in the term of accreditation that results because of a good cause delay or postponement of an Educator Preparation Providers’ (EPP’s) site visit.
Faculty The personnel, including both employees and partners of the EPP, who assess, support, and develop a candidate’s knowledge, skills, and/or professional dispositions within the scope of the educator preparation program. Note that this includes academic as well as clinical faculty, and EPP-based educators as well as P-12 partner educators. EPPs may include personnel referred to as coaches, mentors, or development team members.
Fees The yearly financial assessment paid by (1) an Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) to maintain its accreditation status; (2) a state to maintain its partnership agreement; or (3) an affiliated organization/agency to maintain its collaborative representation in CAEP’s governance system.
Field Experiences Early and ongoing practice opportunities to apply content and pedagogical knowledge in P-12 settings to progressively develop and demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and dispositions.
Formative Assessment Assessment intended to provide feedback and support for improved performance as part of an ongoing learning process, whether at the candidate, program or EPP level. See summative assessment (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).
Good Cause Reasons that are beyond the control of an Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) such as a change in state regulations or a natural disaster.
Good Faith Effort In philosophy, the concept of good faith (Latin: bona fides, or bona fide for “in good faith”) denotes sincere, honest intention or belief, regardless of the outcome of an action.
Governance The system of management that defines policy, provides leadership, guides oversight of the accreditation and administrative policies, procedures and resources of CAEP.
Grade Point Average (GPA) A quantitative indicator of candidate achievement. Letter grades are converted to numbers and averaged over a period of time. Commonly used but controversial due to grade inflation and lack of alignment between grades and specific learning outcomes (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).
Group Average The GPA and standardized test scores are averaged for all members of a cohort or class of admitted candidates. Averaging does not require that every candidate meet the specified score. Thus, there may be a range of candidates’ grades and scores on standardized tests.
High Quality Candidates The rigorous qualifications of candidates at admission, exit and throughout a preparation program as judged through selective criteria on a recurring basis by EPPs.
Holistic For CAEP purposes, a judgment of overall performance on a CAEP standard that reflects the understanding that the standard has a meaning or interpretation that is more than the sum of its components.
Innovation Implementation of something new or different in the preparation of educators that leads to the improvement of teaching and support of student learning.
IB Inquiry Brief, the accreditation pathway undertaken by an educator preparation provider (EPP) to evaluate itself against the CAEP standards with a research monograph style self-study that focuses on broad-based faculty engagement in investigation of candidate performance with an emphasis on the quality of the evidence used to evaluate candidate performance and to improve program quality.
Indicator A trend or fact that indicates the state or level of something.
Inquiry An approach to self-study or research that involves a process of exploration that leads to asking questions and making discoveries in the search for new understandings.
Institutional Accreditation The summative evaluation of a college or university against the standards of an institutional or regional accreditor such as the Higher Learning Commission.
Institutional Standards Standards set by an Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) that reflect its mission and identify important expectations for educator candidate learning that may be unique to the EPP.
Internal Academic Audit A verification of the processes used by an educator preparation provider (EPP) to ensure the quality of candidates, its educators, and curricular and other program requirements. An academic audit is reported in Appendix A of the Inquiry Brief self-study report.
International Accreditation Educator Preparation Providers incorporated in or primarily operating in countries outside of the United States may seek CAEP accreditation. International institutions must meet all of CAEP’s standards and policies; however, in some cases adaptation may be made to accommodate national or cultural differences while preserving the integrity of the CAEP process (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).
Internship Full-time or part-time supervised clinical practice experience in P-12 settings where candidates progressively develop and demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and dispositions.
Job Placement Rates The number and percentage of a cohort of admitted candidates or program completers who accepted jobs as teachers or other school professionals in a school after completing of a preparation program.
Joint Review Team The working group of the Accreditation Council comprised of two Review Panels from two distinct Commissions that reviews the accreditation materials and the Review Panels’ reports to develop recommendations for accreditation status of their assigned EPP cases for presentation to the Accreditation Council.
Knowledge Base The empirical research, disciplined inquiry, informed theory, and wisdom of practice that serves as the basis for requirements, decisions, and actions of an educator preparation provider (EPP).
Lapse A term used to refer to the accreditation status of an Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) when the site visit is not hosted on schedule and no request for an extension or withdrawal from accreditation have been filed.
Lead Site Visitor The head of the site visit team, appointed by CAEP staff, who manages the accreditation review process of the Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) from the point of the formative review/audit through the site visit and up to the point of review by the Commission and Accreditation Council.
Legacy Visits The final accreditation reviews of educator preparation providers (EPPs) under the NCATE standards or TEAC quality principles between fall 2012 and spring 2016 onsite visits.
License 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.). (See Licensure or Licensure Level).
Licensure The process by which a governmental agency or nongovernmental organization grants professional recognition to an individual who meets specified qualifications/requirements. (See Licensure Level.)
Licensure Level A professional educator preparation program that provides the courses for a specific certificate or license but that does not lead to an academic degree.
Measures The variety of observation and assessment tools and methods that are collected as part of a research effort.
Members of CAEP Stakeholders that are educational organizations, states, and other agencies or parties committed to CAEP’s mission and strategic plan.
Metric A method of measuring something, or the results obtained from this.
Misleading or Incorrect Statements Misrepresentation of an Educator Preparation Provider’s (EPP’s) accreditation status or the use of accreditation reports or materials in a false or misleading manner.
Mission An important goal or purpose accompanied by strong conviction that underlies the work of an educator preparation provider.
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) An affiliate of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) that has accredited professional education units or programs since it was founded in 1954. NCATE consolidated with TEAC in 2013 to form CAEP.
National Recognition The status granted specific educator preparation programs that meet the standards of a specialized professional association (SPA) that is a member of CAEP.
Norming In assessment of candidate learning, a process of training raters to evaluate products and performances consistently, typically using criterion-referenced standards and rubrics (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).
Norm-referenced Testing or assessment in which candidate performance is judged in relation to the performance of a larger group of candidates, not measured against a pre-established standard. See criterion-referenced (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).
Operating Procedures The document that outlines the step-by step implementation of the CAEP policies that guide CAEP’s day-to-day activities.
Parity The equity of an educator preparation provider’s (EPP) budget, facilities, equipment, faculty and candidate support, supplies, and other elements of the EPP compared to the resources available to similar programs at the institution or organization that houses the EPP.
Parsimony Measures or metrics that are limited in number but powerful in information. For CAEP purposes, the fewest number of measures or metrics that make a compelling case for meeting a standard.
Partner Organizations, businesses, community groups, agencies, schools, districts, and/or EPPs specifically involved in designing, implementing, and assessing the clinical experience.
Partnership Mutually beneficial agreement among various partners in which all participating members engage in and contribute to goals for the preparation of education professionals. This may include examples such as pipeline initiatives, Professional Development Schools, and partner networks.
Pedagogical Content Knowledge A core part of content knowledge for teaching that includes: core activities of teaching, such as figuring out what students know; choosing and managing representations of ideas; appraising, selecting and modifying textbooks…deciding among alternative courses of action and analyzing the subject matter knowledge and insight entailed in these activities.
Pedagogical Knowledge The broad principles and strategies of classroom instruction, management, and organization that transcend subject matter knowledge.
Pedagogical Skills An educator’s abilities or expertise to impart the specialized knowledge/content of their subject area(s).
Peer Review A self-regulation process by which the quality of an institution, organization, Educator Preparation Provider (EPP), school, or other entity is evaluated by individuals who are active participants in the profession.
Performance Assessment Product- and behavior-based measurements based on settings designed to emulate real-life contexts or conditions in which specific knowledge or skills are actually applied.
Performance Data Information, both quantitative and qualitative, derived from assessments of educator candidate proficiencies as demonstrated in practice.
Petition The document prepared by an Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) to explain the grounds for requesting reconsideration of denial or revocation of accreditation.
Preponderance of Evidence The weightiness of the facts and claims presented by the EPP along with people interviewed and observations made by site visitors that convincingly make the case that a standard or component is being met or not met. This preponderance is based on the convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy, and not simply on the amount of evidence. (See evidence).
Probationary Accreditation The continuing accreditation decision rendered by the Accreditation Council when an Educator preparation Provider (EPP) fails to meet one of CAEP’s standards.
Probationary Visit The site visit that occurs within two years after the Accreditation Council puts an EPP on probation for failing to meet one of CAEP’s standards.
Probes A specific action taken by a site visitor during an inquiry brief site visit to establish whether a statement, table, or figure in the self-study is accurate. In cases in which the outcomes of a probe are variable or uncertain with regard to the accuracy of the item, the site visitors continue to investigate until a stable pattern is uncovered or until a probe’s result is unambiguous.
Professional Community Educators engaged in practice within the Educator Preparation Provider (EPP), other educators at the institution/organization, P-12 practitioners, candidates, and other school professionals involved in the preparation of in-service and pre-service educators.
Professional Development Opportunities for educators to develop new knowledge and skills through professional learning activities and events such as in-service education, conference attendance, sabbatical leave, summer leave, intra- and inter-institutional visitations, fellowships, and work in P-12 schools.
Professional Development School (PDS) A specially structured school in which Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) and P-12 school clinical educators collaborate to (1) provide practicum, field experience, clinical practice, and internship experiences; (2) support and enable the professional development of the Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) and P-12 school clinical educators; (3) support and enable inquiry directed at the improvement of practice; and (4) support and enhance P-12 student achievement.
Proficiencies Demonstrated abilities to perform some part of what is described by standards.
Program A planned sequence of academic courses and experiences leading to a degree, a recommendation for a state license, or some other credential that entitles the holder to perform professional education services in schools. Educator Preparation Providers (EPPs) may offer a number of program options (for example, elementary education, special education, secondary education in specific subject areas, etc.).
Program Approval The distinction granted by a state governmental agency when an Educator Preparation Provider’s (EPP) program meets the state’s standards and/or requirements.
Program Completer Any candidate who exited an educator preparation program by successfully satisfying the requirements of the Educator Preparation Provider (EPP). (See Completer.)
Program Review with Feedback The process by which CAEP assesses the quality of programs offered by an educator preparation provider (EPP). Specialty program areas are reviewed individually in clusters (cross-grade programs, secondary programs, and other school professionals) against state-selected standards. This review results in feedback for states, EPPs, and site visitors as the accreditation visit is conducted.
Program Review with National Recognition The process by which CAEP, in collaboration with its specialized professional associations (SPAs), assesses the quality of programs offered by educator preparation providers (EPPs). EPPs that select this program review option are required to submit their programs for review by SPAs as part of the accreditation process unless otherwise specified by the state partnership agreement with CAEP.
Program Reviewers Peer volunteers who review specialized educator programs against the standards of Specialized Professional Associations (SPAs), state standards, or other standards identified by the state as part of the accreditation process for CAEP.
Progressions/Progressive Development Descriptions of increasingly sophisticated ways of thinking about and enacting teaching practice that suggest trajectories of growth that both depend upon learning from experience and are influenced by support from mentors, interaction with colleagues, and engagement in ongoing professional learning. (InTASC Model Core Teaching Standards, p. 50)
Protocol Expectations for actions, behaviors, or reports, similar to etiquette (for example, CAEP protocol dictates that at the end of a site visit the lead site visitor meeting with the head of the educator preparation provider to share team findings) (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).
Provider An inclusive term referring to the Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) that is the sponsoring organization for preparation, whether it is an institution of higher education, a district- or state-sponsored program, or an alternative pathway organization.
Public Disclosure (1) A CAEP policy to ensure that an Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) maintains its accreditation status, candidate performance data, and accreditation information available on the EPP’s website for access by current and prospective candidates, parents, faculty, school professionals, and others. (2) A CAEP policy to ensure that CAEP maintains the accreditation status of EPPs and other accreditation information on its website.
Qualitative Measures Assessments or analyses that can be reported narratively and numerically to provide in-depth study of an individual, classroom, or school. Qualitative assessments include, but are not limited to, in-depth interviews, focus groups, observations, case studies, and ethnographic studies.
Quality Assurance System A system that ensures continuous improvement by relying on a variety of measures, establishing performance benchmarks for those measures (with reference to external standards where possible), seeking the views of all relevant stakeholders, sharing evidence widely with both internal and external audiences, and using results to improve policies and practices in consultation with partners and stakeholders.
Quantitative Measures Assessments or analyses that can be reported numerically and sometimes generalized to a larger population. Common quantitative measures include surveys (online, phone, paper), observation and other evaluative forms, and tests.
Rationale A statement or argument that provides a justification for a selection, decision, or recommendation.
Relevance A principle of evidence quality that implies validity, but goes beyond it by also calling for clear explanation of what any information put forward is supposed to be evidence of and why it was chosen. This principle also implies that there is a clear and explicable link between what a particular measure is established to gauge and the substantive content of the Standard under which it is listed.
Reliability The degree to which test scores for a group of test takers are consistent over repeated applications of a measurement procedure and hence are inferred to be dependable and repeatable for an individual test taker. A measure is said to have a high reliability if it produces consistent results under consistent conditions.
Reliable, Valid Model For CAEP purposes (p. 17 of the Commission report), a case study that is presented to meet one or more of CAEP’s standards in which key outcomes and processes are gauged, changes and supporting judgments are tracked, and the changes presented are actually improvements. To be reliable and valid as a model, the case study should have followed CAEP’s guidelines in identifying a worthwhile topic to study, generated ideas for change, defined the measurements, tested solutions, transformed promising ideas into sustainable solutions that achieve effectiveness reliably at scale, and shared knowledge.
Remand Returning a case for accreditation to a new team for a second full review when there is no consensus on the recommendations of the joint review team by the Accreditation Council.
Representative The extent to which a measure or result is typical of an underlying situation or condition, not an isolated case. If statistics are presented based on a sample, evidence of the extent to which the sample is representative of the overall population ought to be provided, such as the relative characteristics of the sample and the parent population. If the evidence presented is qualitative—for example, case studies or narratives, multiple instances should be given or additional data shown to indicate the typicality of the chosen examples. CAEP holds that sampling is generally useful and desirable in generating measures efficiently. But in both sampling and reporting, care must be taken to ensure that what is claimed is typical and the evidence of representativeness must be subject to audit by a third party.
Requirements CAEP’s expectations other than those contained in the standards, including criteria for eligibility or candidacy, paying annual fees, submitting annual reports, publishing educator candidate performance data on websites, etc.
Retention Rates Comparison of the number of candidates who entered a program against the number who completed the program and were recommended for certification or licensure. Retention rates may also be collected for the number of new teachers who begin work in schools and who are still working in specified subsequent years.
Review Panel A 3-4 person group selected from an Accreditation Commission that examines the self-study, site visitors’ report, and other accreditation documents related to an Educator Preparation Provider’s (EPP) case for accreditation. The Review Panel makes a recommendation to the Joint Review Team of the Accreditation Council on the standards that are met and confirms or revises areas for improvement and/or stipulations.
Revocation The continuing accreditation decision made by the Accreditation Council to revoke an accredited status when the Accreditation Council has determined that the Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) no longer meets two or more CAEP standards.
Rigor In education, refers both to a challenging curriculum and to the consistency or stringency with which high standard for learning and performance are upheld (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).
Rubric A tool for scoring candidate work or performances, typically in the form of a table or matrix, with criteria that describe the dimensions of the outcomes down the left-hand vertical axis, and levels of performance across the horizontal axis. The work of performance may be given an overall score (holistic scoring) or criteria may be scored individually (analytic scoring). Rubrics are also used for communicating expectations (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).
Satisfaction 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.
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—across 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 self-study 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).
Stakeholder 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.
Standards 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.
STEM Science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Stewardship The responsible oversight and protection of something considered worth caring for and preserving.
Stipulation A statement written by a site visit team or Commission 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 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.
Structured 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.
Student A learner in a school setting or other structured learning environment. CAEP uses “student” to identify learners in P-12 schools.
Student Development The physical, psychological and emotional changes that occur in P-12 students as they progress from dependency to increasing autonomy facilitated by the educational process.
Student Growth The change for an individual in educational outcome(s) between two or more points in time as measured against state or national standards, in academic learning, or in “whole child” development.
Student Learning The educational outcome(s) mastered by P-12 students as set forth in the academic curriculum during a given time period by the school or school system and as provided by the classroom teacher.
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.
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.
Summary of the Case For the Inquiry Brief pathway, the site visitors’ explication of the case the educator preparation provider (EPP) has made for accreditation.
Summative Assessment Assessment that occurs at the conclusion or end point of a course or program to determine whether candidate leaning outcomes have been achieved. See formative assessment (adapted from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges glossary).
Summative Report The document prepared by site visitors during and/or following the site visit as a final evaluation and verification of the evidence presented in the self-study report by the Educator Preparation Provider (EPP).
Target Statement (See audit task.)
Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) An affiliate of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) that has accredited professional education programs since it was founded in 1997. TEAC consolidated with NCATE in 2013 to form CAEP.
Teacher Performance Assessment (TPA) An ongoing process for measuring teacher candidates’ performance. CAEP expects these assessments to be validated based on state and national professional standards, to be reliably scored by trained evaluators, and to be used for continuous improvement of educator preparation.
Teach-out Agreement An agreement between accredited educator preparation providers (EPPs) and its candidates that will provide a reasonable opportunity for candidates to complete their program of study if the EPP stops offering its educational program before all enrolled candidates have completed the program.
Teach-out Plan A written document that describes the process for the equitable treatment of candidates when an educator preparation provider (EPP) ceases to operate a program before all candidates have completed their courses of study.
Technology The tools and techniques available through computers, the Internet, telecommunications, and multimedia that are used by educator preparation providers (EPPs) for instruction and the input, storing, processing, and analyzing of data in quality assurance systems. Educator candidates should be able to demonstrate that they use technology to work effectively with students to support student learning.
Third-party Comment Testimony from members of the professional community or the public about the quality of the Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) and its programs.
TI One of the three CAEP accreditation pathways, Transformation Initiative, in which evidence shows that standards are met and the educator preparation provider (EPP) is engaged in research related to educator preparation that will inform the profession.
Title II A requirement of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 that educator preparation providers (EPPs) report the performance of teacher candidates on state licensure tests along with other data.
Title IV A requirement of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 and its predecessor that colleges and universities must be accredited by an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education for their students to be eligible for federal financial aid.
Training The formal and informal preparation of Board members, Council members, Commission members, site visitors, volunteers, consultants, and staff for their CAEP roles and responsibilities.
Transparency Openness in communications about the accreditation process, documents prepared for accreditation, and the outcomes of the accreditation review.
Triangulation A technique that reinforces conclusions based on data from multiple sources.
Validity The extent to which a set of operations, test, or other assessment measures what it is supposed to measure. Validity is not a property of a data set but refers to the appropriateness of inferences from test scores or other forms of assessment and the credibility of the interpretations that are made concerning the findings of a measurement effort.
Value-added Measures (VAM) For CAEP purposes, assessments that provide evidence of P-12 students’ intended educational outcomes as measured by standardized tests and other assessments. For CAEP purposes, VAM should demonstrate the change over time of intended educational outcomes that is attributable to teacher preparation programs.
Verifiable The degree to which a measure or result is able to be independently confirmed or substantiated. This is partly a matter of whether the process of creating the current value of the measure is replicable, and if repeating the process would yield a similar result. This principle implies reliability, but goes beyond it to require transparency and full documentation—whether sufficient information is available to enable any third party to independently corroborate what was found.

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