Looking for an acronym? Please see the acronyms listing.



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.

School-based teacher educator.

An individual involved in teacher preparation whose primary institutional home is a school. School-based teacher educators assume mentoring and partnership responsibilities in addition to their P-12 school responsibilities. These educators may also be known as university liaisons, site facilitators, cooperating teachers, mentor teachers, collaborating teachers, or school liaisons.

Self Study.

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

Self-Study Report.

The document that an EPP creates, following its internal self-study, that assembles narrative descriptions and evidence demonstrating its case for 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.

Site Review.

The two-to-three days in which site reviewers conduct their summative review of an educator preparation provider’s (EPP) self-study report and evidence virtually.

Site Reviewers.

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

Site Reviewers Report.

The document prepared by site reviewers during and/or following the site review 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) National Recognition..

The process entails alignment of licensure area program information with national standards developed by professional associations that have entered into a partnership with CAEP through a service agreement. The review of individual programs within EPPs leads to National Recognition of programs upon meeting the SPA Standards. The goal is for EPPs to ensure that candidates enrolled in a program undergoing review can apply content and pedagogical knowledge as reflected in outcomes assessments in response to SPA Standards. CAEP Accreditation and SPA National Recognition are separate designations achieved by EPPs through two independent processes; however, decision reports from program-level review through a SPA may be used as partial evidence for CAEP Standard 1 (Initial Licensure) and/or Standard A.1 (Advanced Level).


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 P-12 student’s or educator candidate’s performance on an examination that was administered and scored consistently across all 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 individual licensure areas offered by an EPP, using state-defined standards and processes, to determine if they meet the state’s standards for preparing P-12 professionals.


A statement written by a site evaluation 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.


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

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 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.

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 reviewers during and/or following the site review as a final evaluation and verification of the evidence presented in the self-study report by the educator preparation provider (EPP).