Appendix F: CAEP Glossary
Accreditation - (1) A process for assessing and enhancing academic and educational quality through voluntary peer review and informing the public that an educator preparation provider (EPP) has met standards of educational quality. (2) The decision rendered by CAEP when an EPP meets CAEP standards and requirements.
Accreditation Council - The governance body that grants or withholds accreditation of an educator preparation provider (EPP), based on the findings of one of CAEP’s Commissions. The Council also certifies whether the CAEP followed its policies and procedures in making its recommendations.
Accreditation Cycle - The length of time between site visits, which is generally two to seven years depending on the educator preparation provider’s (EPP) accreditation status.
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 to conduct their work.
Accreditation Pathway - The choice made by educator preparation providers (EPPs) to guide their self-study format, formative evaluation, and site visit. CAEP currently has three pathways: 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 report issued by the Accreditation Council that indicates the educator preparation provider’s (EPP’s) accreditation status, standards met, areas for improvement and/or stipulations, and includes a justification for citing the areas for improvement or stipulations.
Accreditation Status - The public recognition that CAEP grants to an educator preparation program (EPP) based on evidence of whether or not it meets CAEP’s standards and requirements. EPPs receive a status of accreditation for two or seven years, denial, or revocation.
Accredited - The status of an educator preparation provider (EPP) that has met CAEP standards and other requirements.
Adverse Action - An accreditation decision based on evidence that an educator preparation provider (EPP) does not meet one or more of CAEP’s standards and requirements, resulting in denial or revocation of accreditation.
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.
Alternate Route Programs - Post-baccalaureate programs for teacher candidates who did not prepare to teach during their undergraduate studies. These programs generally lead to a recommendation for a state license, accommodate the schedules of adults, and recognize candidates’ earlier academic preparation and life experiences. In some instances, candidates may be employed as educators while enrolled. Examples of alternate route programs include, but are not limited to, Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) programs, residency programs, Teach for America, and Troops to Teachers programs.
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 report submitted through AIMS each year by accredited educator preparation providers (EPPs). In the annual report, the EPP addresses any areas for improvement cited in the accreditation report, identifies any substantive changes in the EPP, includes the link to candidate performance data on its website, and responds to other prompts as requested. (2) A report to the public prepared annually by CAEP based on its accreditation activity.
Appeal - A request by an educator preparation provider (EPP) that CAEP reconsider an adverse accreditation decision. (See CAEP’s policies and procedures for details on appeals.)
Appeals Committee - The Committee of the Accreditation Council from which Appeals Panel members are drawn to hear an appeal.
Appeals Panel - The five-member group appointed from the Appeals Committee by the CAEP President to hear an appeal. The panel determines the outcome of an appeal according to CAEP’s policy and procedures.
Appeals Petition - The document prepared by an educator preparation provider (EPP) to explain its grounds presenting an appeal of an adverse decision.
Appendix E - A template in the IB pathway for EPP educators to conduct an inventory of the evidence available to demonstrate candidate achievement. Appendix E is included in the Inquiry Brief self-study report and audited during the site visit.
Area for Improvement (AFI) - The statement written by a site visit team or Commission that is a recommendation for continuous improvement related to one or more indicators in a standard. An educator preparation provider (EPP) reports on its progress at addressing an area for improvement in its subsequent annual reports to CAEP.
Assessment - An evaluated activity or task used to determine the extent to which specific learning proficiencies, outcomes, or standards have been mastered by candidates. Assessments usually include an instrument that details the task or activity and the scoring guide used to evaluate it.
Audit - A site visitor team’s examination and verification of the self study and supporting evidence presented by the educator preparation provider (EPP) to make its case for accreditation.
Audit Task - One of a series of tasks related to a component of the CAEP standards 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 description or example of educator candidate or educator preparation provider’s (EPP) performance that serves as a standard of comparison for the evaluation or judgment of quality.
Board of Directors - CAEP governance body that is responsible for policy development; election of board members, committee members, and co-chairs of the Council; and the financial affairs of CAEP.
Branch Campus - A campus that is physically detached from the parent university or college. A branch campus generally has full student and administrative services with a chief executive officer and may be regionally accredited separately from the parent campus.
Bylaws - The formal policies and practices that govern CAEP, defining CAEP’s members; the size of the board and how it functions; the roles and duties of directors and officers; the roles and duties of the Board of Directors, Accreditation Council, Commissions, and committees of the board; rules and procedures for holding meetings and electing directors; conflict-of-interest policies and procedures; the fiscal management of the agency; and other essential governance matters.
CAEP Coordinator - The person(s) identified by the educator preparation provider (EPP) to manage preparations for an accreditation visit.
Candidacy Status - The distinction granted a non-accredited educator preparation provider (EPP) after it has completed a formative evaluation by CAEP.
Candidate - Individuals preparing for professional education positions in schools that serve students in preschool through grade twelve.
Candidate Feedback - Evaluation of programs, instruction, and the policies and procedures of educator preparation providers (EPPs) by candidates preparing to teach or work in schools. Candidate feedback may be sought through surveys, focus groups, or other means.
Candidate Performance Data - Information derived from assessments of candidate proficiencies, in areas of teaching and effects on student learning, candidate knowledge, and professional dispositions. Candidate performance data may be derived from a wide variety of sources, such as projects, essays, or tests demonstrating subject content mastery; employer evaluations; state licensure tests; and mentoring year portfolios as well as assessments, projects, reflections, clinical observations, and other evidence of pedagogical and professional teaching proficiencies.
Capacity - An educator preparation provider’s (EPP) ability to support the development of expected proficiencies by candidates to effectively work in schools and help P-12 students learn through adequate resources and technology, qualified faculty, and quality assurance systems.
Caring - A relationship between an educator and student, or a leader and staff that is defined by the educator’s unconditional acceptance of the student, the educator’s intention to address the student’s educational needs, the educator’s competence to meet those needs, and the student’s recognition that the educator cares. Caring is assessed through candidate performance and observation of candidates in classrooms.
Case Analysis - An analysis 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.
Certificate - A license issued by a state agency that indicates an individual has met requirements to teach or serve in another professional education role in a school.
Certificate/Licensure Level - A program for the preparation of educators that provides the courses for a certificate/license, but is not an education major or does not lead to a degree. The most common certificate/licensure level programs are (1) undergraduate programs in which educator candidates major in a specialty field other than education, but complete the course requirements for a certificate/license, or (2) post-baccalaureate or post-master’s programs that provide the coursework for a certificate/license without a degree.
Certification - The process by which a nongovernmental agency or association grants professional recognition to an individual who has met certain predetermined qualifications specified by that agency or association. (The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards grants advanced certification.)
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 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 - Candidate activities in a variety of settings including schools, community-based centers, and homeless shelters as well as through simulations, video analyses, and other virtual opportunities such as online chats with students.
Clinical Practice - Student teaching or internships that provide candidates with an intensive and extensive culminating school-based activity. Candidates are immersed in the learning community and are provided opportunities to develop and demonstrate competence in the professional roles for which they are preparing.
Code of Ethics - Guidelines for the appropriate behavior of CAEP board members, Commission members, Accreditation Council members, committee members, site visitors, program reviewers, and staff as they conduct CAEP business. CAEP’s code of ethics can be accessed in the CAEP Policy and Procedures Manual.
Code of Good Practice - The seven statements accepted by members of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA) that define ideal behaviors of national accreditors in the conduct of their work. (See http://www.aspa-usa.org.)
Cohort - A group of candidates admitted at the same time, e.g., a class entering in a fall semester.
Commission - One of three governing bodies that make recommendations for an EPP’s accreditation based on standards being met and identifies areas for improvement and/or stipulations for presentation to CAEP’s Accreditation Council. Each Commission also certifies whether CAEP followed its policies and procedures. An educator preparation provider (EPP) is assigned to the Commission that is responsible for the accreditation pathway selected by the EPP: the Continuous Improvement (CI) Commission, the Inquiry Brief (IB) Commission, or Transformation Initiative (TI) Commission.
Commission Review Panel - A 3-4 person group from the Accreditation Commission that examines the self study, site visitors report, and other accreditation documents for an educator preparation provider (EPP) that hosted a visit in the previous semester. The Review Panel makes a recommendation to the Joint Review Team of the Accreditation Council on the standards met, areas for improvement and/or stipulations for the EPPs that they have reviewed.
Commitment - The obligations of an educator preparation provider (EPP) and its sponsoring organization, college, or university to support quality preparation of educators for their work with children and pupils.
Competencies - See Proficiencies.
Complaint Review Committee - A committee of the Accreditation Council with responsibility for reviewing and taking action on valid complaints related to an educator preparation provider (EPP) or CAEP.
Complaints - A letter that accuses (1) an educator preparation provider (EPP) of no longer meeting one or more of the CAEP standards or (2) CAEP of not implementing its policies and procedures.
Completer - Candidates exiting from degree programs and also candidates exiting from other higher education programs or preparation programs conducted by alternative providers that may or may not offer a certificate or degree.
Compliance - Meeting of standards and their components as shown through evidence presented by an educator preparation provider (EPP).
Component - Key attributes of a standard that, taken together, comprise the entire content of a standard. Each component is explicitly identified and described. An area for improvement or a stipulation related to a component may be cited if the evidence related to a component is sufficiently weak or below standard.
Confidentiality - A policy that requires site visitors, Commissioners, Councilors and staff not to disclose or discuss information from an educator preparation provider’s (EPP) self study, related evidence, interviews, or CAEP’s decision-making outside of site visitor meetings or CAEP’s governance board 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 process of an educator preparation provider (EPP) renewing its accredited status as outlined in CAEP Policies and Procedures Manual.
Continuous Improvement - An organizational process through which data are collected on all aspects of a provider’s activities; analyzed to determine patterns, trends, and progress; and used to define changes for the purpose of improving the quality of programs, faculty, candidates, policies, procedures, and practices of educator preparation.
Continuous Improvement (CI) Commission - The CAEP governing body that is responsible for determining the standards that are met by an educator preparation provider (EPP) in the continuous improvement pathway.
Continuous Improvement (CI) Pathway - One of the three CAEP accreditation pathways in which an educator preparation provider (EPP) provides evidence that standards are met. The focus of the self study is on the ways the EPP has been strengthened and the improved quality of its completers since the previous accreditation visit.
Continuous Improvement (CI) Self Study - The process undertaken by an educator preparation provider (EPP) to evaluate itself against the CAEP standards and the resulting document that makes the EPP’s case for meeting the standards under the CI accreditation pathway.
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.
Council Joint Review Team - A group comprised of Review Panels from two Commissions that reviews accreditation case materials and a Commission’s report of the standards met and areas for improvement and stipulations, if any, cited for an educator preparation provider (EPP) to develop a recommendation for accreditation status for presentation to the Accreditation Council.
Curriculum - Courses, experiences, and assessments for preparing 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 - The minimum level of performance that a state or EPP deems acceptable evidence of quality on an assessment such as a state licensure test or local assessment instrument.
Data Analysis - The process of reviewing, aggregating, disaggregating, summarizing, and studying candidate assessment and other data that provide information about the quality and effectiveness of the educator preparation provider (EPP), its programs, its educators, and its candidates.
Denial - The accreditation decision when an EPP’s case for accreditation does not provide a preponderance of evidence that it meets CAEP standards and requirements.
Disability - As defined by the American for Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act of 2008, “the term ‘disability’ means, with respect to an individual—(A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual; (B) a record of such an impairment; or (C) being regarded as having such an impairment.”
Discipline - The subject that a teacher teaches or the professional field in which an educator practices. (See Content Knowledge.)
Dispositions - See Professional Dispositions.
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 including asynchronous or synchronous, electronic, or printed communications.
Diversity - Differences among groups of people and individuals based on ethnicity, race, culture, socioeconomic status, gender, exceptionalities, language, religion, sexual orientation or identification, geographic origin, or any number of other factors.
Doctoral Degree or Doctorate - An academic award from a university for advanced study in a specialized field and the completion of a research or professional project such as a dissertation. Educators generally are awarded a PhD or EdD.
Educator - Teacher, principal, specialized instructional support personnel, instructor, faculty member at an educator preparation provider (EPP), or other staff member who directly provides instruction or services such as a school library media specialist, counselor, or paraprofessional.
Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) - An entity responsible for the preparation of educators at a nonprofit or for-profit institution of higher education, school district, organization, corporation, or governmental agency. It is the EPP that prepares the self-study report and hosts a site visit to make its case for accreditation by CAEP.
Eligibility - The initial requirements that must be met by an educator preparation provider (EPP) to establish candidacy prior to submitting its case for accreditation to CAEP. The requirements for eligibility can be found on CAEP’s website (caepnet.org).
Endorsement - An addition to an educator’s state license that allows the educator to teach a subject different from that specified on the original license, work with another group or age level of students, or provide professional services in schools. An endorsement generally requires fewer hours than a major.
EPP Response to the Site Visitors Report - The document prepared by an educator preparation provider (EPP) in response to the site visitor report. The EPP response is one of the primary documents considered by the Commissions as they develop their recommendations for standards being met.
Ethical Behavior - Actions based on principles that help, rather than harm, society and are morally correct. CAEP volunteers and staff are expected to uphold the highest ethical behavior as they conduct their CAEP responsibilities.
Evaluation of Site Visitors - Feedback on the performance of site visitors by educator preparation providers (EPPs), peers on the site visit team, state consultants, and state members of the site visit team (if any). These evaluations are used to determine whether to continue to assign a site visitor to a team, to recommend the site visitor for another term, and to learn if the site visitor is ready to serve in a leadership role.
Evidence - The body of facts and analysis that meets the standards of contemporary scholarship and warrants the claims and assertions made by an educator preparation provider (EPP) about each of the CAEP standards.
Evidence of Candidate Learning - Multiple measures of educator candidate learning that include valid and reliable assessment data of (1) candidate performance against state and national standards; (2) positive impact on student learning; (3) performance in clinical experiences; and (4) professional dispositions as well as other appropriate measures of performance as determined by the state or educator preparation provider (EPP).
Evidence of Student Learning - Multiple measures of student learning that include (1) valid and reliable student assessment data based on P-12 student learning gains on state student academic assessments, formative assessments, summative assessments, and objective performance-based assessments; (2) student work, including measures of performance criteria and evidence of student growth; (3) teacher-generated information about student goals and growth; (4) parental feedback about student goals and growth; (5) assessments of engagement and self-efficacy; and (6) other appropriate measures as determined by the state or school districts.
Executive Committee - A standing committee of the CAEP Board of Directors consisting of the Chair, the Vice-Chair, the Treasurer, the President, the CI and IB Commission Chairs, and the Chair of the Nominating Committee. The Executive Committee has the authority to make decisions on behalf of the Board on administrative and time-critical matters that arise between Board meetings.
Extension of Accreditation - A change in the term of accreditation that results because of a delay or postponement of an educator preparation providers’ (EPP’s) site visit following CAEP Policy XVII, Good Cause Extension. Extensions may be granted for one semester or one year.
Faculty - See Professional Education Faculty.
Fairness - The commitment demonstrated by candidates in striving to meet the educational needs of all students in a caring, nondiscriminatory, and equitable manner.
Fees - Financial assessments paid annually by educator preparation provider (EPP) to retain CAEP accreditation.
FERPA - The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Although educator preparation providers (EPPs) generally must have candidates’ permission to release their education records, FERPA allows institutions/organizations to disclose those records, without consent, to accrediting organizations.
Field Experiences - Early and ongoing opportunities in schools, school districts, and community-based centers in which candidates observe, assist, tutor, instruct, and/or conduct research.
Fifth-year Graduate Program (Non-degree) - A one-year program of study beyond the baccalaureate level, leading to a state licensure to teach but not a master’s degree.
Fiscal and Administrative Capacity - The ability of an educator preparation provider (EPP) to support programs that prepare educator candidates who meet state and national standards and can help students learn at expected levels.
Five-year Combined Bachelor’s/Master’s Program - A preparation program for educator candidates that begins at the bachelor’s level and ends with a master’s degree. The fifth year of many of these programs includes extended clinical practice that sometimes is a full-year-long internship.
Formative Evaluation - A process that provides feedback to an educator preparation provider (EPP) as it progresses through the accreditation process. The offsite reviews of evidence and the self study provides feedback to all EPPs several months before the onsite visit.
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) - A federal law that allows for the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the U.S. government. In its application for recognition from the U.S. Department of Education, CAEP may redact the names of educator preparation providers and individuals in the documents submitted and identify other materials that would be exempt from public disclosure.
Good Cause Extension - The delay of a site visit for one year based on reasons that are beyond the control of an educator preparation provider (EPP).
Governance - The system and structure for defining policy, providing leadership, and managing and coordinating the procedures and resources that ensure the quality of all school professionals prepared by the educator preparation provider (EPP).
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.
Growth Scores - Comparison of standardized test scores for a P-12 student from year to year with the expectation that students show academic growth in each subject or discipline from one year to the next.
High-need Local Education Agency (LEA) - A school district that serves not fewer than 10,000 low-income children; for which not less than 20 percent of the children served by the agency are low-income children; that meets the eligibility requirements for funding under the Small, Rural School Achievement Program; or that has a percentage of low-income children that is the highest quartile among such agencies in the state.
Impact on P-12 Student Learning - The result of an educator’s performance that leads to the academic achievement of P-12 students in classrooms and schools.
Induction Program - A formalized program for new teachers and principals during the first two years of teaching or leading a school that is designed to provide support for, improve the professional performance of, and advance the retention of beginning teachers and principals.
Initial Review of the Evidence - The formative evaluation of and feedback on the self-study report and supporting evidence that is conducted prior to a site visit.
Innovation - Implementation of something new or different in the preparation of educators that leads to the improvement of teaching and support of student learning.
Inquiry Brief (IB) Commission - The CAEP governing body that is responsible for determining the standards that are met by an educator preparation provider (EPP) in the Inquiry Brief pathway.
Inquiry Brief (IB) Pathway - One of the three CAEP accreditation pathways in which an educator preparation provider (EPP) offers evidence that CAEP standards are met. The EPP educators operationalize the CAEP standards in its own claims about candidate performance and must meet the standards of evidence required of peer-reviewed research studies in making their case for accreditation.
Inquiry Brief (IB) Self Study - The process undertaken by an educator preparation provider (EPP) to evaluate itself against the CAEP standards, and the resulting document that makes the EPP’s case for meeting the standards under the IB pathway.
Institutional Accreditation - The summative evaluation of a college or university against the standards of an institutional accreditor. (See Institutional Accrediting Agencies.)
Institutional Accrediting Agencies - National organizations that accredit an entire institution of higher education. Six regional accrediting agencies accredit colleges and universities in specific regions of the country and world. Some national accrediting agencies accredit colleges and universities with specific missions such as rabbinical institutions, theological institutions, Bible colleges and universities, and independent postsecondary institutions.
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.
Interim Visit - The site visit that occurs within two years after the Accreditation Council grants an EPP accreditation for two years.
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 Committee - A standing committee of the CAEP Board of Directors that is responsible for recommending policies related to CAEP’s accreditation activities outside the United States.
International EPPs - Educator preparation providers (EPPs) located outside the United States that prepare teachers and/or other school professionals to work in elementary and secondary (P-12) schools.
Internship - Clinical practice in schools under the supervision of clinical faculty members. An internship is generally a year-long experience, which is longer than the typical student teaching experience.
Job Placement Rates - The number and percentage of candidates who have accepted jobs as teachers or other school professionals in a school after completing of a program.
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 of Accreditation - End of an educator preparation provider’s (EPP) accreditation when the site visit is not hosted on schedule.
Lead Site Visitor - The head of the site visit team who directs the site review process prior to and during the site visit to the educator preparation provider (EPP). The lead site visitor is responsible for ensuring that the completed site visitor report is submitted to CAEP.
Licensure - The official recognition by a state governmental agency that an individual has met state requirements and is, therefore, approved to practice as a licensed professional. Some state agencies call their licenses certificates or credentials.
Members of CAEP - Stakeholders that are educational organizations, states, and other agencies or parties committed to CAEP’s goals and objectives. Members must be accepted as members by the CAEP Board and pay annual dues.
Methodological Design - A plan for developing assessments and testing their validity and reliability.
Misleading or Incorrect Statements - Misrepresentation of any CAEP action related to an educator preparation provider’s (EPP’s) accreditation status or use of accreditation reports or materials in a false or misleading manner.
National Accrediting Agencies - National organizations that accredit institutions of higher education or specialty fields such as teacher education, engineering, or nursing in the United States and sometimes outside the United States. National institutional accreditors accredit vocational, technical, career schools, or colleges and universities.
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.
Nominating Committee - A standing committee of the CAEP Board of Directors that is responsible for soliciting nominations and developing a slate for members of CAEP’s Board of Directors, committees, and co-chairs of the Accreditation Council.
Off-campus Programs - Programs offered by an educator preparation provider (EPP) at sites other than the main campus or headquarters. Off-campus programs may be offered in the same state, in other states, or in countries other than the United States.
Off-campus Review - The inclusion in the CAEP site visit of branch campuses and programs that are not located at the main campus or headquarters. The off-campus programs and branch campuses included in the accreditation visit are determined collaboratively by the EPP, CAEP, and state agency.
Offsite Review - A formative evaluation process in which educator preparation providers (EPPs) receive feedback on their self study and supporting evidence several months before the onsite visit.
Open Communication in the Accreditation Process - The regular and candid interactions between CAEP staff and the administrators and educators of educator preparation providers (EPPs) throughout the accreditation process.
Operating Procedures - The activities that are performed by persons or groups responsible for implementing CAEP policies.
Other School Professionals - Educators who provide professional services other than teaching in schools. They include, but are not limited to, principals, reading specialists and supervisors, school library media specialists, school psychologists, school superintendents, and instructional technology specialists.
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.
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 - Understanding of and ability to use the interaction of subject matter and effective teaching strategies to help students learn the given subject matter. Pedagogical content knowledge requires a deep and thorough understanding of the content in order to teach it in multiple ways, drawing on the cultural backgrounds, prior knowledge, and experiences of students.
Pedagogical Knowledge - The general concepts, theories, and research about effective teaching, regardless of content area. Typically, the content of pedagogy courses and clinically based courses in the educator preparation provider (EPP) focus on methods of instruction, motivation, and evaluation of P-12 students.
Peer Review - A self-regulation process in which an institution, organization, educator preparation provider (EPP), school, or other entity is evaluated by individuals who are active participants in the education profession. CAEP’s site visitors are EPP peers who are educators and administrators from higher education and P-12 schools.
Performance Assessment - A comprehensive appraisal in which educator candidates demonstrate their proficiencies in content, professional, and pedagogical knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions, as well as their abilities to have positive effects on student learning.
Policy - A principle or rule that guides the accreditation process and decision-making in CAEP and contributes to consistency in the process across site visitors, members of the Accreditation Commissions and Accreditation Council, and staff. Policies are adopted by the CAEP Board of Directors.
Policymakers - Representatives of public and governmental agencies at the national, state, and local levels.
Portfolio - An accumulation of evidence about the achievement of a candidate’s proficiencies, especially in relation to explicit standards and rubrics. Artifacts in a portfolio may include end-of-course evaluations and tasks used for instructional or clinical experience purposes, such as projects, journals or reflective essays, observations of EPP educators, videos, comments by cooperating teachers or internship supervisors, samples of student work, samples of educator candidate assessments of student work, and so forth.
Practitioners - Qualities or levels of candidate proficiency that are used to evaluate candidate performance, as specified in scoring guides such as descriptions or rubrics.
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. For example, a few clearly knowledgeable interviewees may provide a preponderance of evidence over a dozen interviewees with unclear or indirect knowledge, or a signed agreement with definite terms may outweigh opinions or speculation about intentions.
Principles - Propositions, beliefs, or rules that provide the foundation for CAEP’s accreditation system.
Probes - A specific action taken by a site visitor during the 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 (including clinical educators) in the educator preparation provider (EPP), other educators at the institution/organization, P-12 practitioners, candidates, and others involved in preparing teachers and other school professionals.
Professional Development - Opportunities for educators in EPPs to develop new knowledge and skills through activities such as inservice 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 the P-12 school and higher education faculty members collaborate to (1) provide practicum, student teaching, and internship experiences; (2) support and enable the professional development of school and higher education faculty members; (3) support and enable inquiry directed at the improvement of practice; and (4) support and enhance P-12 student achievement. PDSs require the institutional commitment of educator preparation providers (EPPs), school districts, and teachers’ organizations.
Professional Dispositions - The professional values, commitments, and ethics that influence behaviors toward students, families, colleagues, and communities, and that affect student learning, motivation, and development, as well as the educator’s own professional growth.
Professional Education Faculty - Those individuals employed by an educator preparation provider (EPP) who teach one or more courses in education, provide services to candidates (e.g., advising), supervise clinical practice, or serve as an administrator.
Professional Knowledge - The historical, economic, sociological, philosophical, and psychological understandings of schooling and education. Professional knowledge also includes knowledge about learning, diversity, technology, professional ethics, legal and policy issues, and the roles and responsibilities of the profession of teaching.
Professional License - See Licensure.
Proficiencies - The knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions of candidates, completers, teachers, and other school professionals that may be identified in professional, state, or institutional 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. EPPs often 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 program (EPP) meets the state’s standards for the preparation of teachers and other school professionals. Reviews for program approval may be coordinated with CAEP visits, as outlined in the state – CAEP partnership agreement.
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 - CAEP volunteers who review specialty programs against the standards of specialized professional associations (SPAs), state standards, or other standards identified by the state. Program reviewers may participate in both the Program Review with Feedback and the Program Review with National Recognition CAEP options.
Provider - An inclusive term referring to 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 - Making accreditation status, candidate performance data, and accreditation information for an educator preparation provider (EPP) available on the EPP’s website for access by current and prospective candidates, parents, faculty members, school professionals, and others. CAEP also publicly discloses accreditation status and other accreditation information on its website.
Public Representative - A person who is not a member of a governing board, owner, or shareholder of, or consultant to, an institution or educator preparation provider that is accredited by CAEP or has applied for accreditation. One or more public representatives is appointed to each of CAEP’s governing bodies and the Appeals Committee.
Qualitative Measures - Assessments or analyses that 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 comprehensive and integrated set of policies, procedures, and evaluation measures that provide data for use in monitoring educator candidate performance, managing the operation of the educator preparation provider (EPP), and improving the quality of programs and completers. The CAEP quality assurance system refers to the terms “quality control system” or “assessment system” formerly used in the TEAC and NCATE processes.
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 for the Assessments - An argument (called a rationale) in the Inquiry Brief pathway that gives the EPP’s educators reasons for selecting the assessments they rely on, the reasons they think results from the assessments are reliable and valid, and the reasons why their standard or criterion for success is appropriate.
Reaccreditation - See Continuing Accreditation.
Recognition of an Accrediting Agency - A designation that indicates that an accrediting agency meets the standards of the U.S. Department of Education or the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Recommendation for Accreditation - The decision related to an educator preparation provider’s (EPP) accreditation status that is proposed to the Accreditation Council by a Joint Review Team.
Records - Information or facts that are preserved for history and future reference. CAEP archives the materials for and minutes of governance bodies, EPPs’ self studies and other materials submitted for accreditation visits and annual reports, site visitor reports, accreditation letters, annual reports, and financial records for the time periods identified in CAEP’s procedures.
Recruiting and Admissions Practices - An educator preparation provider’s (EPP) activities for encouraging prospective candidates to apply to one of its programs and the EPP’s criteria for admitting candidates.
Regional Accrediting Agencies - The six agencies recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as reliable authorities for determining the quality of education or training offered by the institutions of higher education they accredit. These agencies accredit colleges and universities in specific geographic regions of the United States and world.
Reliable and Valid Evidence - The credibility of the results from assessment and evaluation measures. For example, 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.
Remand - The review of an educator preparation provider (EPP) accreditation case by a different Accreditation Council Joint Review Team when the Council does not accept the accreditation recommendation of the original Joint Review Team. In most cases, the recommendation of this second review will occur before the Council adjourns its meeting.
Requirements - Expectations other than standards that educator preparation providers (EPPs) must meet to be accredited or maintain accreditation. They include criteria for eligibility, paying annual fees, submitting annual reports, publishing educator candidate performance data on websites, writing self studies, and other requirements in CAEP’s policies and procedures.
Research Committee - A standing committee of the CAEP Board of Directors that reviews and promotes research on P-12 professional educator preparation and the effectiveness of CAEP, reviews requests from researchers to use CAEP data, and conducts a regular study of the activities and performance of CAEP’s Commissions.
Residency Program - A school-based program in which a prospective teacher, principal, or other educator works alongside a mentor for a specific period of time, often one year; receives concurrent instruction during the year; acquires effective teaching or leadership skills; and earns a postbaccalaureate certificate or master’s degree.
Retention Rates - Comparison of the number of candidates who entered a program against the number who completed the program. 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.
Revocation - The accreditation decision to revoke an EPP’s accredited status made by the Accreditation Council when the preponderance of evidence indicates that an accredited educator preparation provider (EPP) no longer meets one or more CAEP standards.
Rubrics - Written and shared criteria for judging performance that indicate the expectations of quality by which levels of performance can be differentiated. Scoring rubrics are used to delineate judgments about the degree of success on a candidate assessment and provide a consistent means to define achievement.
Scholarship - Systematic inquiry into the areas related to teaching, learning, and the education of teachers and other school professionals. Scholarship includes traditional research and publication as well as the rigorous and systematic study of pedagogy and the application of current research findings in new settings. Scholarship further presupposes submission of one’s work for professional review and evaluation.
Scope - The breadth of CAEP’s accreditation activities, especially the programs included in a CAEP review. CAEP’s scope is described in its policies and procedures.
Scoring Guide - A tool known as a rubric or evaluation form used by EPP’s educators to evaluate an assessment. Scoring guides differentiate varying levels of proficiency on performance criteria. (See Rubrics as one example of a scoring guide).
Self Study - The process that an educator preparation provider (EPP) and its programs go through to evaluate themselves against CAEP standards. The self-study report discusses the findings of this process and is the primary report prepared by the EPP for site visitors.
Site Visit - The two-to-three days in which site visitors conduct their review of an educator preparation provider (EPP) and its self-study report at a campus or organizational headquarters. Site visitors may also visit schools and/or other sites included in the EPP’s accreditation during this period.
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.
SPA Coordinator - A staff member or volunteer from a specialized professional association (SPA) who manages the national program recognition review process for CAEP and the SPA.
Specialized Accrediting Agencies - Agencies, like CAEP, that accredit specialty programs of colleges and universities (such as nursing, veterinary science, counseling, and so forth). Most specialized accrediting agencies operate in academic and professional fields that generally lead to licensure.
Specialized Professional Association (SPA) - A member of CAEP that is a national organization of teachers, professional education faculty members, 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).
Specialty Areas - Areas of specialty training for teachers, such as specific subjects such as mathematics or social studies, working with specific groups of students such as early childhood or special education, or specific fields for other school professionals such as school library media specialist or school superintendent.
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).
Standards Committee - A standing committee of the CAEP Board of Directors that periodically reviews CAEP’s standards and recommends changes to the Board.
Standards Review - The periodic and systematic evaluation of each CAEP standard for continuing relevancy and currency. The review seeks input from CAEP’s stakeholders, including internal and external constituencies, and includes conducting surveys, and holding forums with its members. The Standards Committee is responsible for overseeing the review of the standards.
Standards Revision - A new set of standards incorporating changes proposed by the CAEP Standards Committee following its review and adopted by the Board of Directors.
State Agencies - A department of education, a professional standards board, or other entity within a state that is responsible for the licensure of educators and/or the program approval of educator preparation providers (EPPs).
State Authority - See State Agencies.
State Partners - The state agency or agencies that have signed a letter of agreement with CAEP to collaborate on the alignment of standards and accreditation processes and the conduct of site visits.
State Partnership and Content Areas Committee - A standing committee of the CAEP Board of Directors that is responsible for recommending policies related to CAEP’s state partnership agreements and the review of specialty area studies.
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 guides joint and concurrent state–CAEP site 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. Program approval may be coordinated with CAEP accreditation through the state–CAEP partnership.
STEM - Science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Stipulation - A finding by an Accreditation Commission and confirmed by the Accreditation Council of a deficiency in the evidence for an indicator of a CAEP standard. An educator preparation provider (EPP) must report its progress on correcting a stipulation in its subsequent annual report and, within two years, present evidence in a petition to demonstrate that the deficiency has been corrected. A stipulation must be corrected within two years to retain 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.
Student - A learner in a school setting or other structured learning environment. CAEP uses “student” to identify learners in P-12 schools.
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.
Summary of the Case - The site visitors’ explication of the case the educator preparation provider (EPP) has made for accreditation.
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.
Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) - An affiliate of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAPE) that has accredited professional education programs since it was founded in 1997. TEAC consolidated with NCATE in 2013 to form CAEP.
Teacher Enhancement Program - A post baccalaureate program for licensed teachers.
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) that will provide a reasonable opportunity for candidates to complete their program of study if one EPP stops offering its educational program before all enrolled candidates have completed the program.
Teach-out Plan - A written process that provides for the equitable treatment of candidates if an educator preparation provider (EPP) ceases to operate a program before all candidates have completed their course of study.
Team Chair - See Lead Site Visitor.
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 on the quality of the educator preparation provider (EPP) and its programs. Prior to the site visit, the EPP is required to solicit third-party comments in local media such as newspapers, newsletters, and its website.
Time Frames for Achieving Compliance - The maximum number of years an educator preparation provider (EPP) has to come into compliance when its accreditation cycle is less than seven years or CAEP finds a violation of its standards has occurred.
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. States report their EPP data to the U.S. Secretary of Education who compiles an annual report on the quality of teacher education.
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 responsibilities.
Transformation Initiative (TI) Commission - The CAEP governing body that is responsible for determining the standards that are met by an educator preparation provider (EPP) in the transformation initiative pathway.
Transformation Initiative (TI) Pathway - One of the three CAEP accreditation pathways, 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.
Transformation Initiative (TI) Self Study - The process undertaken by an educator preparation provider (EPP) to evaluate itself against the CAEP standards and the resulting document that makes the EPP’s case for meeting the standards under the TI pathway and reports its TI research and findings.
Transparency - Openness in communications about the accreditation process, documents prepared for accreditation, and the outcomes of the accreditation review.
U.S. Department of Education - The federal agency that administers programs that cover every area of education and range from preschool education through postdoctoral research, including the recognition of accrediting agencies such as CAEP.
U.S. Department of Education Recognition - A designation by the U.S. Department of Education that an accreditation agency is a reliable authority for determining the quality of education or training provided by the institutions of higher education and the higher education programs they accredit.
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 - Assessments that provide evidence of an educator’s performance in improving the academic achievement of P-12 students as measured by standardized tests and other assessments.