Accreditation. (1) A process for assessing and enhancing academic and educational quality through voluntary peer review. NCATE accreditation informs the public that an institution has a professional education unit that has met state, professional, and institutional standards of educational quality. (2) The decision rendered by NCATE when an institution's professional education unit meets NCATE's standards and requirements
Accreditation Action Report. The report issued by the Unit Accreditation Board that indicates the unit's accreditation status, standards met, and the areas for improvement to which the unit should respond in its annual reports.
Accreditation with Conditions. An NCATE accreditation decision rendered by the Unit Accreditation Board fol¬lowing a continuing visit that indicates that the unit has not met one or more of the NCATE standards. When the UAB renders this decision, the unit maintains its accredited status but must satisfy conditions by meeting the unmet standard(s) within 18 months.
Accreditation with Probation. An NCATE accreditation decision rendered by the Unit Accreditation Board fol¬lowing a continuing visit that indicates that the unit does not meet one or more of the NCATE standards and has pervasive problems across standards that limit its capacity to offer quality programs that adequately prepare candi¬dates. If accreditation with probation is granted, the unit must schedule an on-site visit within 18 months of the semester in which the probationary decision was rendered.
Accuracy in Assessment. The assurance that key assessments are of the appropriate type and content such that they measure what they purport to measure. To this end, the assessments should be aligned with the standards and/or learning proficiencies that they are designed to measure.
Adjunct Faculty. Part-time faculty in the professional education unit who are not full-time employees of the insti¬tution. See Part-time Faculty and Professional Education Faculty.
Advanced Programs. Programs at postbaccalaureate levels for (1) the continuing education of teachers who have previously competed initial preparation or (2) the preparation of other school professionals. Advanced programs commonly award graduate credit and include master's, specialist, and doctoral degree programs as well as non-degree licensure programs offered at the postbaccalaureate level. Examples of these programs include those for teachers who are preparing for a second license at the graduate level in a field different from the field in which they have their first license; programs for teachers who are seeking a master's degree in the field in which they teach; and programs not tied to licensure, such as programs in curriculum and instruction. In addition, advanced programs include those for other school professionals such as school counselors, school psychologists, educational administra¬tors, and reading specialists.
Alternate Route Programs. Postbaccalaureate programs designed for individuals who did not prepare as educators during their undergraduate studies. These programs, which usually lead to a unit's recommendation for a state license, accommodate the schedules of adults and recognize their earlier academic preparation and life experiences. In some instances, candidates may be employed as educators while enrolled. Examples include MAT programs, programs that operate in professional development schools, and Troops to Teachers programs. They are sometimes called nontraditional programs.
Annual Report. The AACTE/NCATE Joint Data Collection Report that is required of Al NCATE-affiliated insti¬tutions as a condition of accreditation. A compilation of these reports serves as primary documentation for Board of Examiners teams as they prepare for on-site accreditation visits.
Area for Improvement (AFI). A statement cited by the Board of Examiners or the Unit Accreditation Board indi¬cating that a unit has not met expected levels of achievement in one or more elements of a standard. The Board of Examiners may cite one or more areas for improvement and still recommend that the standard is met.
Assessment. An evaluated activity or task used by a program or unit 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 a scoring guide used to evaluate the task or activity.
Assessment Data. Quantified information communicating the results of an evaluative activity or task designed to determine the extent to which candidates meet specific learning proficiencies, outcomes, or standards.
Assessment System. A comprehensive and integrated set of evaluation measures that provides information for use in monitoring candidate performance and managing and improving unit operations and programs for the prepara¬tion of professional educators
Avoidance of Bias in Assessment. The assurance that the unit has addressed any contextual distractions and/or problems with key assessment instruments that introduce sources of bias and thus adversely influence candidate performance. Contextual distractions include inappropriate noise, poor lighting, discomfort, and the lack of proper equipment. Problems with assessments include missing or vague instructions, poorly worded questions, and poorly reproduced copies that make reading difficult.