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Competence in an activity or occupation because of one's skill, training, or other qualification.  For CAEP purposes it is the demonstrated competence to be hired in one's field of preparation.


(1) A process for assessing and enhancing academic and educational quality through voluntary peer review. CAEP accreditation informs the public that the educator preparation provider (EPP) has met state, professional, and institutional standards of educational quality. (2) The decision rendered by CAEP when an EPP meets CAEP’s standards and requirements.

Accreditation Action Report.

The final report completed by the Accreditation Council and official record of an educator preparation provider (EPP) accreditation status. It informs the EPP 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 Council.

The governance body that grants or withholds accreditation of an educator preparation provider (EPP), based on the review of findings of an initial review panel and a joint review team. The Council also certifies whether or not the accreditation process followed CAEP’s policies and procedures.

Accreditation Cycle.

The length of time between site visits, generally two to seven years, based on the Educator Preparation Provider’s (EPP) accreditation status.

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 and Accreditation Council members as a workspace to review and complete assignments related to accreditation and/or governance.

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 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.


Sufficiently detailed and relevant to directly indicate or clearly suggest a course of action. Information is actionable if it supplies the who, what, when, where, and why that allows one to determine how to change current practice(s) to achieve the intended goal.

Add-on Programs.

Add-on programs are designed for educators who hold valid teaching licensure and are seeking to add additional teaching field(s); Or,

Programs that lead to licensure but for which the licensing authority (e.g., state or country) does not require completion of an internship for eligibility. Add-on programs do not lead to a degree (but may lead to a certificate). Add-on programs require a licensure examination or an assessment of candidate proficiency to understand and apply knowledge and skills in the specialty licensure area that provides access to employment in a P-12 setting. 

Add-on programs have been removed from the CAEP Scope of Accreditation as of  July 2019. EPPs should refer to their state for questions related to the inclusion of programs.

Advanced-level Programs.

Educator preparation programs at the post-baccalaureate or graduate levels leading to licensure, certification, or endorsement. Advanced-level programs are designed to develop P-12 teachers who have already completed an initial preparation program, currently licensed administrators, other certificated (or similar state language) school professionals for employment in P-12 schools/districts.

Adverse Action.

The revocation or denial of accreditation when it is confirmed that an educator preparation provider’s (EPP’s): (1) fails to meet two 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 valid complaint in which it is determined that the CAEP Standards are no longer being met.

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.

A yearly update submitted through AIMS by an educator preparation provider (EPP) in which, the EPP provides CAEP with a summary of: (1) provider information; (2) progress on removing any areas for improvement/stipulations; (3) substantive changes; (4) links to candidate performance data on its website; (5) eight annual measures of program outcomes and impact; and (6) pathway specific progress, as requested.


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.


The status of an educator preparation provider (EPP) that has completed its Phase I Application while its Phase II Application to CAEP is being completed or is under review.

Area for Improvement (AFI).

A statement written by a site visit team or the Accreditation Council 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. Areas for improvement should be remediated by the end of the accreditation term and progress toward improvement is reported annually in the annual report.


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).


Qualitative and dispositional characteristics (such as credentials, knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, etc.)

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.