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Glossary of Terms

Accreditation - Recognition that a school has successfully completed the process of evaluation, involving a self-study, and maintains a specific level of standards.

Advanced Placement Testing - A program of college-level examinations for high-
performing secondary school students.

Assessment - A discovery process of a student's academic skills, learning styles, and educational needs as a baseline for the development of their educational program.

Candidate for Accreditation - The beginning status of an educational institution that has demonstrated formal commitment to meeting the standards for accreditation, has filed an application with the accrediting body and has been accepted based upon a review of preliminary data.

Competency-based Evaluation - (1) Benchmark(s) used to measure or assess the student's skills and knowledge such as a demonstration or a finished product, (2) Objective, documented proof that students have achieved certain skills or knowledge.

Correspondence Course - A course of study in one or more subjects, in which the student is provided texts and other self study materials, completes the work with or without direct supervision, completes tests, and submits these for grading (a given correspondence course may or may not meet state requirements for education).

Course of Study - The courses offered by an educational institution. For example:
   1. The course of study for a high school student comprising both core academic and elective courses required for graduation.
   2. The course of study for the elementary grades comprising the activities that will meet the learning goals and expectations set forth by the educational institution.

Credit - The formal acknowledgment that a student's completion of a course has met certain predetermined criteria. This may be acknowledged with a numerical value or written evaluation.

Credit Hours - The unit used to measure educational credit based on a predetermined number of hours of study. Credit hours might range from "One period of 40 to 60 minutes of instructional time per week throughout one semester of no less than 17 weeks" (California Education Code 1600) to 90 hours of instruction equal five semester credits towards a high school course.

Curriculum - Resources used to accomplish learning goals and expectations, such as, various books (textbooks, library books, etc.), learning activities (labs, hands-on opportunities), computer software, audio-visual materials, the knowledge of an expert in a subject (mentors), museums, etc.

Evaluation - The periodic or systematic appraisal of a student, their academic work, and/or educational program for verification of progress and/or re-assessment of their educational process.

Graduation Standards - The academic courses students must complete and the  demonstration of certain levels of competence in core academics required of a student to graduate from high school. 

Home Schooling (Homeschooling) - Education that is directed by the parent and/or student to accomplish the student's learning goals.

Independent Study - An alternative to classroom instruction coordinated, evaluated, and implemented under the direct or general supervision of a qualified faculty member. The parents/legal guardian may provide help and guidance to the student, but the primary responsibility for the work is between the student and faculty member.

Individual Education Plan (IEP) - This term usually refers to a special needs student and is a formal assessment of the student by administrators, teachers, psychologists, medical professionals, parents, and others detailing the specific learning goals, responsibilities, and actions needed to meet those goals for the student.

Proficiency Test - A term usually used in reference to a test administered for the purpose of exempting a student from a state's compulsory education statute through the demonstration of a certain level of academic competency. Examples include the California High School Proficiency Examination or the General Education Diploma.

Program -  An administrative plan for implementing and accomplishing learning expectations.

Qualified Staff -  Personnel who are properly trained for their specific job responsibilities.

Records - All school records required by law to be prepared and retained. Cumulative records are maintained at the student's current school and are forwarded upon request when the student transfers to another school.

Self-Study - The process in which an institution involves its staff, faculty, parents, students and other members of their educational community to assess and evaluate its program and effectiveness, and identify areas of needed improvement.

Standardized Exams -  Tests used to measure specific academic skills and knowledge. These tests are to be conducted formally under proper supervision. Examples include a state's Test of Basic Skills, the Scholastic Assessment Test, Graduate Record Examination, Stanford Achievement Test, Iowa Test of Basic Skills or other similar tests.

Supervise - To assess a student's academic needs, direct their educational program and evaluate the results of a student's learning expectations.

Teacher - A person who is credentialed to teach, but may hold a broader meaning to include a non-credentialed person who is capable of teaching

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