Glossary - A

  • Academic: Pertaining or belonging to a college or university. Generally refers to the formal teaching-learning functions of a college/university rather than the business operations or student social life.
  • ACCESS: American Associate Degree Early Childhood Educators; “Providing ACCESS to the Profession,” a statewide and national group of early childhood faculty from two-year higher education institutions who meet quarterly. ACCESS also refers to the Organization for Illinois Community College Early Childhood Education Faculty.
  • Accreditation: A seal of approval by an independent professional organization that signifies a program has met high-quality program and performance standards. In the United States, schools of higher education are accredited by one of six regional accreditation associations. Programs are accredited by professional organizations
  • Administrator: The director, executive director, or manager of an early care and education program.
  • Advanced Placement (AP): A program of college-level courses offered to advanced high school students. Colleges/universities often grant credit to students who achieve specific scores on the culminating exams. The exams are administered by the College Board.
  • Aide: An individual who assists the classroom teacher in the care and education of a group of children. Works under the direct supervision of a teacher. Also called assistant teacher or associate teacher.
  • Articulation: Broadly defined as the linking together of programs, faculties, campuses and community entities in order to allow normal progression and a smooth transition through the educational system and to maintain continuity in the student’s academic program. Also describes the process of equating courses of one institution to another and the way the classes will be used at the receiving institution.
  • Articulation agreements: Written agreements among higher education institutions to accept credit for courses taken at those institutions.
  • Assessment: A description and judgment of a specific domain of knowledge or behavior drawn from more than one source of information. The literature on accountability in education equates assessment and evaluation. IDEA defines assessment as a process for determining progress and evaluation as a process for determining current levels of performance for purposes of standard comparison for eligibility determination.
  • Assessment systems: The compilation of information (data sources) to provide a description of a phenomenon (trend). An assessment system may include norm- or criterion-referenced assessments, alternate assessments, and classroom assessments.
  • Assistant teacher: An individual who works with a group of children under the direct supervision of a teacher; must have high school diploma or GED. Also called an aide or associate teacher.
  • Assistant director: Assists the director in the management of a child care center or program; may have responsibilities related to curriculum and staff management; fills in for the director in his/her absence, in which case the individual must be director-qualified.
  • Associate Degree: A type of undergraduate degree. Associate degrees require a minimum of 60 semester credit hours and consist of three parts: general education requirements, major requirements, and electives. Some specific associate degrees which are designed to transfer are: Associate in Arts (A.A.), Associate in Science (A.S.). A student attending full time each semester (15 semester credit hours) could complete an associate degree in four semesters or two years.
  • Associate in Applied Science (AAS): Degrees in early childhood are awarded by community colleges. AAS degrees were designed as terminal vocational degrees to prepare students to work in child care settings. AAS degrees require a total requirement of not less than 60 semester credit hours nor more than 72 semester credit hours or the quarter credit hour equivalent, including a minimum of 15 semester credit hours of general education. Programs may exceed 72 hours in such occupational fields in which it can be demonstrated that accreditation or licensure requires additional coursework.
  • Associate in Arts degree (AA): A degree offered by community colleges requires a total of not less than 60 semester credit hours nor more than 64 semester credit hours or the quarter credit hour equivalent.
  • Associate of Arts in Teaching (AAT) degree: Currently under design by ICCB, IBHE, and ISBE, AAT degree models are being developed to attract students into high need teaching disciplines and facilitate the transfer of lower-division students desiring to become teachers in those disciplines into upper-division teacher education programs. Students obtaining an AAT degree should have equal status with university native students at the beginning of the junior year.
  • Associate in Science degree (AS): A degree offered by community colleges requires a total of not less than 60 semester credit hours nor more than 64 semester credit hours or the quarter credit hour equivalent.
  • Associate teacher: Works with a group of children under the direct supervision of a teacher. Sometimes called assistant teacher or aide.
  • At-risk: Term used by Illinois State Board of Education to refer to children who are at-risk of academic failure because of economic status of the family, condition of birth, developmental delays, or environmental factors.
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