Glossary - P

  • Paraprofessional: Under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), education paraprofessionals (teacher aides/assistants) hired after January 8, 2002 to assist in schools/programs that receive Title I funds must have completed 2 years of study at a higher education institution, obtained an associate’s degree or higher, or met a rigorous standard of quality through a formal state or local assessment. Title I paraprofessionals hired prior to January 8, 2002 have until 2006 to meet these requirements. IBHE, ICCB, and ISBE are currently developing a statewide model associate degree curriculum for a Paraprofessional Educator Associate in Applied Science Degree and Certificate.
  • PAS: Program Administration Scale for center administrators
  • Peer-to-peer technical assistance (TA): TA that fosters the development of relationship-based learning and support communities among colleagues, often in like roles. Peer-to-peer TA is based on the premise that a significant expert knowledge base exists in the field and that peers who have solved challenges on the ground have developed tools and strategies that can be shared with their colleagues. See also Early Childhood Education Professional Development: Training and Technical Assistance Glossary.
  • Portfolio: A collection of a student’s work demonstrating specified competencies typically used as an alternate assessment.
  • Practitioner: Assistant teacher, teacher, administrator, or professional support staff (e.g., curriculum coordinator) in a center- or school-based early childhood program. The caregiver in a family or group child care home.
  • Practitioner Registry: A recognition system established to document and verify professional achievements of early childhood practitioners. A registry provides a way to track and document an individual practitioner’s attainment of training and accumulation of work experience in the field, documentation of attainment of credentials and degrees and a tool for practitioner’s career planning.
  • Preschool: Any early childhood program offered to children younger than kindergarten age. Typically part-day, but full-day programs are also referred to as preschool.
  • Preservice or initial training: Professional development in which an individual engages prior to beginning a position. See also Early Childhood Education Professional Development: Training and Technical Assistance Glossary.
  • Preservice requirements: Minimum qualifications that individuals are required to have prior to assuming specific positions.
  • Professional development (PD) advising: A one-on-one process—sometimes referred to as career or PD counseling—through which an advisor offers information, guidance, and advice to an individual about professional growth, career options, and pathways to obtain or meet required qualifications. See also Early Childhood Education Professional Development: Training and Technical Assistance Glossary.
  • Professional Development Advisors: Professionally trained group of individuals who support and mentor administrators seeking the Illinois Director Credential.
  • Program Administrator: The program administrator is the individual responsible for planning, implementing, and evaluating an early care and education program. The role of the administrator covers both leadership and management functions. Leadership functions relate to the broad view of helping an organization clarify and affirm values, set goals, articulate a vision, and chart a course of action to achieve that vision. Managerial functions relate to the actual orchestration of tasks and setting up systems to carry out the organization’s mission.
Excelerate Program

ExceleRate Illinois helps you prepare children for success in school and in life.

It also provides standards, guidelines, resources and supports to help you make sensible changes that lead to better quality outcomes for children.