Glossary

An alphabetized, hyperlinked glossary of terms used on the Council web site and a continual "work in progress".

 

A  
Accreditation
  Accreditation is a process in which a programme of study or institution is assessed for its standard and given official recognition. At the programme level, accreditation is concerned with the quality of a specific course or programme of study, while institutional accreditation is concerned with the evaluation of an entire institution.
The accreditation process is intended to strengthen and sustain the quality and integrity of educational provisions, making it worthy of public confidence.
   
Articulation
  Articulation is essentially about horizontal and vertical linkages and can be narrowly defined in terms of linkages between programmes and institutions. It is, therefore, the means by which schools, colleges and universities coordinate their programmes and services to facilitate mobility and transfer without a break or loss of time. Articulation facilitates entry into another institution or transfer of credits towards a programme of study at a higher level. In this arrangement, transfer of credit is based on the understanding that while learning experiences may differ in context, it may result in similar outcomes in terms of knowledge and competencies. Articulation is therefore dependent on internal and external assessment at both the programme and institutional levels. Articulation is intended to facilitate access, progress and inter-institutional mobility through the evaluation and recognition of prior certified or experiential learning.
   
Approval
  Approval is the outcome of validation where a programme/course has been judged to meet the requirements of the accrediting/validating body.

   
Assessment
  Assessment is an integral part of the teaching/learning experience and provides insights into the extent to which programme objectives are achieved.
   
Associate Degree
  A post-secondary qualification awarded to students who successfully complete a specified number of courses in full-time or equivalent part-time programmes, The associate degree is generally equivalent to the first two years of a related four-year bachelor’s degree and comprises major, general education, core and elective courses. The associate degree normally requires a minimum of 60 credits.
   
Audit
  The process whereby the progress of an existing programme institution/provider is critically appraised at intervals of not more than five years by a team including external peers; any plans for change are considered, in order to confirm that the programmes/ courses remain academically valid and to ensure that appropriate and effective management mechanisms are in place and that
acceptable standards are maintained. An audit may be instituted at the request of interested parties in accordance with guidelines/ criteria as stated by the accrediting body.
 

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B  
Bachelor’s Degree
  A post-secondary qualification awarded to students who successfully complete a programme of study. It normally comprises a minimum of 120 credits, at least 60 of which must be above the level of the associate degree. The bachelor’s degree will also generally be made up of majors, general education, core and electives. It is usually a prerequisite for studies in a graduate programme.
 

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C  
Conferral of Title
  the act of bestowing a specific title on an institution, such as university, which meets the standards set or established by the national quality assurance/accrediting agency.
   
Core Course
  A compulsory general education course that reflects the institution’s philosophy or needs of the society.
   
Course
  A defined body of knowledge, skills and attitudes acquired over< a specified period of time. A course may be awarded one or more credits and can generally be completed in one term or one semester.
   
Course Syllabus
  A document that provides information on the course with respect to code, name, duration, credits, pre-requisites, method of instruction, method of evaluation, general objectives, behavioural objectives, content and required resources.
 
Credit
  A credit is a unit of academic measurement for a prescribed course or set of courses for which a particular qualification is awarded. It is expressed in terms of number of contact (teaching and or experience gathering) hours, for example, approximately 15 contact hours constitute one (1) credit.
 
Credit Transfer
  The acknowledgement that a person has satisfied the requirements of a module (subject), either through previous study (credit transfer), or through work or life experience (recognition of prior learning). The granting of credit exempts the student from that part of the course.
   
Criteria
  Generally speaking, criteria along with standards or requirements are statements reflecting an accrediting body’s expectations of a programme, an institution or a provider. The criteria also elaborate on the methods/procedures, the extent/degree required for compliance with the condition(s) of eligibility in order to be granted accreditation.
   
Certificate
  A post-secondary qualification awarded to students who successfully complete a programme of study comprising 11-29 credits.
   
College
  A post-secondary or tertiary institution that offers a range of programmes and grants qualifications, mainly at the sub-baccalaureate level. A college may also be a part of an organizational structure in a university.
   
Community College
  A post-secondary or tertiary institution that offers a variety of programmes geared to meet the needs of the community in which it exists and grants qualifications mainly at the subbaccalaureate level,
   
Contact Hour
  A unit of measure that represents an hour of scheduled instruction given to students.
 

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D  
Diploma
  A post-secondary qualification awarded to students who successfully complete a programme of study comprising 30-60 credits. Other practices exist.
   
E  
Elective
  Any course chosen by a student outside of the specific programme requirements.
   
Equivalence
  Equivalence means a determination by the competent authority that a particular programme or course has attained a comparable recognized standard. The purposes of determining equivalencies include on the one hand the facilitation of the establishment of articulation arrangements between institutions and other issues related to the transfer of students to other educational institutions and, on the other, facilitation of the entry of graduates of the programmes into the workplace. Possible elements for examination in an equivalency assessment exercise include the following:

(a) Aims and objectives of the programmes
(b) Structure of the programmes
(c) Duration of the programmes
(d) Admission requirements
(e) Breadth and depth of content in the courses in the
programmes
(f) Teaching and learning time allocations
(g) Assessment methods
(h) Exit level of the graduates of the programmes
(i) Resources to support course delivery
(j) Teaching staff qualifications and experience
(k) Quality assurance and enhancement procedures of the
institution

   
Evaluation
  The process of reviewing evidence presented by institutions in order to determine whether programmes or courses can be considered as being equivalent either to one another or to known benchmarks. To achieve legitimacy, benchmarks or standards should be established through common understandings of stakeholders. Evaluation procedures can focus on two (2) different levels: programmes or institutions.
   
F

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Franchise
  Agreement between a host institution and another institution/ provider which authorizes the institution/provider to offer course(s)/programme(s) developed at the host institution at its facilities under specified terms and conditions.
   
G  
   
   
H  
   
   
I  
   
   
J  
   
   
K  
   
 

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L  
   
   
M  
Module
  A module is a small stand alone component of a course that can be taught independently or with other such parts. It is usually constituted of two or more units.
   
Major
  An area of concentrated study within a particular field/discipline. A major will comprise a minimum of 20 credits per academic subject or 40 credits in a vocational area.
   
   
N  
   
   
O  
   
 

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P  
Peer Review
  External review and evaluation of the quality and effectiveness of an institution’s academic programmes, staffing and structure. It is usually carried out by a team of external evaluators who are specialists in the fields being reviewed, and knowledgeable about higher education in general. Reviews may be based on standards set by the accrediting organizations or on quality standards set more broadly.
   
Post Graduate Certificate
  A qualification awarded to students, who having acquired a bachelor’s degree, complete a programme of study in a specialised field. This programme of study will generally include a strong practical component.
   
Post-Graduate Diploma
  A qualification awarded to students, who, having acquired a bachelor’s degree, complete a programme of study in a specialised field. This programme of study will generally include a greater theoretical component than the postgraduate
certificate.
   
post-secondary/Tertiary Education
  Education that is provided for persons who are over the age of 16 years and who have completed secondary education.
   
Polytechnic/Technical College
  A post-secondary or tertiary institution that offers programmes that prepare graduates for technical occupations and grants sub-baccalaureate qualifications in applied disciplines.
   
Programme
  An approved curriculum composed of a series of courses, in an academic or vocational speciality, leading to a particular kind of certification (e.g. certificate, diploma, associate degree, bachelor’s degree).
Programme Delivery
  Teaching is purposeful and there is attention to the needs of individuals; the methods used are appropriate, and are varied.
   
Programme Design
  Arrangements to ensure that outcomes and content of
programmes are relevant, encourage access, responsive to
needs and learning and assessment methods are appropriate
to the aims and purposes of the programmes.
 

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Programme Equivalence
  The comparability of programmes based on the degree of overlap of aims of the programmes, content, number of credits and required resources (reference materials, quality of staff, facilities).
   
Q  
Quality
  Refers to “fitness for purpose” – meeting or conforming to generally accepted standards as defined by an accrediting or quality assurance body.
   
Quality Assurance
  is defined as “planned and systematic review process of an institution or program to determine that acceptable standards of education, scholarship, and infrastructure are being maintained and enhanced,  www.chea.org/international/inter_glossary01.html#qa Quality Assurance usually includes expectations that mechanisms of quality control are in place and effective
   
Quality Enhancement
  is s defined as the expectation that an institution/provider will have in place a plan for ongoing monitoring and improvement of the quality of its programme(s)/course(s).
   
 

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R  
Registration
  According to the Education Act, Cap. 41: 30A (1) No person may establish a private school or educational institution in Barbados after the 13th August, 1990 without the prior approval of the Minister (of Education). 
(2) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that subsection (1) does not apply to private schools and private educational institutions first registered before 13th August, 1990. 
31. Subject to the Act, no person may keep, in Barbados, a private school or educational institution unless the school is registered in accordance with Part III of the Act. As outlined in Part III, an application for registration of a private school or private educational institution:
 
(a) Must be made by or on behalf of the proprietor of the school or educational institution; 
(b) Must be made in the prescribed form; and 
(c) Must contain such particulars and be accompanied by such documents as the Minister prescribes. 

The Minister may, on receipt of an application under this section, request the applicant to furnish such additional information and particulars as the Minister considers relevant to the application, and the applicant must comply with the request.
   
Re-accreditation
  The process of evaluation to determine whether an institution and its programmes of study that have been accredited, continue to meet the recognised standards for accreditation.
   
Recognition
  A process of examining courses or programmes of study in order to identify essential elements that may be mutually agreed upon by institutions or organizations in a single country or across countries thus facilitating transfer of credit. Recognition includes aspects of accreditation, equivalency and articulation as used by many institutions and organizations.
   
S  
Self Study
  A formal process during which an educational institution critically examines its structure and substance, own academic programmes and their effectiveness relative to goals and learning domains, identifies specific strengths and weaknesses, and indicates a plan for necessary modifications and improvements. The process should include an assessment of the extent to which the programme is in compliance with established accreditation standards. Self-studies usually are undertaken in preparation for a quality assurance/accreditation site visit by an outside team of specialists. It usually results in a self-study report.
   
Site Visit
  Evaluation by a team of peer reviewers who examine the institution’s self-study; interview faculty, students, and staff; and examine the structure and effectiveness of the institution and its academic programmes. Usually results in an evaluation report. Normally, part of the accreditation process, but may be initiated by the institution itself.
 

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Standards
  Standards are useful tools not only for making judgments about the quality of an institution or a programme but also for organising the self-study process and providing an outline for the self-study report. In defining a set of standards, the following areas identified should be addressed:

(a) Organisational structure (governance, leadership,
planning and budgetary processes)
(b) Stated aims and objectives
(c) Achievement of aims and objectives
(d) Characteristics of programmes in relation to aims
and objectives
(e) Professional/academic staff
(f) Students
(g) Administrative, academic and student services
(h) Learning resources
(i) Financial resources
   
T  
Technical University
  A post-secondary or tertiary institution that offers programmes that prepare graduates for technological occupations and grants as its major qualifications, baccalaureate and post-graduate degrees and also conducts research with an emphasis on applied research.
   
U  
University
  A tertiary educational institution that grants, as its major qualifications, baccalaureate and post-graduate degrees and conducts pure and applied research.
   
   
   
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X  
   
   
Y  
   
   
Z