Terms and Definitions

Term

Definition

Adult Learner

A diverse group – typically age 25 and older – with a wide range of educational and cultural backgrounds, adult responsibilities, and job experiences. They usually study on a part-time basis, taking one or two courses a term while maintaining work and family responsibilities (Southern Regional Education Board, 2021).

Civic Engagement

Working to make a positive difference in the life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make that difference. Additionally, civic engagement encompasses actions where individuals participate in activities of personal and public concern that are both individually life-enriching and socially beneficial to the community.

Co-curricular

Learning activities, programs, and experiences that reinforce the institution’s mission and values and complement the formal curriculum. Examples: study abroad, student-faculty research experiences, service learning, professional clubs or organizations, athletics, honor societies, career services, etc. (Higher Learning Commission, 2021).

Community-Based Learning

Students engage in a community experience. A core assumption of community-based learning is that all partners bring rich knowledge, skills, and other expertise to a problem, research question, or learning goal. Community-based learning extends beyond academic coursework and may include a field experience, practicum, internship, Capstone, research project, clinical, co-op, or co-curricular activity. The experience may be a direct service/activity that takes place on site or research or other off-site work that benefits the community partner. A community partner may include a for-profit business or industry, educational institution, health organization, nonprofit organization, government agency, professional association, and/or community group. Communities may be local, regional, state, national, or global.

Continuing Education

Any postsecondary learning or programs that adults pursue after formal education. This can vary from seminars or one-time classes to online courses and entire degree programs (Western Governors University, 2021).

First-Time in Any College (FTIAC)

Student has no previous higher education experience.

Global Learning

The critical analysis of and engagement with complex, interdependent global systems and their implications for people's lives and the earth's sustainability. (AAC&U, Global Learning VALUES Rubric, 2014)

High-Impact Learning

Helps educators develop high-quality learning experiences for all students. It addresses theories of learning and illustrates how to translate theory into practice. The experience is designed to help participants use effective strategies and pedagogies as the means to advance equity and make excellence inclusive. High-impact experiences include first-year experiences, common intellectual experiences, learning communities, writing-intensive courses, collaborative assignments, and projects, undergraduate research, diversity/global learning, service learning, community-based learning, internships, Capstone courses, and projects or similar activities. (ACC&U, Curricular Framework: 2015 Institute on High Impact Practices and Student Success)

Integrative Learning

Represents many different behaviors that can range from the simple and commonplace to the complex and original. During college-level study, integrative learning can involve the following:

  • Usefully blending knowledge and skills from different disciplinary areas, as in a learning community.
  • Putting theory into practice, as in a student-teaching semester or nursing clinical practice.
  • Considering multiple perspectives to advance collaborative problem solving, as in a senior Capstone project completed by a team of students from different majors.
  • Adapting the skills learned in one situation to problems encountered in another, as when a business student conducts market research to help a community agency estimate the potential client load for a new branch office.
  • Reflecting upon connections made over time among academic, cocurricular, and preprofessional experiences, as when a student writes reflective essays in a multiyear portfolio.
  • Integrating skills "across-the-curriculum" with learning in disciplinary or interdisciplinary settings, as when writing and quantitative skills are used in history or women's studies.

Key Performance Indicators

The critical (key) indicators of progress toward an intended result. Key performance indicators provide a focus for strategic and operational improvement, create an analytical basis for decision making and help focus attention on what matters most (kpi.org, 2021). Additionally they are

  • tools used to understand and measure success toward achieving goals; they are not goals unto themselves;
  • intended to be easily understood and directly connected to strategic goals; and are
  • meant to measure both efficiency and effectiveness.

Liberal Education

An approach to undergraduate education that promotes integration of learning across the curriculum and co-curriculum and between academic and experiential learning to develop specific learning outcomes that are essential for work, citizenship, and life. (AAC&U, 2020)

Metric

The measure detailing the criteria by which a division or college will determine the extent to which it has achieved each objective. Each objective requires at least one metric.

Mission

A concise explanation of the organization's reason for existence. It describes the organization's purpose and its overall intention. The mission statement supports the vision and serves to communicate purpose and direction to employees, customers, vendors, and other stakeholders. (shrm.org, n.d., para 2)

Objective

A statement of specific results to be achieved en route to the accomplishment of an outcome. Objectives generally include a time frame, a target of change, specific results to be achieved, and criteria for successful achievement. Objectives state results, not activities.

Professional Education

An educational process or program that develops individuals to acquire special competencies for professional practice (IGI Global, 2021). Professional education is a formal specialized training about a particular profession in which learners are taught the central concepts, principles, and techniques, and how these are applied in real practice. (IGI Global, 2021)

Retention Rate

The percentage of a school’s first-time, first-year undergraduate students who continue at that school the next year. For example, a student who studies full-time in the fall semester and keeps on studying in the program in the next fall semester is counted in this rate. (U.S. Department of Education, 2021)

Strategy or Action

Specific activities a college or division intends to engage in or perform to achieve each objective. Several strategies may be described for each objective or a single strategy or action is all that is required.

Values

The core principles that guide and direct the organization and its culture. The values create a moral compass for the organization and its employees. It guides decision-making and establishes a standard against which actions can be assessed. These core values are an internalized framework that is shared and acted on by university leaders. (shrm.org, n.d., para 3)

Vision

Looks forward and creates a mental image of the ideal state that the organization wishes to achieve. A vision statement is inspirational and aspirational and should challenge employees. (shrm.org, n.d., para 2)



Page last modified October 26, 2022