Standards of Good Practice for Education Abroad, 6th Edition

3. Terms and Definitions

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3.1. assess
measure effectiveness through the articulation of goals (3.17), development of associated measures, and identification of observable outputs and outcomes (3.29, 3.30)

3.2. assessment
process of measuring effectiveness, usually through the articulation of goals (3.17) and performance measures, the development of associated measures, and the identification of observable outcomes (3.29, 3.30)

Note 1 to entry: Assessment is usually used to inform whether the initial goals were achieved.

3.3. co-curricular
relating to activities or events that complement or enhance curricular (3.9) goals (3.17)

Note 1 to entry: Co-curricular activities are typically non-academic in nature but relate other activities and experiences to the established curriculum or pedagogy.

3.4. continuing education
education available to adult, part-time students (3.45)

3.5. course
unit of instruction

Note 1 to entry: In this document, course does not refer to a full degree program.

3.6. credit
unit that colleges and universities use to record the successful completion of courses (3.5)

3.7. credit transfer
process by which credit (3.6) earned during education abroad (3.11) is transferred, approved, accepted, or otherwise validated by the institution (3.24) from which a student is seeking a degree

3.8. critical incident
any actual or alleged event or situation that creates a significant risk of substantial or serious harm to the physical or mental health, safety, or well-being of a participant (3.31) that requires a response by program personnel (3.34) or first responders, or an event that prevents a participant (3.31) from successful participation in the program (3.40)

Note 1 to entry: This definition is adapted from the North Dakota Department of Human Services Medical Services Division. [2]

Note 2 to entry: Critical incidents under this definition should not be confused with critical incidents in education, which refer more generally to experiences which cause stress and can serve as “teaching moments.”

3.9. curricular
relating to expectations and requirements for a program of study

3.10. diversity
individual differences (e.g., personality, learning styles, and life experiences) and group/social differences (e.g., race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, country of origin, and ability, as well as cultural, political, religious, or other affiliations)

Note 1 to entry: This definition is by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). [3]

3.11. education abroad
education, including, but not limited to, enrollment in courses, experiential learning, internships, service learning, and other learning activities, which occurs outside the participant’s home country, the country in which they are enrolled as a student, or the country in which they are employed as personnel (3.34)

Note 1 to entry: Education abroad does not, in itself, result in a degree.

3.12. equitable
having or exhibiting equity (3.13); characterized by fairness; just and right; reasonable

3.13. equity
creation of opportunities for historically underrepresented populations to have equal access to and participate in educational programs that are capable of closing the achievement gaps

Note 1 to entry: Adapted from the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U). [3]

3.14. ethics
moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or how an activity is conducted

Note 1 to entry: As defined by the Oxford Dictionaries. [4]

3.15. evaluation
critical examination involving interpretation and judgment related to effectiveness and quality

3.16. faculty
person or people who teach postsecondary (3.37) courses (3.5)

Note 1 to entry: Faculty members may include all types of professors and instructors, regardless of tenure or type of contract.

3.17. goal
the final or ultimate aim towards which efforts are directed

Note 1 to entry: Achieving a goal will involve the development of a clear implementation plan of intermediary steps, each designed to build on elements of that goal.

3.18. guideline
general rule, principle, or piece of advice

Note 1 to entry: As defined by Oxford Dictionaries. [4]

3.19. historically underrepresented
African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Latino students who have historically comprised a minority of the US population

3.20. historically underserved
populations of students who have not been recruited to participate in study or education abroad, including, but not limited to, LGBTQ+ students, students of color, undocumented students, non-traditionally aged students, and first generation students

3.21. identity
who a person is, or the qualities of a person or group that make them different from others

Note 1 to entry: As defined by the Cambridge Dictionary. [5]

3.22. inclusion
active, intentional, and ongoing engagement with diversity (3.10) —in the curriculum, in the co-curriculum, and in communities (intellectual, social, cultural, geographical) with which individuals might connect—in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions

Note 1 to entry: As defined by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). [3]

3.23. inclusive
intentionally engaging with diversity (3.10)

Note 1 to entry: See also: inclusion (3.22).

3.24. institution
entity that provides education as its main purpose, including, but not limited to, a school, college, university, or training center

Note 1 to entry: Such institutions are often accredited or sanctioned by the relevant national, regional, or discipline-specific education authorities or equivalent authorities. Educational institutions may also be operated by private organizations, including, but not limited to, religious bodies, special interest groups, or private educational and training enterprises, both for-profit and non-profit.

Note 2 to entry: Adapted from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. [6]

Note 3 to entry: An institution may be referred to as an organization (3.28), but not all organizations are institutions.

3.25. local community
community in which an education abroad (3.11) participant (3.31) lives and/or studies

3.26. not for credit
coursework or co-curricular (3.3) activities for which students do not earn academic credit (3.6)

3.27. objective
specific, measurable result used to work towards goals (3.17) and achieve measurable outcomes (3.29, 3.30)

Note 1 to entry: Objectives can be thought of as steps that are taken to achieve a broader goal (3.17).

3.28. organization
entity involved in providing education abroad (3.11) programs (3.40)

Note 1 to entry: An institution may be referred to as an organization, but not all organizations are institutions.

Note 2 to entry: A smaller part of an institution or organization, including an education abroad office or a global programs division, may be referred to as an organization.

3.29. outcome, program/programmatic
a measure of the results of a program (3.40) or service-level goal (3.17), e.g., increased satisfaction, increased retention

Note 1 to entry: Program outcomes are often used to include operational outcomes, which represent elements of the program’s functioning (e.g., cost per student).

Note 2 to entry: Adapted from the Council for the Advancement of Standards, Glossary of Terms. [7]

3.30. outcome, student learning
statement which describes significant and measurable change occurring in students as a direct result of their interaction with an organization (3.28) and its programs (3.40) and services

3.31. participant
individual who attends, provides, or teaches an education abroad program (3.40), including, but not limited to:

  • program leader
  • on-site administrator
  • student

3.32. partner
party involved in the processes of sending students (3.45) abroad or receiving students abroad (when at least two parties are involved), including, but not limited to:

  • home institution
  • host institution
  • independent provider
  • consortium
  • travel or logistics provider
  • government agency
  • scholarship organization

Note 1 to entry: Education abroad is by its very nature collaborative. Partner relationships are not always formal partnerships but working relationships with entities that may include, but are not limited to, travel agents or local transportation providers.

3.33. partnership
a formal or informal agreement between two or more responsible organizations (3.42) to manage and operate education abroad (3.11) programs (3.40)

Note 1 to entry: Partnerships may also be formal or informal agreements with vendors for provision of goods or services involved in the management or logistics of education abroad (3.11) programs (3.40).

3.34. personnel
individual(s) with responsibility for any aspect of the portfolio (3.36) or program (3.40), including, but not limited to:

  • full-time and/or part-time faculty (3.16)
  • hourly employees
  • administrators
  • staff
  • paraprofessionals (e.g., student employees, interns, graduate assistants, and volunteers)

3.35. policy
plan to address anticipated conditions that guides and determines present and future decisions and acceptable procedures (3.38), including, but not limited to:

  • reimbursement for early withdrawal
  • student conduct
  • admissions

3.36. portfolio of programs
set of experiences that include all specific programs (3.40) offered or approved by a responsible organization (3.42)

3.37. postsecondary
educational level following the completion of a school providing a secondary education, including, but not limited to, a high school, secondary school, university-preparatory school, gymnasium, home schooling at the secondary level, or General Education Development (GED)

Note 1 to entry: Also known as higher or tertiary education, postsecondary education is in the US taken to include undergraduate and postgraduate education. Colleges, universities, institutes of technology, and polytechnics are the main institutions that provide postsecondary education.

Note 2 to entry: Adapted from USLegal. [8]

3.38. procedures
a set way of doing something driven by the completion of a task with a focus on satisfying the rules, for example, in the event of:

  • emergency evacuation
  • response to sexual misconduct

Note 1 to entry: Adapted from ISO Terms Definitions. [9]

3.39. process
a series of actions completed to achieve a desired outcome, including, but not limited to:

  • enrollment
  • withdrawal

Note 1 to entry: Adapted from ISO Terms Definitions. [9]

3.40. program
specific education abroad (3.11) experience, including, but not limited to:

  • regular offering of a faculty-led or instructor-led experience
  • ongoing direct exchange opportunity
  • regular offering of a host institution abroad
  • internship opportunity
  • service learning experience

3.41. reasonable accommodations
modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, job, activity, assessment, test, or facility that enables a qualified individual with a disability to have equal opportunity to attain the same level of performance or to enjoy the same benefits and privileges that are available to an individual without a disability

Note 1 to entry: As defined in Higher Education Law. [10]

3.42. responsible organization
entity responsible for the execution of a program (3.40) or portfolio of programs (3.36), including, but not limited to:

  • university
  • college
  • program provider organization
  • partner (3.32)
  • education abroad office
  • professional school

Note 1 to entry: The responsible organization may be different for each program or institution.

Note 2 to entry: See also organization (3.28) and institution (3.24).

3.43. responsible party
individual responsible for specific task or program (3.40), including, but not limited to:

  • advisor
  • program leader
  • education abroad director
  • risk manager

Note 1 to entry: The responsible party may be different for each task or program.

3.44. restorative justice
a philosophy that focuses on repairing the harm caused to people and relationships as a result of crime or other wrongdoing

Note 1 to entry: Restorative justice is “a victim-centered response to crime that provides opportunities for those most directly affected by the crime—the victim, the offender, their families, and members of the community—to be directly involved in addressing the harm caused by the crime. The restorative justice philosophy is based on (1) values that emphasize the support and involvement of victims and restoring emotional and material losses, (2) holding offenders accountable to the people and communities they violated, (3) providing opportunities for conflict resolution and problem-solving, and (4) strengthening public safety through community-building.”

Note 2 to entry: Definition and Note 1 adapted from [8]

3.45. student
individual learner in an education abroad program (3.40)

3.46. student affairs
administrative sector or category of student support services that focuses on supporting student growth and development outside of the classroom

3.47. student learning and development
growth that is an intended outcome

Note 1 to entry: Student learning and development refers to the changes that result when students are exposed to new experiences, concepts, information, and ideas. The knowledge, understanding, and personal growth are generated, in this context, from interactions with higher education learning environments.

Note 2 to entry: Adapted from the Council for the Advancement of Standards, Glossary of Terms. [7]

3.48. These and additional definitions related to the field of education abroad are available in the Glossary published by The Forum on Education Abroad. [11]