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California Postsecondary Education Data Home Page

Glossary of Terms

This glossary contains terms found in Commission publications, on this website, and in the education community. Several subsets of this glossary are available; click on the description in the menu to view them.

Higher Education Systems or Segments

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Achievement Gap

The U.S. Department of Education describes the achievement gap as the difference in academic performance between different ethnic groups.

In California, the gap is defined as the disparity between white students and other ethnic groups and between English learners and native English speakers, socioeconomically disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged, and students with disabilities as compared to students without disabilities.

Admissions Office

The office responsible for admitting students to the institution.

AICCU

Acronym for the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities. The AICCU represents a group of 76 California independent colleges and universities. These seventy-six institutions work together to maintain the high standards of a private college education in the association and report information about member schools to State, federal, and private agencies. AICCU members account for an estimated 98 percent of the independent sectorís total enrollment in California postsecondary education. Studentís attending AICCU institutions also receive 93 percent of the State financial assistance received by students attending an independent college or university in the state. The AICCU nonprofit independent colleges and universities should not be confused with "proprietary" schools or "for-profit" and degree-granting institutions that are not regionally accredited. Examples include Stanford University, Santa Clara University, Pepperdine University, National University, the University of Pacific, and University of Southern California.

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Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU)

The Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities. The AICCU represents a group of 76 California independent colleges and universities. These seventy-six institutions work together to maintain the high standards of a private college education in the association and report information about member schools to State, federal, and private agencies.

AICCU members account for an estimated 98 percent of the independent sectorís total enrollment in California postsecondary education. Studentís attending AICCU institutions also receive 93 percent of the State financial assistance received by students attending an independent college or university in the state. The AICCU nonprofit independent colleges and universities should not be confused with "proprietary" schools or "for-profit" and degree-granting institutions that are not regionally accredited.

Examples include Stanford University, Santa Clara University, Pepperdine University, National University, the University of Pacific, and University of Southern California.

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BPPE

Acronym for the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education. The BPPE is a branch of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. The BPPE serves as the state's oversight and regulatory agency for private proprietary institutions.

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Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE)

The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) is a unit in the California Department of Consumer Affairs. The BPPE serves as the state's oversight and regulatory agency for private proprietary postsecondary institutions.

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California Community Colleges

One of the three public segments of higher education in California, the community colleges is the State's system of two-year public institutions. It is composed of 109 colleges statewide organized into 71 districts, serves about 2 million students and represents the largest system of higher education in the world. Primary missions of the community colleges are to offer academic and vocational education at the lower division level for both recent high school graduates and those returning to school. Another primary mission is to advance California's economic growth and global competitiveness through education, training, and services that contribute to continuous workforce improvement. Essential and important functions of the colleges include: basic skills instruction, providing English as a second language, adult noncredit instruction, and providing support services that help students to succeed. Fee-based Community Service education is designated as an authorized function. To the extent funding is provided the Colleges may conduct institutional research concerning student learning and retention as is needed to facilitate their educational missions.

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California State University

One of the three public segments of higher education. The California State University (CSU)system includes 23 campuses across the state and serves more than 368,000 students annually. The CSU is the largest, the most diverse, and one of the most affordable university systems in the country. It is the gateway institution for the great majority of students seeking a baccalaureate education in California, and for those who seek professional training as teachers, nurses, social workers, and engineers. The individual California State Colleges were brought together as a system by the Donahoe Higher Education Act of 1960. In 1972 the system became The California State University and Colleges and in 1982 the system became The California State University. The oldest campus--San Jose State University--was founded in 1857 and became the first institution of public higher education in California. The newest campus-- California State University, Channel Islands accepted its first freshmen class in 2003. Today the campuses of the CSU include comprehensive and polytechnic universities and, since July 1995, the California Maritime Academy, a specialized campus.

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CCC

Acronym for the California Community Colleges. The CCC system of two-year public institutions is composed of 109 colleges statewide organized into 71 districts. The community colleges serve about 2 million students and represents the largest system of higher education in the world.

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CSU

Acronym for the California State University, which is administered by the Office of the Chancellor of the California State University. The California State University is the largest, the most diverse, and one of the most affordable university systems in the country. It is the gateway institution for the great majority of students seeking a baccalaureate education in California, and for those who seek professional training as teachers, nurses, social workers, and engineers. The CSU offers more than 1,800 bachelor's and master's degree programs in some 240 subject areas. Many of these programs are offered so that students can complete all upper-division and graduate requirements by part-time late afternoon and evening study. In addition, a variety of teaching and school service credential programs are available. A limited number of doctoral degrees are offered jointly with the University of California and with private institutions in California.

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Institutions Exempt from State Approval

Institutions that are exempt from the regular state approval process and are also listed in this section. To qualify for an exemption there are requirements that must be met as listed in the California Education Code, Title 3, Division 10, Part 59, Chapter 7, Private Postsecondary and Vocational Institutions. Generally, institutions that are exempt from state approval are exempt for the following reasons:
  • The institution is accredited by a national accrediting agency such as the American Bar Association (ABA).
  • The institution is accredited by a regional accrediting agency such as the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • The institution teaches religion and meets all the requirements for a religious exemption.

Other Public Colleges and Universities

Two additional public institutions operate in California, Hastings College of the Law and Naval Postgraduate School. Both are supported with monies appropriated by either the State or Federal governments and each has its own governing body.

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Segment

One of the systems of higher education in California. (Data Element Dictionary)

State-Approved Institutions

A college or university approved to operate in the State of California by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE).

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UC

Acronym for the University of California, which is administered by the University of California Office of the President (UCOP).

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UC Public Service Programs

For the University of California, public service activities include campus public service, cooperative extension, and the contract with the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. A major component of public service is the Universityís intersegmental outreach and K-14 improvement programs designed to provide assistance to K-14 students and schools to encourage more students to become qualified for higher education. Outreach includes such programs as MESA, Puente, Early Academic Outreach Programs, Community College Transfer Centers and the California Subject Matter Projects. Campus public service includes such programs as EQUALS, Lawrence Hall of Science, the California Articulation Number, Scripps Aquarium-Museum, the California State Summer School for Math and Science (a program for gifted K-12 students), and the Teratogen Registry.

University of California

One of the three public segments of higher education. The University of California (UC) serves about 189,000 students annually.

WASC-Accredited Non-public 2-Year Institutions

Private postsecondary institutions that offer two-year education programs accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). In California, non-public WASC-accredited institutions generally belong to the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities -- the AICCU. WASC accredits private (independent) schools throughout the region. WASC also works collaboratively with a variety of private school associations. Separate agreements exist with respect to the use of protocols and the procedures. The schools utilize the WASC Focus on Learning protocol a jointly developed modification of the WASC Focus on Learning document or a nationally or locally developed protocol that has been approved by the WASC Commission. However, all jointly accredited schools follow the same overall processes with respect to the following: initial visits, full action-up and action plan, reviews, mid-term reviews, written progress reports, special visits, and substantive change visits.

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