Glossary of Terms
Academic Year A time period of at least 30 instructional weeks during which a full-time undergraduate student is expected to complete: ? At least 24 semester or trimester credit hours or 36 quarter credit hours at an institution using those credit hours; or ? At least 900 clock hours of instruction at an institution using clock hours.
Accreditation The status of public recognition that an accrediting agency grants to an educational institution or program that meets the agency's established standards and requirements.
ACNM American College of Nurse Midwives. The national professional organization for Certified Nurse Midwives.
Advanced placement A status granted to students who come into the program with relevant experience that has been verified, evaluated and found to be equivalent to coursework in the program. Also, the practice of placing a student in a course based on previous achievement levels, e.g., study at another institution, by challenge examination, AP or CLEP examination results. Amount or type of credit given is determined by the institution or program within the institution. Specific documentation of credit given and basis for same must be kept in student's file.
Advising Providing guidance to students about their progress in the program and their future plans as midwives.
Americans with Disabilities Act A federal law that requires employers and others to make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities.
Apprenticeship A form of training that requires working with a midwife in her practice for a period of time and supplemented with self-study.
Audit A report issued by an independent CPA that expresses an opinion about whether the financial statements present fairly or correctly delineate a company's financial position, operating results, and cash flows in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.
Auxiliary Classroom Additional location. A teaching facility that is geographically apart from the main campus of the institution, which does not include all four elements of the definition of a branch campus. The auxiliary classroom meets the following criteria: ▀ Income and expenses for the midwifery educational activities occurring in this classroom are managed by personnel at the main campus. ▀ The curriculum and instructional methods used at the auxiliary classroom are defined by and guided by a group process that includes personnel at the main campus, as well as those at the auxiliary classroom. ▀ Records of student performance in the auxiliary classroom are submitted to the main campus where they are permanently stored. ▀ Personnel at the auxiliary classroom have clear written agreements/job descriptions established by the administration of the main campus. Personnel policies guiding these relationships are consistent throughout the institution. ▀ Instructional personnel at the auxiliary classroom are viewed as 'faculty' and are included as such in all accountability mechanisms described in Standard 3. ▀ Students at the auxiliary classroom have access to the necessary learning resources to meet the learning objectives of the institution/program's courses. For more information, see Policies and Procedures, Section III. L. 2, 4, and 11.
Branch Campus See MEAC Policies and Procedures Section III. L. 2, 4, and 6.
Business Plan A detailed plan that helps you and others to understand what is special about the services and products you offer and what you will do to ensure success. Templates and information available:
Certificate Level Program An educational program that is focused on preparing students as entry level midwives, providing the education and training of the skills necessary to meet NARM certification requirements, preparing graduates for immediate employment in the field. It is a not a degree granting program because it has not met state standards for degree granting programs, and/or does not include general education or other courses not related to midwifery.
CFM Citizens for Midwifery. A national organization of midwifery supporters
Classroom facility An area in which students regularly gather for instruction from faculty or for other learning engagements.
Clinical placement support The school provides assistance to students related to finding a location and preceptor to fulfill the clinical requirement of the midwifery program.
Clinical preceptors Licensed or certified professionals admitted as faculty who provide clinical preceptorships to students.
Clinical preceptorships Supervised professional training designed to allow students to apply previously acquired skills and knowledge to practical situations, such as client care. Clinical experiences are school- or work-based placements in which students are taught academic and occupational skills from school or employee instructors who supervise and evaluate their work. School-based clinical experiences typically expose students to situations and settings they might encounter once they enter their profession. Simulations and role-playing allow students to hone their professional skills in school under the direction of a classroom teacher. Work-based clinical experiences offer students real-life activities in a professional setting. These experiences, offered under the direction of a practicing employee, are designed to help students learn the skills and attitudes necessary to become a competent practitioner. Both students and clinical instructors are typically supervised by school-based coordinators or intermediary organizations who monitor placements to ensure that appropriate instruction occurs. Students successfully completing a clinic experience program may qualify for industry certification or may receive credits that they may apply toward a professional degree.
Clinical site facility Any facility in which a student observes or participates in client care.
CNM Certified Nurse Midwife
Cohort default rate Failure to meet a financial obligation, especially a failure to make a payment on a loan. Defaults are recorded on permanent credit records and may result in prosecution and/or loss of future extension of credit. Cohort rate is the rate of default on students' loans per cohort of federal aid recipients.
Commercial facility A building or area zoned as a business property
Core competencies Specific knowledge and skills that the candidate must be able to apply to meet standards of performance required in the workplace. The competencies have been pre-defined, are nationally recognized, and form the basis of training. See MANA Core Competencies at:
Core curriculum Education requirements set as a defined series of courses that must be taken by all undergraduates enrolled in a midwifery certificate or degree program at an institution.
Counseling Providing support to students in times of extreme stress as a result of personal or school-related crises. 'Counseling' may include referring students to professional counselors when indicated.
Course instructors Persons who instruct or guide students in developing their theoretical knowledge and applicable skills within a school or program.
Credit(s) A unit of academic progress, also known as 'credit hours', generally indicated as quarter, trimester, or semester credit hours. The number of credits assigned to a course corresponds to approximately one hour of classroom instruction and two hours of outside preparation per week during the course of the academic term.
Curriculum A detailed outline of the classes, intended learning outcomes, and clinical training, in a timeline format that indicates how the students will proceed through the program to completion. Credit value and/or classroom hours should be included. The curriculum includes the syllabus, teaching guides, how the student will be assessed, and required learning resources.
Degree granting institution A school recognized by a state authority and accrediting agency that grants AS, AA, BA, BS, MA or PhD degrees to students according to generally accepted standards in higher education. A degree granting institution may offer degrees in addition to a basic curriculum in midwifery.
Degree-level program An institution that intends to grant degrees must meet additional criteria established by MEAC, besides demonstrating compliance with all of MEAC standards. If an institution or program wishes to add a degree level program, it must apply to MEAC prior to instituting that degree program as a substantive change. See MEAC Policies and Procedures Section III. L. 7. and 10.
Direct-entry midwife A midwife who trained by entering directly into midwifery education, not through a nursing program.
Distance learning program An educational process that is characterized by the separation, in time and/or place, between instructor and student. Modalities may include television, audio, or computer transmission, such as open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, or satellite transmission; audio or computer conferencing; video cassette or disks; or correspondence. If an institution or program contemplates adding distance learning course, it must apply to MEAC for a substantive change. See MEAC Policies and Procedures Section III. L. 10.
Educational Program A postsecondary course of study that generally leads to an academic or professional degree, vocational certificate, or other recognized credential. The U.S. Secretary of Education considers that a postsecondary institution is not providing an 'educational program' if the institution itself does not provide the program's instruction (including a course of independent study) but merely gives credit for one or more of the following: instruction provided by other institutions or organizations, or other accomplishments (such as 'life experience').
Enrolled Students Student enrolled at any time during an academic year, as well as continuing students, even those who are taking a temporary leave of absence.
Enrollment (1) The process of registering for classes. (2) the total number of students at an institution.
Enrollment agreement A contract between a student and an institution that provides certain terms and conditions. It should include tuition or course fees for the specified period of enrollment, start and ends dates or length of course, nature of the course, drop dates and refunds, extra costs for books and supplies, grading procedures, contingency plans in case the school should close, and limitations of liability.
External audit See Glossary Term "Audit." An audit conducted by an independent certified professional accountant (CPA) who has no financial relationship with the business being audited.
External financial review The un-audited review of financial statements of a business or organization by an independent accountant for the purpose of determining the accuracy and plausibility of the information being reviewed. Such a review includes inquiries concerning financial, operating and contractual information, the application of analytical procedures and discussions with officials of the enterprise.
External Preceptorship Site A healthcare provider who has agreed to provide clinical training to midwifery students within the context of his/her active clinical practice. The 'site' is the location where this training occurs, including offices/clinics, birth centers, hospitals and home-birth settings.
Faculty Persons who instruct or guide students in developing their theoretical knowledge base and/or clinical skills within a school or program.
Financial aid advisement Guidance and support for students looking for financial aid to assist in paying the expenses of attending school.
Financial statements Reports such as the balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows, which summarize the financial status and operations of a business entity.
GAGAS audit Audits performed under Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States, which are applicable to financial audits. These GAGAS standards have been adopted by the American Institute of Certified Professional Accountants. This organization has documents and standards for auditors when performing an audit for government purposes. See
General education courses These are courses that are designed to provide students in degree-programs with a broad academic foundation and include an appropriate distribution of coursework from the humanities, applied sciences and social sciences. State postsecondary education rules typically establish minimum requirements.
Institution (1) A freestanding educational organization that provides one or more educational programs leading to a certificate or degree. (2) A clearly defined, appropriately authorized entity which has or seeks accreditation, and conducts activities within the scope of the accrediting authority of MEAC.
Institutional Accreditation This type of accreditation refers to the review and approval of an entire institution, including all of its financial and management aspects. MEAC provides institutional accreditation for independent educational entities primarily providing midwifery training within the context of a proprietary or non-profit organization. Small, independent schools seeking MEAC accreditation must apply for institutional accreditation.
Job description Action-oriented, clear and concise statement that identifies the primary duties performed and responsibilities carried out in a particular job. It is not meant to be an encyclopedia of every task performed. Job descriptions should be used for hiring, job evaluation and classification, job pricing, performance appraisal, career pathing, and legal defensibility.
Lay Midwife A term that was used to describe midwives who were not trained within a formal educational program.
Learning activities Activities that enable the student(s), through observation or participation, to achieve the learning objectives. Examples include lecture, discussion, films, skills demonstrations and practices, role-plays, small group activities, reading and writing assignments.
Learning objectives Specific measurable goals that state what the students are expected to know upon completion of a module, course, or other discrete unit of instruction. 'Measurable' means that the student should be able to demonstrate that the objective has been met, so specific language such as ýLists the bones of the pelvisţ or ýdemonstrates giving an injectionţ should be used rather than vague terms like 'understands'. Learning objectives are linked to mission and program objectives (see below). An example would be "describes three emergency measures for managing postpartum hemorrhage in a home setting." Another example would be "demonstrates the ability to communicate effectively regarding nutritional needs with prenatal clients in both English and Spanish."
Learning resources Materials available to students to assist them in achieving learning objectives. Examples include books, journals, videos, computers, clinical supplies, teaching aids.
Library Texts and other learning resources that are readily available to students. MEAC standards require that libraries have, at a minimum, the texts that are on the NARM Written Examination Primary and Secondary Reference List (see the NARM Candidate Information Bulletin.)
Licensed Midwife A midwife who is legally recognized and regulated by her state.
Main Campus The location of the operational facility designated by the institution and recognized by MEAC as the controlling entity responsible for meeting and maintaining MEAC's standards for accreditation for the entire institution, including branches, auxiliary classrooms, and classroom extensions. The main campus provides comprehensive administrative and support services for the midwifery education program that is recognized by MEAC.
MANA Core Competencies Specific knowledge and skills that the candidate must be able to apply to meet standards of performance required in the workplace. The competencies have been pre-defined, are nationally recognized, and form the basis of training. See MANA Core Competencies at:
Management letter Comments and/or recommendations from a certified public accountant which accompany his/her audit, in order to improve the internal control structure or achieve other operational efficiencies in the organization.
Matriculating student A person enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a program or institution for the purpose of obtaining a degree or certificate offered by that institution.
Midwifery model of care This refers to the model of care provided by midwives. There are numerous resources on this subject, but MEAC suggests that, as a minimum, schools address all elements of the Midwives Model of Care-, which can be found at
Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) Organization of midwives that has adopted standards of practice, values and ethics statement, and core competency documents. They publish a newsletter, host annual conferences, and liaison with other professional groups and promote midwifery.
Mission statement A broad statement of the purpose of your institution or program. It is also an opportunity to articulate what is unique or special about your institution or program. An example would be "to prepare professional midwives to be competent to practice in out-of-hospital settings." Another might be "to prepare midwives to serve Spanish-speaking families in the U.S. and Central America."
Monthly cash flow A plan that shows the expected cash influx and outflux during the budget period, including receipts from loans needed to maintain a minimum cash balance and repayments of such loans.
National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM) A professional association whose members are CPM's that has adopted Philosophy and Principles of Practice and Standards of Practice. See http://nacpm.org/ for more information.
Nonmatriculating student A student enrolled in courses but not in a program leading to a degree or certificate.
North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) Organization that has set standards for and provides a mechanism for the certification of midwives, including graduates of MEAC accredited institutions/programs. Information can be found at
Operations budget A formal statement of future plans, expected income by source and expected expenses by category for a discrete period of time, usually expressed in monetary terms. Budgeting: the process of developing formal plans for future activities, often serving as a basis for evaluating actual performance.
Organizational chart A diagram that clearly illustrates the supervisory relationships among the school's owners, management and all other employees, including faculty and preceptors. The diagram should specify positions by job title rather than by the names of individuals.
Out of hospital birth See NARM for definition at www.narm.org
Preceptor Clinical instructor within a midwifery program.
Proctor A person, authorized by the school or program to oversee or administer a course that a student completes independently using a prepared curriculum and examinations. 'Proctors' are different than faculty and do not necessarily meet the same qualifications as a faculty member.
Program A series of courses, which have been sequentially combined, that has a terminal objective and leads to a certificate of completion, diploma, or degree.
Program Objectives General goals that a midwifery program has for its students upon completion of their midwifery education. Program objectives are the intermediary between mission statements and learning objectives. A program objective could be that "80% of your graduates would successfully pass NARM certification requirements which focus on competency in out-of-hospital settings." Another example would be that "all of your graduates will be fluent in Spanish and English."
Programmatic accreditation This type of accreditation refers to the review and approval of a midwifery program that legally functions as part of an institution with a scope larger than midwifery. In order for an entity to apply for program accreditation, it must be housed within an institution already accredited by a U.S. DOE recognized accrediting agency.
Qualitative measures Assessments or analyses that are not numerical in nature. Examples are in-depth interviews, personal references, or written essays.
Quantitative measures Assessments that can be reported numerically. Examples include a person's age, test scores, or GPA.
Quarter system Academic term in which the year is divided into four quarters, each approximately ten to thirteen weeks long.
Reasonable accommodation Changes made in physical facilities, learning activities, assessment methods, and other aspects of the school's services that support the success of students, faculty and staff with disabilities. See Americans with Disabilities Act link above.
Remediation The act or process of correcting a fault or deficiency; a means of removing or counteracting or relieving anything undesirable, or other reparation.
Roles/responsibilities Used in the context of a job description, these describe the specific tasks and jobs that an individual must perform and/or participate in as part of their obligation to the institution/program.
Semester System Academic term in which the year is divided into two semesters, generally about thirteen to fifteen weeks long.
Separation of duties Regarding financial practices, the division of tasks between at least two people in the collection of and banking of monies received to ensure ethical financial practices.
Show cause A non-adverse action issued under the authority of policies established by MEAC in circumstances when substantive questions and concerns are raised regarding compliance with MEAC standards, policies and procedures. In such cases, and institution is required to present sufficient evidence to demonstrate why the institution/programÝs accreditation should not be withdrawn. See MEAC Policies and Procedures Section III. I. 2.
Student ledgers A current and accurate record of student payments, credits and debits. Title IV institutions must meet specific requirements for these ledgers.
Substantive Change Any significant change to the educational mission or programs of an institution that might adversely affect the capacity of the institution or program to meet MEAC's standards, including changes in curriculum, mission/objectives, ownership, legal status, location, additional locations, additions of branch campus. See MEAC Policies and Procedures Section III. L.
Supervisory relationship A relationship in which one party oversees the work of another, evaluates the quality of the work and provides guidance and direction. For clinical supervision, see definition at www.narm.org
Syllabus A detailed outline of the course prepared by the instructor. A syllabus will generally include: a description or statement of purpose for the course; learning objectives, learning activities, learning resources, a list of the course requirements and assessments (midterms, final exam, papers, other projects with due dates); a week-by-week schedule of classes, topics, readings, and assignments.
Teach-out agreement A written agreement between accredited institutions that provides for the equitable treatment of students if one of those institutions stops offering an educational program before all students enrolled in that program complete the program. See MEAC Policies and Procedures Section III. M.
Terms of employment A contract signed by employees to acknowledge that they understand and agree with the basic terms of their employment and scope of duties. It provides basic employment conditions that protect the company, and helps ensure that the employee cannot later deny awareness, responsibility, or accountability. The document should to clarify the intentions of the employer and employee. To ensure that the terms can be enforced, the Terms of Employment (and other related documents) should be signed before employment begins. Although many employee rights and employer obligations are established by federal law, state law still controls a great deal of the employment relationship. Employers are urged to have the Terms of Employment and other related employment forms reviewed by the company's local attorneys, and to use those forms in a manner prescribed by local law.
Timely fashion Within the timeframes established by the agency or program
Title IV Federal student financial aid programs.
Transcript The official record of a student's academic performance at an institution, indicating all courses undertaken.
Transfer of credit The institutionsÝs mechanism for granting credit when a student comes into a program with coursework from another educational institution.
Trimester system Academic term in which the year is divided into three terms, usually thirteen to seventeen weeks in duration.
Tutoring Special mentoring by faculty or other qualified individuals for classroom and clinical work.
U.S. Department of Education (USED) U.S. Department of Education
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