34 CFR § 686.2 - Definitions.

§ 686.2 Definitions.

(a) Definitions for the following terms used in this part are in the regulations for Institutional Eligibility under the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, (HEA) 34 CFR part 600:

Award year
Clock hour
Correspondence course
Credit hour
Eligible institution
Institution of higher education (institution)
Regular student
Secretary
State
Title IV, HEA program

(b) Definitions for the following terms used in this part are in subpart A of the Student Assistance General Provisions, 34 CFR part 668:

Academic year
Enrolled
Expected family contribution (EFC)
Free application for Federal student aid (FAFSA).
Full-time student
Graduate or professional student
Half-time student
HEA
Payment period
Three-quarter-time student
Undergraduate student
William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program

(c) Definitions for the following terms used in this part are in 34 CFR part 77:

Local educational agency (LEA)
State educational agency (SEA)

(d) Other terms used in this part are defined as follows:

Academic year or its equivalent for elementary and secondary schools (elementary or secondary academic year):

(1) One complete school year, or two complete and consecutive half-years from different school years, excluding summer sessions, that generally fall within a 12-month period.

(2) If a school has a year-round program of instruction, the Secretary considers a minimum of nine consecutive months to be the equivalent of an academic year.

Agreement to serve or repay: An agreement under which the individual receiving a TEACH Grant commits to meet the service obligation or repay the loan as described in § 686.12 and to comply with notification and other provisions of the agreement.

Annual award: The maximum TEACH Grant amount a student would receive for enrolling as a full-time, three-quarter-time, half-time, or less-than-half-time student and remaining in that enrollment status for a year.

Bilingual education: An educational program in which two languages are used to provide content matter instruction.

Educational service agency: A regional public multiservice agency authorized by State statute to develop, manage, and provide services or programs to local educational agencies (LEAs).

Elementary school: A nonprofit institutional day or residential school, including a public elementary charter school, that provides elementary education, as determined under State law.

English language acquisition: The process of acquiring English as a second language.

Full-time teacher: A teacher who meets the standard used by a State in defining full-time employment as a teacher. For an individual teaching in more than one school, the determination of full-time is based on the combination of all qualifying employment.

High-need field: Includes the following:

(1) Bilingual education and English language acquisition.

(2) Foreign language.

(3) Mathematics.

(4) Reading specialist.

(5) Science, including, but not limited to, computer science.

(6) Special education.

(7) Another field documented as high-need by the Federal Government, a State government or an LEA, and approved by the Secretary and listed in the Department's annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing (Nationwide List).

Highly qualified: Has the meaning set forth in paragraphs (i) through (iv) of this definition, or the meaning set forth in section 602(10) of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.

(i) When used with respect to any public elementary school or secondary school teacher in a State, means that -

(A) The teacher has obtained full State certification as a teacher (including certification obtained through alternative routes to certification) or passed the State teacher licensing examination, and holds a license to teach in such State, except that when used with respect to any teacher teaching in a public charter school, the term means that the teacher meets the requirements set forth in the State's public charter school law; and

(B) The teacher has not had certification or licensure requirements waived on an emergency, temporary, or provisional basis.

(ii) When used with respect to -

(A) An elementary school teacher who is new to the profession, means that the teacher -

(1) Holds at least a bachelor's degree; and

(2) Has demonstrated, by passing a rigorous State test, subject knowledge and teaching skills in reading, writing, mathematics, and other areas of the basic elementary school curriculum (which may consist of passing a State-required certification or licensing test or tests in reading, writing, mathematics, and other areas of the basic elementary school curriculum); or

(B) A middle or secondary school teacher who is new to the profession, means that the teacher holds at least a bachelor's degree and has demonstrated a high level of competency in each of the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches by -

(1) Passing a rigorous State academic subject test in each of the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches (which may consist of a passing level of performance on a State-required certification or licensing test or tests in each of the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches); or

(2) Successful completion, in each of the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches, of an academic major, a graduate degree, coursework equivalent to an undergraduate academic major, or advanced certification or credentialing.

(iii) When used with respect to an elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher who is not new to the profession, means that the teacher holds at least a bachelor's degree and -

(A) Has met the applicable standard in paragraph (ii) of this definition, which includes an option for a test; or

(B) Demonstrates competence in all the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches based on a highly objective uniform State standard of evaluation that -

(1) Is set by the State for both grade-appropriate academic subject matter knowledge and teaching skills;

(2) Is aligned with challenging State academic content and student academic achievement standards and developed in consultation with core content specialists, teachers, principals, and school administrators;

(3) Provides objective, coherent information about the teacher's attainment of core content knowledge in the academic subjects in which a teacher teaches;

(4) Is applied uniformly to all teachers in the same academic subject and the same grade level throughout the State;

(5) Takes into consideration, but is not based primarily on, the time the teacher has been teaching in the academic subject;

(6) Is made available to the public upon request; and

(7) May involve multiple, objective measures of teacher competency.

(iv)

(A) When used with respect to any public, or other non-profit private, elementary or secondary school teacher who is exempt from State certification requirements means that the teacher is permitted to and does satisfy rigorous subject knowledge and skills tests by taking competency tests in the applicable grade levels and subject areas.

(B) For purposes of paragraph (iv)(A) of this definition, the competency tests taken by a private school teacher must be recognized by five or more States for the purpose of fulfilling the highly qualified teacher requirements as described in paragraphs (i) through (iii) of this definition, and the score achieved by the teacher on each test must equal or exceed the average passing score of those five States.

Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR): An electronic record that the Secretary transmits to an institution that includes an applicant's -

(1) Personal identification information;

(2) Application data used to calculate the applicant's EFC; and

(3) EFC.

Numeric equivalent: (1) If an otherwise eligible program measures academic performance using an alternative to standard numeric grading procedures, the institution must develop and apply an equivalency policy with a numeric scale for purposes of establishing TEACH Grant eligibility. The institution's equivalency policy must be in writing and available to students upon request and must include clear differentiations of student performance to support a determination that a student has performed at a level commensurate with at least a 3.25 GPA on a 4.0 scale in that program.

(2) A grading policy that includes only “satisfactory/unsatisfactory”, “pass/fail”, or other similar nonnumeric assessments qualifies as a numeric equivalent only if -

(i) The institution demonstrates that the “pass” or “satisfactory” standard has the numeric equivalent of at least a 3.25 GPA on a 4.0 scale awarded in that program, or that a student's performance for tests and assignments yielded a numeric equivalent of a 3.25 GPA on a 4.0 scale; and

(ii) For an eligible institution, the institution's equivalency policy is consistent with any other standards the institution may have developed for academic and other title IV, HEA program purposes, such as graduate school applications, scholarship eligibility, and insurance certifications, to the extent such standards distinguish among various levels of a student's academic performance.

Payment Data: An electronic record that is provided to the Secretary by an institution showing student disbursement information.

Post-baccalaureate program: A program of instruction for individuals who have completed a baccalaureate degree, that -

(1) Does not lead to a graduate degree;

(2) Consists of courses required by a State in order for a student to receive a professional certification or licensing credential that is required for employment as a teacher in an elementary school or secondary school in that State, except that it does not include any program of instruction offered by a TEACH Grant-eligible institution that offers a baccalaureate degree in education; and

(3) Is treated as an undergraduate program of study for the purposes of title IV of the HEA.

Retiree: An individual who has decided to change his or her occupation for any reason and who has expertise, as determined by the institution, in a high-need field.

Scheduled Award: The maximum amount of a TEACH Grant that a full-time student could receive for a year.

School or educational service agency serving low-income students (low-income school): An elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency that is listed in the Department's Teacher Cancellation Low-Income (TCLI) Directory. The Secretary considers all elementary and secondary schools and educational service agencies operated by the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) in the Department of the Interior or operated on Indian reservations by Indian Tribal groups under contract or grant with the BIE to qualify as schools or educational service agencies serving low-income students.

Secondary school: A nonprofit institutional day or residential school, including a public secondary charter school, that provides secondary education, as determined under State law, except that the term does not include any education beyond grade 12.

Student Aid Report (SAR): A report provided to an applicant by the Secretary showing the amount of his or her expected family contribution.

TEACH Grant-eligible institution: An eligible institution as defined in 34 CFR part 600 that meets financial responsibility standards established in 34 CFR part 668, subpart L, or that qualifies under an alternative standard in 34 CFR 668.175 and -

(1) Provides a high-quality teacher preparation program at the baccalaureate or master's degree level that -

(i)

(A) Is accredited by a specialized accrediting agency recognized by the Secretary for the accreditation of professional teacher education programs; or

(B) Is approved by a State and includes a minimum of 10 weeks of full-time pre-service clinical experience, or its equivalent, and provides either pedagogical coursework or assistance in the provision of such coursework; and

(ii) Provides supervision and support services to teachers, or assists in the provision of services to teachers, such as -

(A) Identifying and making available information on effective teaching skills or strategies;

(B) Identifying and making available information on effective practices in the supervision and coaching of novice teachers; and

(C) Mentoring focused on developing effective teaching skills and strategies;

(2) Provides a two-year program that -

(i) Is acceptable for full credit in a baccalaureate teacher preparation program of study offered by an institution described in paragraph (1) of this definition, as demonstrated by the institutions; or

(ii) Is acceptable for full credit in a baccalaureate degree program in a high-need field at an institution described in paragraph (3) of this definition, as demonstrated by the institutions;

(3) Offers a baccalaureate degree that, in combination with other training or experience, will prepare an individual to teach in a high-need field as defined in this part and has entered into an agreement with an institution described in paragraphs (1) or (4) of this definition to provide courses necessary for its students to begin a career in teaching; or

(4) Provides a post-baccalaureate program of study.

TEACH Grant-eligible program: An eligible program, as defined in 34 CFR 668.8, is a program of study at a TEACH Grant-eligible institution that is designed to prepare an individual to teach as a highly qualified teacher in a high-need field and leads to a baccalaureate or master's degree, or is a post-baccalaureate program of study. A two-year program of study that is acceptable for full credit toward a baccalaureate degree is considered to be a program of study that leads to a baccalaureate degree.

Teacher: A person who provides direct classroom teaching or classroom-type teaching in a non-classroom setting, including special education teachers and reading specialists.

Teacher preparation program: A State-approved course of study, the completion of which signifies that an enrollee has met all the State's educational or training requirements for initial certification or licensure to teach in the State's elementary or secondary schools. A teacher preparation program may be a regular program or an alternative route to certification, as defined by the State. For purposes of a TEACH Grant, the program must be provided by an institution of higher education.

Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing (Nationwide List): A list of teacher shortage areas, as defined in 34 CFR 682.210(q)(8)(vii), in each State.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1070g, et seq.)
[73 35495, June 23, 2008, as amended at 75 FR 66968, Oct. 29, 2010; 85 FR 49821, Aug. 14, 2020]

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