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APPENDIX D: PSC Definitions and Acronyms

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Important Notice


There have been many recent changes to licensure in statute and rule.  Please review the Latest Licensing News blog for updates on current licensing requirements.


As a participant in the discussion of the Professional Standards Council, knowledge of a variety of definitions and acronyms will be helpful. Listed below are some of the common definitions and acronyms that may be used in these discussions:


  • Accredited: An educational institution meets required educational standards or accepted criteria of quality in its educational program established by a recognized state, regional, or national accrediting agency.
  • Approved Program: A professional education program approved by the State Superintendent that is developed and offered by Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) or an alternative standards based training and assessment program in Wisconsin.
  • Cooperating Teacher: A licensed school professional who supervises students during their clinical program in cooperation with the college/university supervising staff.
  • Developmental Levels: Five levels of licensing in Wisconsin based on pupil age for each developmental level.
  • Initial Educator: An individual who has successfully completed an approved program and who is licensed by the department for the first time in a particular level or category.
  • Highly Qualified Educator: An educator who holds a regular license for his/her assignment or has a major or minor in the subjects they teach or has passed the Praxis II exam, is enrolled in an approved program that can be completed in no more than 3 years, and is receiving high quality professional development, supervision and mentoring from their school district while teaching.
  • Performance-Based Licensing: Licensing that is focused on improved student learning and based on an assessment system that measures a candidate's knowledge, skills, and dispositions for teaching against an established set of standards of performance.
  • Program Approval Process: The process of reviewing institutions (by the DPI) that offer professional education programs leading to educator licensure in Wisconsin.
  • Revocation Process: The process of educator license termination in Wisconsin resulting from immoral conduct or incompetency on the part of license holder.


  • AWSA - Association of Wisconsin School Administrators
  • CESA - Cooperative Education Service Agency
  • HQ - Highly Qualified
  • IE - Initial Educator
  • IHE - Institution of Higher Education
  • KSD - Knowledge, Skills, Dispositions
  • LRSC - License Renewal Support Center
  • NCLB - No Child Left Behind
  • PDP - Professional Development Plan
  • PE - Professional Educator
  • QEI - Quality Educator Initiative (Wisconsin Administrative Code - PI 34)
  • SCD - School, College or Department (within a public or private college/university)
  • TEPDL - Teacher Education, Professional Development and Licensing
  • WASB - Wisconsin Association of School Boards
  • WACTE - Wisconsin Association of Colleges of Teacher Education
  • WASDA - Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators