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Tests that provide information about academic skills in order to assist students and their advisors in selecting the courses that will best meet individual needs.

Achievement Gap
The difference in the performance between subgroups in reading/language arts and mathematics as measured by the assessments required under the ESEA.

ACT (American College Test)
A college admission test that is required by many colleges and universities for admission. The ACT measures English, math, reading and science reasoning. Scores on each section range from 1 (low)-36 (high) and an overall “composite” score reflects the average. Information on the average ACT scores of entering freshmen is available for most colleges and universities.

Admissions Index
Reflects the combination of high school GPA and ACT scores used to evaluate students for acceptance to college.

Advanced Placement (AP)
College level courses that are offered to high school students. End-of-course exams (“AP Tests”) offer students the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school.

Affirmative Action
A federal law designed to end discrimination against minorities, and requiring that minority students and job applicants receive the same opportunities as other students and job applicants.

An apprenticeship combines on-the-job training with classroom training. Registered apprenticeship programs are overseen by the Department of Labor, and often receive support in the form of development grants and tax benefits. Students in an apprenticeship program typically earn a salary while they are learning,

Areas of Study
In Utah, the Career and Technical Education curriculum is organized into eight areas of study:

  • Agricultural Education 
  • Business Education 
  • Family and Consumer Sciences Education 
  • Health Science Education 
  • Information Technology Education 
  • Marketing Education 
  • Skilled and Technical Sciences Education 
  • Technology and Engineering Education 

Associate Degree
A two-year degree that prepares students for a specific career or further education. Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degrees are granted after students complete a program of study similar to the first two years of a four-year (Bachelor’s level) college curriculum. The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) is awarded for a two-year technical or vocational program of study.

The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is offered to students in 11th grade or higher, and tests both academic and vocational aptitudes and provides valuable information for career planning. There is no obligation for military service by students who take this test.

Bachelor’s Degree
A degree awarded to students who complete a four-year program of study at a college or university. Sometimes called “baccalaureate” degrees, they can be either Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees. The specific requirements for achieving a BA or a BS are set by the institution.

A course of events that constitute a life. The totality of all work – paid and unpaid – one does in his or her lifetime.

Career Clusters
A way of organizing occupations and careers to assist educators in tailoring rigorous coursework and related activities for all students. Some schools and districts in Utah reference the 16 Career Clusters promoted by the National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium.

Career Development
A lifelong process by which individuals increase their understanding of education and work, especially as it applies to their individual lives.

Career Fields
Utah organizes occupations into six broad categories that are consistent with the interest areas and work environments first defined by John Holland and subsequently used in the U. S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Information Network (O*NET Resource Center). Helping students discover their “Holland Codes” is a key step toward identifying Career Pathways that may be of interest to them.

Career Pathways
Occupations within a Career Field or Career Cluster are further organized by Career Pathway, using shared characteristics (e.g., skill sets). Career Pathways guide the development of a coordinated and non-duplicative sequence of courses and identifies both secondary and postsecondary education elements.

Centennial Scholarship
A scholarship for students who graduate early from high school. The scholarship provides partial tuition for high school graduates who enroll in eligible Utah post-secondary institutions within one calendar year of their early graduation.

Awarded to students who complete educational programs that are designed to lead directly to entry level employment in occupations such as mechanic, nurse assistant, or computer technician.

Clinical Work Experiences
Practical “hands-on” work experience that is part of an educational program, usually in medical or health-related fields.

An institution of higher learning that offers 1, 2, 4, or more years of education and training beyond high school. Students can achieve career and technical education (CTE) certificates, diplomas, Associate degrees, Bachelor’s degrees, and professional degrees by completing college programs of study.

College Savings Plan
Savings options for parents saving for a child’s college education. Also know as “529” plans, these are state-operated investment plans that give families a federal tax-free way to save money for college. Utah’s 529 plan is known as the “Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP).”

College and Career Plan
Reflects a student’s scope of school work from kindergarten through postsecondary education or training. The plan includes graduation requirements, approved coursework for the student’s educational and career goals (reflecting their choice of Career Pathway), and supporting learning experiences (e.g., work-based learning, extracurricular activities). The plan is developed cooperatively with the student and the student’s counselor, teachers and family. The plan is reviewed at least annually and is revised as needed.

College- and Career-Ready Graduation Requirements
High school graduation expectations that include rigorous curriculum aligned with college- and career-ready standards to ensure that students leave high school ready for college and careers.

College-and-Career-Ready Standards
Content standards for kindergarten through 12th grade that build towards college- and career-ready graduation requirements for high school graduation.

College-Preparatory Classes
Prepare high school students for success in college core academic areas like English, mathematics, social studies, science, and foreign language.

Community College
A two-year college that serves residents in a geographic area and awards Associate degrees upon completion of programs of study that are generally two years long.

Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance Program
Promotes effective planning to meet each student's personal education and career goals. The Program drives the delivery of direct services to 100% of Utah students through the Guidance Curriculum, Individual Planning and Responsive Services.

Concurrent Enrollment
College-level courses for students in their last two years of high school for which both high school and college credit can be earned.

Contextual Learning
Helps students to test theories with tangible, real-world applications.

Cooperative Work Experience
A structured educational program that integrates classroom learning with a structured work experience directly related to a career and technical education (CTE) course.

Record of work completed by a student in a particular class or course in increments of .25, .5, and 1.0. Students earn .25 credit for each course, each term.

Career and Technical Education courses provide specific skill training in such areas as Agriculture, Business, Family and Consumer Sciences, Health Science, Information Technology, Marketing, Technology and Engineering, and Skilled and Technical Sciences.

CTE Scholarship and Tuition Awards
Awarded to graduating senior students on the basis of the portfolios they submit for review. These awards are for students who plan to pursue CTE training beyond high school, or who plan to graduate college with a teaching credential for a CTE area.

An academic title such as Bachelor’s (BS) degree, awarded to a student who completes a program of study at a college or university.

Digital Learning Content
Learning materials and resources that can be displayed on a computer or handheld digital device and shared electronically with other users.

A degree awarded to a student who completes training in a specialized area.




Early Enrollment
Sometimes known as “early admission,” this term refers to students who are admitted to college to attend full-time before they graduate from high school.

Early Graduation
Completing all high school requirements for graduation at the end of 11th grade or at the end of any term prior to the last term of 12th grade.

Educator Internships
Educational experiences at work sites for teachers or administrators. These usually involve actual participation in the function of a business to help teachers adapt curriculum and their teaching practices to reflect current workplace applications, practices and needs and also to make course work more meaningful and relevant for students.

Expected Family Contribution
Or “EFC” is the amount a student and the student’s family are expected to contribute toward the cost of going to college. This amount is calculated from financial information from the FAFSA.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid is a free financial aid application form used to determine eligibility for federal financial aid money for college. Applications are accepted after January 1st of the junior year of high school.

Federal Work-Study Program
A government funded part-time employment program for college students who are determined to be eligible based on financial need. Students are able to earn money to pay a portion of their college costs. Wages paid by selected employers are subsidized, making work-study an attractive option for both employers and students.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a federal law that gives parents certain protections regarding access to their children’s education records.

Financial Aid
Money awarded to student to help them pay the costs of college. Financial aid includes loans, grants, scholarships, and work study. Some types of financial aid require repayment after college graduation.

Financial Need
The difference between the cost of attending college and the expected family contribution.

Field Study
A career awareness and exploration activity where groups of students visit community work sites or other settings. These short, on-site visits allow students to gain first-hand information related to specific topics of classroom study or areas of interest.

Grade Point Average is the average of the grades earned within a term, year, or over several years, where A = 4.0; B = 3.0; C = 2.0; and D = 1.0.

A form of financial aid that does not need to be paid back. Grants are usually offered based on financial need, but academic merit may also be considered.

Gross Monthly Income
The total income or earnings before deductions for taxes, insurance, or other expenses.

High School Diploma
Is awarded to students who meet the education, citizenship, and experience requirements of high school set by a school, district, and state.

Academically challenging coursework offered to all students.




International Baccalaureate
“IB” is a program of rigorous courses that prepare students for college. Available at a select few high schools in Utah.

Interest Inventory
A measure of what a person likes to do as those interests relate to types of work they may prefer.

An experience where an 11th or 12th grade student works for an employer for a specified period of time to learn about a particular industry or occupation. Internships may be paid (but are typically unpaid), are time limited, are connected to the student’s career goals as reflected in their college and career plan, and offer opportunities to explore career options in a particular field of work

A position with specific duties and responsibilities in a particular work place. For example: portrait photographer at the department store in Pleasantville.

Job Shadow
A work site experience during which a student spends time, typically three to six hours, one-on-one with an employee observing daily activities and asking questions about the job and industry.

Knowledge and Skill Statements
Represent what students need to understand and be able to do in order to achieve success in the Career Pathway of their choice.

Learning Styles
The different ways that people naturally think and learn.

Local Educational Agency
Defined in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as a public board of education or other public authority legally recognized by a State to direct schools; i.e., public or charter school boards.




Master’s or Professional Degree
An academic degree awarded by a university to students who complete a Bachelor’s degree and continue a defined program of study in a specialized field.

A formal, long-term relationship between a student and a professional role model who provides support and encouragement to the student. The mentor assists the student in learning specific skills and/or provides experiences for the student to explore career interests.

Financial aid that is dependent on academic, artistic, or athletic distinction, not on financial need.

Financial need that is dependent on demonstration of financial need, most often available through government sources.

Net Monthly Income
Earnings after deduction or take-home pay.

New Century Scholarship
Encourages students to accelerate their education by earning an Associate degree from an institution within the Utah System of Higher Education while still in high school.

Nontraditional Occupation
An occupation in which women or men comprise 25 percent or less of total employment.

A group of jobs with common characteristics that require similar skills but are found in a variety of industries and organizations.

Open Admissions
A college admissions policy that allows virtually all students who apply to be admitted with their high school diploma or equivalent. Other academic qualifications may be considered in course placement.

Payroll Deductions
Money subtracted from gross monthly income by an employer. These include things such as taxes and insurance.

Pell Grant
Financial aid awarded by the federal government directly to students and based on need.

The combination of a person’s characteristics and traits that make him or her a unique human being.

The Doctor of Philosophy is a degree awarded by universities to students who complete an highly advanced program of study.

Purposeful selection of work that highlights a student’s educational and career performance and interests over time. Students in Utah have the opportunity to manage their portfolios online using our state’s career information system, UtahFutures.

Program of Study
The full range of curriculum, activities, documents and processes that comprise an educational program within a given cluster or pathway, and facilitate a student’s transition from one level to the next.

The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test offers students the opportunity to practice for the SAT, and to qualify for National Merit Scholarships administered by the College Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.




Abilities, skills, talents, diplomas, licenses, training, education or other characteristics that combine to make a person eligible for a job.

Regent’s Scholarship
Awarded to students for taking academically rigorous courses in high school. This scholarship is designed to encourage Utah high school students to prepare for college academically and financially, and may be used at any public college or university in the Utah System of Higher Education.

A brief written summary of personal,, educational, and professional qualifications and experience, usually prepared for a potential employer’s review.

Rolling Admissions
Procedure by which students are evaluated for admission to college on a first-come, first-served basis. The college may consider applications on a weekly or monthly schedule, allowing students to be notified of a decision shortly after submitting their applications.

The Scholastic Aptitude Test measures verbal ability and mathematical reasoning and is required by some colleges and universities for admission. Scores range from 200 (low) to800 (high).

School Counselor
This is the person in a school who advises students on personal and academic issues, and assists with course selection and career planning. Counselors meet with students individually in college and career planning meetings, and also instruct students in classroom activities.

A form of financial aid that does not have to be repaid. Scholarships are generally awarded on the basis of academic merit, special talents, abilities, community service, etc.

School-Based Enterprises
Allow students to put into practice what they learn in the classroom by running actual small businesses. The money generated from the business can be used to fund student organizations, materials, equipment, facilities, improvement and other items necessary to maintain or improve the program or school.

Section 504
Refers to a section of the Rehabilitation Act that that protects qualified individuals from discrimination based on their disability. (Additional information on Section 504 here.)

Service Learning
An opportunity for students to use knowledge and skills learned in school to find and apply solutions to real community problems.

Expertness which is developed through training or practice.

To attribute behaviors, abilities, interests, values, etc., to a person or group of people on the basis of their gender, race, age or other generalized characteristics.

Student Internships
Extend formal classroom learning into the community by giving students the chance to work for an employer, paid or unpaid, for a specified period of time within a particular industry or occupation.

Subsidized Loan
A need-based loan for which interest is paid by the government during the time the borrower is attending college.

Superior, and apparently innate, ability in the arts, sciences, or in the learning or doing of anything.

Technical School/College
A school that specializes in teaching particular techniques and skills for job entry. Some technical schools offer Associate degrees that are transferable to four-year institutions.

Title IX
Refers to Title IX of the Education Amendments to the Civil Rights Act that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in all educational institutions that receive federal financial assistance or that have students receiving federal financial aid. Students and employees are protected by this law.

An official record of grades, attendance, citizenship and test scores for an individual student.

Transferable Skill
Mastery of a skill that can be used in a variety of occupations.

The charge for attending a college class.




Utah College of Applied Technology
“UCAT” consists of eight campuses across the state that offer education and training in CTE designed to meet the employment needs of business and industry. UCAT students earn licenses, certificates, or Associate of Applied Science degrees.

An institution of higher learning that offers selected Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate, and Professional (e.g., law, medicine) degrees to students completing the associated programs of study.

Is the state-sponsored career information system that offers information and resources to assist citizens in education and career exploration and planning. Students are encouraged to create an individual college and career planning portfolio using information and storage capabilities of UtahFutures.

Aspects of our lives which are most important, deserving of our time, effort and money.

Work-Based Learning
Gives students a chance to see how classroom instruction connects to the world of work and future career opportunities. Work-Based Learning experiences are available in each Career Pathway and include job shadows, internships, apprenticeships, guest speakers, and more.

Work Experience
On-the-job experience that can be paid or unpaid. Students can earn 1.0 elective credit for 180 hours of documented and approved work experience.