(a) General. — For the purposes of this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter, terms have the meaning ascribed to them in section two, article one of this chapter, unless the context in which the term is used clearly requires a different meaning or a specific definition is provided in this section.
(b) Definitions. —
(1) “Accountability system for public higher education” or “accountability system” means all research, reports, documents, data and any other materials, the collection, analysis and dissemination of which are necessary or expedient to accomplish the purposes of this article or section one-a, article one of this chapter. The system includes legislative goals, objectives and priorities; public policy agendas; statewide master plans; state and institutional compacts; implementation plans; institutional mission statements and master plans; and the statewide report card.
(2) “Education partnership to achieve state goals and objectives” or “education partnership” means the formal and informal working relationships established between and among the State of West Virginia, the commission, the council, the State Board of Education and State Department of Education and the state institutions of higher education for the purpose of achieving state goals and objectives.
(3) “Functional literacy rate” means the percentage of adults over the age of seventeen who are able to read beyond a fourth grade level and interpret basic information from sources such as road signs, job applications, newspaper articles and food and medicine labels.
(4) “Goals” means those long-term public purposes which are the desired and expected end result for which public higher education is established.
(5) “Implementation plan” means a document developed within the higher education community that identifies a series of objectives, sets forth performance indicators that can be used to determine if objectives are being achieved, outlines strategies for accomplishing the objectives and identifies benchmarks for evaluating progress in accomplishing the objectives over the life cycle of the plan.
(6) “Institutions under the jurisdiction of the commission” relative to the accountability system established by this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter means Bluefield State College, Concord University, Fairmont State University, Glenville State College, Shepherd University, West Liberty State College, and West Virginia State University.
(7) “Institutions under the jurisdiction of the council” relative to the accountability system established by this article and section one-a, article one of this chapter means Blue Ridge Community and Technical College, the Community and Technical College at West Virginia University Institute of Technology, Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Marshall Community and Technical College, New River Community and Technical College, Pierpont Community and Technical College, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, West Virginia Northern Community and Technical College, West Virginia State Community and Technical College and West Virginia University at Parkersburg.
(8) “Net college costs” means the total cost of tuition, room and board minus the amount of financial aid a student receives.
(9) “Objectives” means the ends to be accomplished or attained within a specified period of time for the purpose of meeting the established goals.
(10) “Priority” or “priorities” means the order in which objectives are to be addressed for the purpose of achieving state goals.
(11) “Strategy” or “strategies” means specific activities carried out by public higher education which are directed toward accomplishing specific objectives.
(12) “Statewide master plan” or “system master plan” means a document developed by the council or commission that sets forth system goals, objectives and strategies and is aligned with, but not limited to, meeting state goals, objectives and priorities.
(13) “STEM courses and programs” means curricula leading to a degree or other recognized credential in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields of study or specialization.
(14) “State compact” means a formal, written agreement between the council and/or the commission and at least one other member of the education partnership to achieve state goals and objectives where significant collaboration and commitment of resources between the parties to the agreement is required in order to achieve the desired results.