What is accreditation?
Accreditation is a voluntary method of quality assurance developed more than 100 years ago by American universities and secondary schools. The goal of accreditation is to evaluate, verify and improve each school's quality. What is NCA CASI? Founded in 1895, the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) is a non-governmental, non-profit organization that accredits public and private schools and school districts in 19 states, the Navajo Nation, and the Department of Defense Dependents' Schools overseas. One of six regional accrediting associations nationwide, NCA CASI accredits more than 9,000 schools, touching over five million students. How does a school earn NCA CASI accreditation? To be accredited, schools must:
1. Meet NCA's high standards.
The standards address all aspects of schooling, ensuring that: students are taught by qualified teachers, class sizes are reasonable, the curriculum is sound and rigorous, student services and activity programs are plentiful, and schools are safe and financially stable.
2. Implement a school improvement plan.
Schools must demonstrate continuous improvement. They must implement an improvement plan, based on data, that includes clear goals for raising the achievement of all students, and they must document growth in student performance.
3. Host an external peer review team.
Schools must be evaluated by a team of professionals from outside the school - this is known as the external peer review team. The team engages the school in healthy professional dialog about what the school personnel are doing and what more they could be doing to benefit students. Each year, schools report on how they are meeting the standards. They also submit external team reports and documentation from their school improvement efforts to NCA CASI. These materials are used in determining the accreditation status for each school. What does accreditation mean to me? It means that you can rest assured that your children are receiving a quality education. It means that:
It means that the credits your children earn will be recognized by schools, colleges, and universities around the world. It means that your children have access to specific sports programs, certain federal loans, various scholarships, and admission to colleges, technical schools, or military programs that require students to come from regionally accredited schools. It means that your children are taught by faculty who are dedicated to raising student achievement. A recent study of schools actively implementing NCA CASI's process showed that 79% achieved verifiable gains in student performance. NCA CASI accreditation means that your school has opened its doors to review and validation from an organization that has over 100 years of experience in evaluating educational quality.
Last Modified on October 13, 2008