What to expect in this course

Course Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, the school leader will know how to:

  • Involve all stakeholders-- teachers, staff, parents, and students-- in the process
  • Distribute and manage the data collection and report writing
  • Author a self-study report that's compelling, clear, and meets the Commissioners' expectations
  • Design a School-wide Action Plan that is purposeful and useful
  • Prepare for and host the Visiting Committee at your school

How This Course is Structured

The accreditation process asks schools to do several things simultaneously: look backward at past targets, look at current progress with student learning and challenges, and look forward to a new action plan to increase student success.

All three of these elements are equally important, and of likewise importance is creating a powerful introduction to your school and community, and organizing a great day (or couple of days) for when the accreditation team actually visits your school.

This course is structured to allow you to move from task to task in an iterative, non-linear fashion, and to go back to certain sections as needed. This course features:

  • Short videos to explain the steps and rationale for actions. These videos try to surface potential pitfalls to avoid.
  • Helpful resources for every lesson such as websites, technology tools (free!), and organizers to make planning and communication easier
  • A "Quiz" at the conclusion of each module. This quiz is designed as a formative assessment that will give you feedback and advice about which module or lesson you should move onto next, and which lessons you might be able to skip entirely.

What is Accreditation?

School accreditation validates the integrity of a school's programs and transcripts. Accreditation assures a school community and institutions of higher education that the school is a trustworthy institution for student learning. It is an essential element for any high school that desires college acceptance for its students.

Who Seeks Accreditation?

Typically, all public, charter, private, and independent high schools seek accreditation. See the Resources section for a list of accrediting agencies to identify the most appropriate one for your school's location and type.

More and more elementary and middle schools, especially charters, seek accreditation as a way to validate their academic program, increase their enrollment, and qualify for charter renewal.

Through accreditation, schools have evidence that they meet an acceptable level of quality in accordance with established criteria.

What Does the Accreditation Process Involve?

Accreditation is a comprehensive, iterative process. The diagram below is representative of most accrediting agencies process.

Source: acswasc.org

Who should take this course?

This course is designed for a school administrator or teacher-in-charge of the accreditation process. Ideally, this course should be started a full 18 months ahead of the anticipated date of school visitation by the accrediting committee. If you are running a bit behind in preparing for accreditation, this course can help you get back on track.