Accreditation Overview for EE-12 Schools

The Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) promotes the value and worthiness of accreditation and encourages each school and early education program to continuously pursue excellence to truly flourish. This pursuit matches the biblical directive of approving “things that are excellent” (Philippians 1:10, KJV). The “accredited” seal denotes a school that has met institutional standards of quality and verifies a commitment to strategic improvement and ongoing accountability. The process of accreditation involves three significant elements:

  1. Intensive, institution-wide self-appraisal, analysis, and improvement planning.
  2. External consultation, review, validation, and insights from a visiting peer group.
  3. Ongoing accountability for improvement through annual reporting and renewal.

Maintain Your Accreditation

If looking to maintain your current candidate or accredited status, schools can use the following links:

School Accreditation Documents | Visiting Team Accreditation Documents | Annual Report Documents Accreditation


If looking to learn more about ACSI's accreditation process, please continue reading below, contact the appropriate Accreditation Team based on the location of your school, or take our Accreditation Quiz. (Note, if your school does not meet the initial eligibility requirements, including the minimum enrollment, then you may be eligible for our Steps to School Improvement program.)

Steps to School Improvement (a Pre-Accreditation Program)

For schools interested in a step-by-step, multi-year program that will guide them through the process of school improvement and may help schools in gradually preparing for application for accreditation, ACSI offers the Steps to School Improvement Program.

ACSI REACH Accreditation Protocol*

The REACH Standards Manual - 2019 Edition protocol and process is thought-provoking in its approach, stimulating in its methods, and efficient in its procedures. Its core goal is to provoke a reflective and interactive dialogue among the stakeholders of a school. The school will be positioned to refine its strategic plan for student learning and organizational effectiveness on the basis of its reflection on the eight standards and the insights of the visiting team.

REACH has eight standards with related indicators and a Rubrics Manual for each indicator along with an EE Evidence Guide for Standards 3, 5, and 6. These guide the school through the self-study process. The school uses the rubrics and evidence guide to stimulate a professional dialog among the stakeholders to determine their rating and then lists evidence that support that rating. A summary narrative for each standard describes the school's strengths and areas in which it has opportunities for improvement. An ACSI consultant is available to mentor the school in the self-study process. When the self-study is completed the school prepares for a visiting team of educators. This team writes a report on the level to which the school is meeting each of the standards and makes a recommendation to the ACSI Regional Accreditation Commission on accreditation.

Coming Soon - Revised Accreditation Protocol! ACSI is in the process of revising the REACH accreditation protocol. The updated protocol will be titled INSPIRE: Inspiring Schools to Flourish through AccreditationWe have published the Standards of the new protocol, and the revised protocol will be implemented for accreditation visits starting with the fall 2023 semester. Schools hosting a visiting accreditation team prior to fall 2023 will continue to use REACH. View our progress, including the Standards, here: ACSI INSPIRE - Accreditation Revision Process. We will continue to add to that page as documents are created and finalized.

ACSI Accreditation by School Progress*

Accreditation by School Progress (ASP) is ACSI's re-accreditation protocol for more mature schools who have previously achieved re-accreditation through REACH and want to spend several years working on an improvement project. ASP allows school leaders to work on something that helps advance the school in a way they've identified. Using the ASP protocol may help a school accomplish its mission at a higher level. Talk to your divisional office about the value of using ASP for your next re-accreditation cycle. Accreditation by School Progress (ASP) Manual


Initial Application for ACSI Accreditation for traditional EE-12 schools (printable version, for payment by check)

Printable/Fillable REACH Standards and Indicators Checklist - 2019 Edition (for those applying with the paper application, either the printable or digital version of this checklist must be submitted with the application)

Digital REACH Standards and Indicators Checklist -2019 Edition (for those applying with the paper application, either the printable or digital version of this checklist must be submitted with the application)

Please note: It is recommended that you complete the online application (link below). However, if completing the paper application, please mail the application and fee to ACSI headquarters - address on the final page.

Initial Application for ACSI Accreditation for traditional EE-12 Schools (digital version, for payment by credit card) Please note: It is recommended that you complete written sections in a Word document, or similar, and save them to your computer prior to copy/pasting them into the online application.

Application for Accreditation of Alternative Model Learning (Online, Blended, Hybrid, etc.)

The online accreditation protocol may be used in a variety of ways:

  1. For 100% online schools, it is the primary instrument.
  2. As an addendum to REACH for schools that exceed 10% of the credits earned in any division (ES, MS, or HS) from online courses. It may also be required between accreditation cycles if the credits earned from online classes reach 20%, as reported on the Annual Report.
  3. As an addendum for schools that have used another regional protocol to accredit their online school. (When used as an addendum, only a portion of the questions are used).  

For more information concerning the Online Accreditation Protocol, contact



*These and all REACH documents are the property of ACSI. ACSI grants permission for the use of these documents, in their published form, by ACSI member schools, and other Christian schools, for the purpose of ACSI accreditation and individual school improvement. These documents may not be incorporated into other accreditation instruments or used for personal or corporate gain. ACSI reserves the right to revoke permission of use at its discretion.