The Value of ACSI Accreditation
ACSI offers a unique, internationally recognized accreditation protocol that is created particularly for Christian Schools. In addition, all six United States regional accrediting agencies partner with ACSI in dual-accreditation visits so that Christian schools who use the ACSI protocol can achieve regional and ACSI accreditation through one site visit.
What is the value of ACSI accreditation?
- It provides a proven and effective structure for ongoing school improvement based on standards of quality established by the international education community.
- It affirms credibility and accountability within a school’s local community – proof of instructional effectiveness through a process of self-assessment and peer review.
- It allows for the smooth transfer of credits between other K-12 schools and ultimately, full acceptance of credits at colleges and universities.
- It opens the door to student scholarships, entrance into the U.S. Military Academies, and expanded opportunities in Higher Education.
- It provides networking and professional relationships that include conferences, educational resources, training, and support.
- It documents that the school is true to its own foundational statements, that is, its mission, vision, core values, and student learning outcomes.
- It explores the effectiveness of the school’s biblical integration and worldview in the curriculum which is so critical in 21st Century education.
- It provides approval by the United States Department of Education for the Student and Visitor Exchange Program (SEVP), the Student and Exchange and Visitor Information System (SEVIS), and for accepting I-20 and I-17 students.
- It provides the approval needed to administer College Board/ACT Exams on the school site.
- It offers an Early Education accreditation component to promote professionalism and excellence in preschool programs.
ACSI offers an accreditation protocol, REACH 2019 Edition, for all accreditation information. There are eight standards that are defined through 84 indicators that schools are expected to address. Accreditation is an ongoing process of school improvement that includes input from all stakeholders, supported by accreditation visits every few years that provides guidance by experienced Christian educators.
To access all related REACH 2019 documents, please use this following link: https://www.acsi.org/schoolaccreditationdocuments
Self-Study Report (1 year) + Peer Review (3-day visit) + Commission Decision = Accreditation Status
Schools evaluate their own program with accreditation standards in view. This 12-month process allows all stakeholders to collaborate to identify the strengths of the schools and the areas of needed improvement. When the Self-Study Report is completed by the school, a Visiting Team of 5-7 educators comes to the school site for three days to validate the report, discuss findings, collaborate to identify 3-4 major recommendations that the school will address over the next 6 years. All schools are on a 6-year cycle with most schools hosting a mid-cycle one-day visit to evaluate progress on major recommendations.
Steps to Accreditation:
- Membership with ACSI and Cognia (formerly AdvancEd) (if dual accreditation is requested)
- Completion of Accreditation Application
- Candidacy Visit
- Self-Study Visit by Team of Christian Educators
- Six Year Term of Accreditation
Northwest schools can contact the ACSI Western Division office in Brea California.