ACSI Accredited schools are institutions of academic rigor, produce graduates who are the salt and light in their communities, and usually have higher enrollment than non ACSI Accredited schools. ACSI Accreditation is a highly effective way for a Christian school to evaluate itself in light of its Christian distinctive.
Why Seek Accreditation? In 2011, the Cardus Education Survey released data on three areas of religious school mission: spiritual formation, academic development, and cultural engagement. ACSI was interested in seeing if there were significant differences between the two categories of ACSI member schools: Accredited and Non-Accredited. Derek Keenan, ACSI Vice President of Academic Affairs, comments on the differences and similarities in this Christian School Educators article Cardus Report: ACSI Schools-Accredited vs. Nonaccredited. View the ACSI Response to the Cardus Education Survey in its entirety.
What Exactly Is Accreditation? ACSI accreditation is a highly effective way for a Christian school/program to evaluate itself in light of its unique educational mission. An authentic Christian school/program may be thought of as involving the four interwoven educational strands of (1) academic ideas and thinking; (2) skills for life and living; (3) biblical worldview grounding; and (4) personal character, values, and spiritual formation. The self-study process guides a school/program to evaluate and reflect on all that it does in light of this distinctive four-pronged mission.Accreditation and school improvement assist schools in changing for the better in an orderly and systematic way. They bring a vigorous dynamic into the school by engaging every constituent of the school in a process of organizational appraisal.
Who Seeks Accreditation? Accreditation is sought by ACSI schools in order to validate their quality and verify that they are striving for excellence based on a solid Christian philosophy of education foundation. The ACSI accreditation protocol is unique in two major ways: (1) the protocol probes the spiritual aspects of each component of the organization and (2) the protocol addresses the educational quality and integrity of the organization. The latter addresses the issues demonstrating that the school is true to its own statements of philosophy, mission, and goals and that it is meeting the standards of quality and effectiveness.
What are the Benefits of Seeking Accreditation?
- Documents school is true to its own foundational statements (mission, vision, core values, goals)
- Affirms school meets standards of quality established by the international school community
- Provides validation of the credibility of the school through a peer review process
- Promotes accountability to the school community
- Improves instruction targeting increased student achievement
- Promotes ongoing instructional improvement through a continuous process of self-assessment and systematic school development
- Encourages the evaluation of biblical and spiritual integration of the school
- Transfers credits between schools and between nation's school systems
Is ACSI Accreditation Recognized?
- Approval by the U.S. Department of Education for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), I-20 and I-17 forms
- Various U.S. state, national, & international recognitions
- Endorsement to administer College Board/ACT exams on the school site
ACSI Planting Seeds