Accreditation Overview for Early Education to Grade 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. 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 on-going accountability. The process of accreditation involves three significant elements:
- Intensive, institution-wide self-appraisal, analysis, and improvement planning
- External consultation, review, validation, and insights from a visiting peer group
- 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:
If looking to learn more about ACSI's accreditation process, please continue reading below.
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 school improvement and may help schools in gradually preparing for application for accreditaition, ACSI's 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 each of 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 evidences 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.
ACSI Accreditation by School Progress*
Accreditation by School Progress (ASP) is ACSI's reaccreditation protocol for more mature schools who have previously achieved reaccreditation 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 regional office about the value of using ASP for your next reaccreditation cycle.
Application for Accreditation for traditional EE-12 Schools (printable, for payment by check)
REACH Standards Checklist -2019 Edition (for those applying with the paper application, 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.
Application for Accreditation for traditional EE-12 Schools (online, 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.
This document may be used in a variety of ways:
- For 100% online schools, it is the primary instrument.
- As an addendum to REACH for schools which exceed 10% of the credits earned in any division (ES, MS, or HS) from online courses. It may also be required between accredtiation cycles if the credits earned from online classes reach 20%, as reported on the Annual Report.
- As an addendum for schools which have used another regional's 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
*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.