Public authority dealing with education in the United States is controlled by the states according to the constitution. National and regional approaches to the determination of educational quality evolved from the system of voluntary non-governmental evaluation or accreditation throughout the years.
Governmental funding agencies, scholarship commissions, foundations, the military, employers, counselors, transfer institutions, potential students and others; use accrediting decisions when considering formal actions. Therefore, many groups throughout history have used accrediting practices.
During the accreditation process Private Schools are required to review their objectives, practices and achievements on a periodic basis in order to promote internal procedures for recommendations from the accrediting agency. Recognized schools are periodically reviewed by their accrediting agency to continuously maintain encouragement of improvement mechanisms and self-evaluation reports.
The accreditation process has evolved continually from a quantitative criteria used in the past in the form of simple check-lists to more detailed qualitative standards currently used to increase interest and emphasis measuring outcomes of educational experiences in institutions and programs. The process of accreditation begins with the self-evaluation of the Private school, as an effort to assess the progress of objectives previously accepted by a broad cross section of: constituencies, students, faculty, administrators, alumni, trustees and in some circumstances the local community.
Next, the self-evaluation report is then reviewed by the appropriate accrediting commission and acts as a basis for evaluation by a “site evaluation team” sent from the accrediting agency. The site evaluation is devised of professional specialists who have been selected as members representing specific public interests and according to the nature of the private school or program. The site evaluation team assesses the private school and its program according to the self-evaluation and makes decisions based on their expertise and external perspective. It is the job of the team to prepare an evaluation report and also make note of any responses the private school or program may wish to send to the accrediting commission. The accrediting review agency uses these reports to determine accreditation status. Negative actions may be appealed according to the established procedures of the accrediting agency.
Accrediting agencies reserve the right to review substantive change in a private school for a specific term. This ensures that the school do the following: assures clearly defined appropriate objectives, encourage improvement through self-evaluation and review, maintain conditions under which achievements can be reasonably expected, protect private schools against encroachment that might jeopardize their educational effectiveness or academic freedom, and offer excellence in education.
The unique and diverse character of many individual U.S. private schools has brought strength and excellence into the private school industry. The right of those institutions to experiment in ways and means of education within the framework of their respective authority and responsibilities constitute as qualities that can be sustained and extended by the freedom of those instructions to determine their own objectives.
When determining and fostering standards of quality and integrity in private schools and the specialized programs they offer; Accreditation conducted through non-governmental agencies provides a major means of serving the public with appropriate educational needs.
The Association of All American High School Association Inc. is a not for profit, non-governmental organization that works to promote and facilitate the role of Accrediting Agencies to insure ethics, quality and diversity in private school education industry.
AAHSA’s goal is to acknowledge the uniqueness and diversity of the individual private school so that it can become accredited according to AAHSA’s standards. We consider ourselves to maintain equal if not higher standards of other recognized accrediting agencies (international, national and regional).
AAHSA is dedicated to supporting private schools in becoming accredited so that its faculty, administration, staff, and student body may enjoy the recognition and well deserved benefits that are associated with accreditation. AAHSAI are confident that you will find our information & materials on accreditation to be resourceful & effective in enhancing your knowledge of accreditation they’re by strengthening the foundation of your private school.
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Accreditation Overview Statement