Home of the Lions
Home of the Lions
What Is Accreditation?
Applied to the Christian school movement, accreditation is the process by which a Christian school assesses its educational activities, in whole or in part, and seeks an independent judgment to confirm that it has substantially achieved its objectives while also demonstrating an exemplary level of quality as defined by professionally trained Christian educators.
There are several essential elements in the accreditation process:
1. A school desiring accreditation must give a clear statement of its educational philosophy and its educational intentions. The assessment of quality is made in terms of the stated philosophy and intentions.
2. A school desiring accreditation must be committed to an on-going, directed self-study which is focused on the achievement of the school’s intentions. The self-study is not something that is done periodically, but rather continuously. 3. The final step for a school desiring accreditation is an on-site review of the school’s educational program in operation by a selected group of peers.
4. Following the on-site visit, a decision is made by the Association’s Accreditation Commission that the Christian school either meets or fails to meet standards common to Christian education. There may remain a measure of confusion about accreditation as to its essential characteristics.
As operationally defined by the American Association of Christian Schools, the following statement of characteristics would apply:
1. Accreditation is totally voluntary and, therefore, the Association cannot mandate compliance or control behavior except by persuasion and peer influence.
2. It is primarily an on-going self-assessment process that serves as a testimony to believers and nonbelievers.
3. It functions essentially as an assessment process, with the on-going self-study by the school being the very heart of the process.
4. It provides for outside consultation through the on-site review, closely tied to the school’s own statement of philosophy and educational intentions. Accreditation does not guarantee a quality product, but rather verifies a quality process being implemented by an accredited school. There are unaccredited schools producing an outstanding educational product and accredited schools failing to do the same. Accreditation does, however, require the school to evaluate its educational process objectively.
For this reason, the American Association of Christian Schools encourages its schools to go through the accreditation process, whether they are officially accredited or not.
Grace Education Academy, LLC, is working towards accreditation.