The ACSI accreditation protocol is unique in two major ways: (1) It probes the spiritual aspects of each component of the organization and (2) it 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.
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 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 school constituent in a process of organizational appraisal.
- It documents that the school is true to its own foundational statements (mission, vision, core values, goals)
- It affirms that the school meets standards of quality established by the international school community
- It provides validation of the credibility of the school through a peer review process
- It promotes accountability to the school community
- It improves instruction targeting increased student achievement
- It promotes ongoing instructional improvement through a continuous process of self-assessment and systematic school development
- It encourages the evaluation of biblical and spiritual integration of the school
- It transfers credits between schools and between nation’s school systems
I cannot think of any action taken by a school that produces more total school benefit than the decision to attain accredited status. Curriculum quality is strengthened, school policies are refined, student achievement enhanced, and future directions intensified. Without accreditation the attainment of overall excellence for a Christian school is difficult.
-Ken Tanis, Headmaster Emeritus, Delaware County Christian Schools (Pennsylvania)
ACSI accreditation is 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
- Recognition of early education accreditation status in several states, allowing the program to receive higher reimbursement rates for subsidized children
- Eligibility for joint accreditation status with the following:
- AdvancEd (North Central Association, Southern Association of Schools & Colleges, Northwest Association of Colleges & Schools)
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- Middle States Association (Elementary and/or Secondary)
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges
ACSI’s accreditation process is implemented by the ACSI regional office that serves your local Christian schools. ACSI has a variety of accreditation protocols for schools around the world, so explore your options and purchase the accreditation instrument at Purposeful Design Publications, then call or email your ACSI regional office representative. You can also go to the ConNEXUS Accreditation Community to find multiple resources, tools, and links to assist you in the accreditation process.