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Process

Independent School Accreditation

Accreditation is not a single event, but rather an ongoing, voluntary cycle of comprehensive internal and external assessments, short- and long-term strategic planning, and periodic reporting sustained by professional partnership and support. Member schools must, according to the appropriate Commission protocol, periodically demonstrate continued alignment with NEASC Standards in order to maintain their NEASC Accreditation/Membership.

A school interested in accreditation begins by applying for candidacy and must demonstrate that it has the basic structures, policies, and systems in place to support a quality learning environment. Once a school has been recognized as a NEASC Candidate for Accreditation, the cycle commences. 

The Cycle of Accreditation

Candidacy
The accreditation process begins with a visit to the school by a member of the Commission staff to evaluate the school's readiness to pursue accreditation by NEASC. Following that visit, the school must submit an Application for Candidate for Accreditation. Upon receipt of the application, a one-day visit by a three-person committee is scheduled.

Self-Study
Once a school has achieved Candidacy Status it has five years within which to gain full accreditation. It should contact the Commission office when it is ready to begin its Self-Study. Administrators, faculty, and staff can further prepare for the self-study process by attending a Self-Study Workshop and by participating on visiting committees to evaluate member schools. The self-study process usually takes 18 months to 2 years.

Visiting Team
A date for the on-site evaluation visit is scheduled about one year in advance. The typical Visiting Team schedule is from midday Sunday to Wednesday around noon. The Visiting Committee will prepare a report for the school and the Commission assessing compliance with standards, formulating recommendations for school improvement, and making a recommendation on accreditation status.

Follow-up Actions

  • Schools that fail one or more standards at the time of the visit must document their compliance within one year
  • All schools must file a 2-Year Interim Evaluation Report, addressing the major recommendations in the self-study and visiting committee report, and providing information on finances.
  • All schools must file a 5-Year Interim Evaluation Report, updating the Commission on changes, reviewing compliance with the standards, presenting current long-range plans, and submitting financial information.
  • The Commission may request a Special Progress Report on any subject and timetable.
  • The Commission may schedule a Focused Visit to the school following a Special Progress Report