The Benefits of Joint Accreditation
A few of the benefits of accreditation are:
- The award of accreditation itself
The school's own claim to excellence, however well justified, will always be open to question in the absence of an objective verification of quality. The school's earning of accredited status from respected agencies can be very reassuring to parents and faculty. It is an indication to the school community and to other individuals and establishments (including universities) that the school offers a quality education.
- The opportunity for self-assessment
To some extent continuous improvement is already a goal of schools, but not at the level to which self-evaluation is taken during the writing of the self-study when the school is working to meet clearly stated external standards and demanding deadlines. Schools earning accreditation status tend to agree that introspection has been the most valuable aspect of the entire process. Also of significant benefit is the opportunity for school staff to meet collaboratively, often across disciplines and divisions of the school, to discuss issues, to identify concerns, and to propose improvements.
- The opportunity for improved intra-school contact and understanding
In some schools it is quite possible to go from year to year feeling that staff members in other areas are vague acquaintances at best and that the concerns of other sections are of little interest to them. It is the common experience of schools undergoing evaluation that the accreditation process is a unifying force in a school.
- The opportunity to receive an external assessment
The Team Visit involves a detailed, objective evaluation which reflects the perspectives of fellow professionals who have been trained in the evaluation process and who are familiar with both the Standards for Accreditation and the unique nature and concerns of American/International schools.
- A plan for the future
The Self-Study document, the Visiting Team Report, the First Progress Report and the Five Year Reports serve as a guide to planning for the school as it maps out its direction for the years ahead.
- Affirmation of the school's needs
It may be that Governing Body members, staff, management, students or parents have felt the existence of certain needs for some time. The Visiting Team Report will serve to validate concerns and to guide staff, Governing Body and administration in establishing priorities and developing action plans.
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