The Award of Accreditation
A school's own claim to excellence, however well justified, will always be open to question in the absence of an objective verification of quality. Accreditation by NEASC/CIE indicates that a school meets high standards of institutional quality through an ongoing, independent, objective process of peer review. The accreditation process provides an opportunity for the school to reflect in depth and critically on its programs, review its Guiding Statements, and asses its alignment with researched-based Standards of best educational practice. The “Award of Accreditation” recognizes the quality of the evaluated school, reassures parents, teachers, universities, and governments that the school provides a high quality learning experience, and results in sustained school improvement and a roadmap for transformation.
The Opportunity for Self-Assessment
To some extent self-assessment is already established in the culture of many schools, but not usually undertaken at the level required during the writing of the Internal Reflection phase of Accreditation. NEASC member schools agree that this introspection is one of the most valuable aspects of the entire process. Also of significant benefit is the opportunity for school staff to meet collaboratively 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 element in a school.
An Evaluation by Peers
The opportunity to receive a detailed, objective evaluation conducted by fellow professionals who have been trained in the Accreditation process, Standards, and Learning Principles and who are familiar with the nature and concerns of International schools is a unique value of Accreditation.
A Plan for the Future
The Internal Reflection document, the Visiting Team Report, the follow-up reports, plus the continued support and advice provided by NEASC serve as effective resources for the member schools as they map out plans (short- and long-term) 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 serves to validate concerns and to guide staff, Governing Body, and administration in establishing priorities and developing action plans.