Undoubtedly, there are many excellent private schools across the country. However, not all these schools need to be recognized or accredited.
What is Accreditation
Accreditation is an extensive and exhaustive exercise under which a private school is carefully inspected through proper procedures. Accreditation involves an in-depth evaluation of a private school, ranging from its management to its academics, by national or state authorities. Accreditation is a dynamic process, and all accredited institutes are required to ensure that they maintain the integrity of their processes to preserve their accreditation. Accreditation is termed as the most authentic source to gauge the quality of a private school. Its seal of approval guarantees and provides the surety that the school offers students a quality education.
Earning and Preserving of Accreditation
Accreditation is a multifaceted process spread over several years. Further, it is essential to understand that the seal of approval is not necessarily granted to all schools applying and paying for accreditation. Accreditation is a lengthy process entailing the following steps:
Self-study is essentially the first step towards accreditation, which examines the strengths and weaknesses of the institute. After that, the institute’s compliance with local or international standards is assessed, and areas for improvement are highlighted. This step ensures that the institute’s admission policies, academics, and other aspects of student life align with its vision. The self-study should be realistic, aptly identifying any room for improvement.
Reporting to Review Committee
After self-study, the next step involves reporting to the review committee. This step involves the submission of the self-study report with references documented for the review committee. The review committee reviews and analyzes the institute according to set metrics, after which the results are discussed.
Review Committee Campus Visit
After the evaluation, the review committee plans its visit to the school. During their visit, the review committee assesses the institute’s infrastructure, resources, and environment. On their final visit, the review committee meets with the school’s administration about their views and findings.
After that, the review committee makes a detailed report regarding their assessment and recommendations for the school. The detailed report usually contains short term goals and long term goals. The short-term goals must be accomplished within the initial years before the next check-in, whereas the long-term goals are required to be attained before the reaccreditation, preferably within 7 to 10 years.
The Importance of Accreditation
Accreditation is of paramount importance and must be considered as such by the schools. The schools, instead of merely maintaining their present status, must demonstrate growth between check-ins. It is to be noted that the review committee has the right to revoke the accreditation of a private school if it is convinced that a school is not providing quality education or not complying with the committee’s recommendations. Regional accreditation associations have their own criteria and standards for accredited schools and those seeking first-time accreditation.
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