Secondary Schools Accreditation
All of the high schools in the Archdiocese are accredited by a regional, national, or international accrediting association. These include AdvancED (the parent organization of the the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC), and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), the Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS); and the Missouri Non-Public Schools Accrediting Association (MNPAA). These accrediting associations establish standards which must be met by member schools.
High schools are encouraged to qualify for accreditation by AdvancED, and the vast majority of the Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese are accredited by this organization. AdvancED is the world's largest education community, accrediting 30,000 public and private schools and districts in that together serve 16 million students in the United States and 70 other countries.
The AdvancED accreditation standards and indicators focus on five areas: (1) Purpose and Direction; (2) Governance and Leadership; (3) Teaching and Assessing for Learning; (4) Resources and Support Systems; and, (5) Using Results for Continuous Improvement. Detailed information about the accreditation standards and the requirements for accredited schools can be found online at http://www.advanc-ed.org.
AdvancED accredited schools must (a) engage in an internal review of how the school meets each standard and indicator, the current levels of student achievement, and the current levels of stakeholder satisfaction; (b) engage in a continuous school improvement process focused on improving students' academic performance and increasing organizational effectiveness, (c) provide assurances that applicable policies are being followed; (d) provide evidence that the standards and indicators are being met, (e) host a two and one-half day review by an external review team, and (f) provide evidence of completing required actions identified during the external review within a tewo year period after the review. This accreditation process occurs as a continuous five-year cycle and involves extensive examination of school documents and data, observation of the school in operation, and interviews of students, faculty members, staff members, parents, board members, and community members.
The AdvancED school improvement activities target improvement of students' academic performance and the improvement of the school's organizational effectiveness. Accredited schools must establish goals for improvement in each area, collect and analyze data regarding the current level of student performance and organizational effectiveness, design and implement improvement strategies, monitor the implementation of strategies, and analyze the degree of improvement achieved.
For additional information contact:
Dr. Cathy Johns
Director of Curriculum, Instruction , and Assessment
Catholic Education Office
20 Archbishop May Drive
St. Louis MO 63119