Accreditation demonstrates APU’s commitment to excellence in education.
What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is a voluntary dual-purpose process that schools must be worthy of the trust placed in them to provide high-quality learning opportunities and clearly demonstrate continual self-improvement.
An accredited school is focused on a mission and goals for students; it is student-oriented and examines its students’ performance continuously; it accepts objective evaluation from a team of outside peer professionals; it maintains a qualified faculty within an effectively organized school; it collaboratively assesses the quality of its educational programs on a regular basis; and it plans for the future.
Who Accredits US Schools?
Schools in the U.S. are accredited by regional accrediting agencies. There are four major accreditation agencies for public and private schools:
Cognia Accreditation Divisions:
o North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI)
o Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC)
o Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI)
Other three US Accreditation Divisions:
o Accrediting Commission for Schools – Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
o Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA)
o New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
Why is accreditation important to our students?
- Accreditation protects the interests of students, their parents, the academic institutions themselves, and potential employers, by ensuring that the educational programs offered have attained a level that meets or exceeds standards that were developed by experts in the field.
- Accreditation also plays a vital role in the ability to transfer credits from one school to another. You stand a better chance of previous college credits counting towards a new degree program if the former school was accredited. Accreditation may also affect whether or not you’re eligible for financial aid, along with what types of aid you may receive.
- APU American International School has received accreditation and membership certification from many leading international educational organizations. This reaffirms APU’s ongoing efforts and significant investment in improving training quality and APU’s international educational environment.
How to become an accredited school?
- Becoming accredited is voluntary. However, any school that has concern for maintaining a student body and delivering a quality education will work toward receiving and keeping accreditation. The exact procedure will depend on which accrediting agency the school seeks accreditation from, but regardless of the agency, the entire process typically takes one to two years to complete
- Accrediting bodies generally provide the standards and allow the institution to perform self-evaluations of their performance. The accreditors then perform an on-site, formal evaluation of the school and make a decision regarding its accreditation status. Accreditors continue to monitor regionally accredited institution during a set period of accreditation. When that period ends, schools get re-evaluated to renew their accreditation. This process ensures schools continue to adhere to high academic standards after initially earning accreditation.
Cognia, formerly AdvancED, nationally recognizes districts that meet rigorous standards focused on productive learning environments, equitable resource allocation that meets the needs of learners, and effective leadership. Earning accreditation from the Cognia Global Accreditation Commission means that the school is accredited, and that APU is recognized across the globe as a school that meets Cognia Standards of Quality, and maintains a commitment to continuous improvement.
To earn Cognia accreditation, a school also must implement a continuous process of improvement, and submit to internal and external review. Schools in good standing can maintain their accreditation for a five-year term.
Dr. Mark A. Elgart, president and CEO of Cognia, stated, “Cognia Accreditation is a rigorous process that focuses the entire school and its community on the primary goal of preparing lifelong learners in engaging environments where all students can flourish. APU is to be commended for demonstrating that it has met high standards, is making progress on key indicators that impact student learning.”