What is accreditation?
As defined by the U.S. Department of Education, accreditation is “the recognition that an institution maintains standards requisite for its graduates to gain admission to other reputable institutions of higher learning or to achieve credentials for professional practice. The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions meets acceptable levels of quality.” Institutions or programs that request an evaluation and that meet an agency’s criteria are then “accredited” by that agency.
What are accrediting agencies?
As defined by the U.S. Department of Education, accrediting agencies are “private educational associations of regional or national scope that develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met.” Schools, school districts, or specific programs within an educational establishment may contract with an accrediting agency to determine educational quality. (AdvancED and Western Association of Schools and Colleges are two examples of accrediting agencies.) Individual states set their own accreditation guidelines, so accrediting agency standards should be reviewed before contracting with any agency in order to ensure the evaluation will fulfill the state requirements.
How can the CLI Model help you meet accreditation standards?
Each accrediting agency has its own set of standards by which it evaluates schools, but most include similar criteria. The CLI Model for School Improvement was designed to offer processes for meeting academic mandates, including accreditation. It aligns closely with most accreditation agency standards.
Below is a list of common evaluation categories and the phase(s) of the CLI Model they correspond with:
| Systemic indicators such as leadership, communication, |
culture, and policy
|Full CLI Model|
|Directional indicators such as processes, cohesiveness,|
| Curriculum indicators such as rigor, alignment to standards, |
| Instructional indicators such as strategies, mentoring, |
|Assessment indicators such as grading, reporting, and |
data collection and usage
Click here for a more detailed look at how CLI meets AdvancED accreditation standards.
Contact us to request information about alignment to your state standards.