The Accreditation Process

With a balanced, systemic approach combining Standards, stakeholder feedback and student performance to measure quality programs, relationships and results, AdvancED® Accreditation helps schools make the most of their talents and resources. AdvancED aligns accreditation with accountability, emphasizing a learner-centric approach when evaluating institutional quality. However, it is not the outcome but the course taken over time that yields the greatest return on investment.

The Accreditation process is based on AdvancED Performance Standards

Continuous improvement that results in success for all learners should be the goal of every institution. The Improvement Journey for each institution may look different but should always include measures of quality of learning and instruction. The AdvancED Performance Standards serve this purpose by providing a set of evaluative criteria that lays the foundation for improvement planning and implementation. Based on rigorous research and best practices, the Standards are a powerful tool for driving institutional change. AdvancED is committed to quality and meeting the needs of the educational institutions it serves. Every five years, the organization uses an iterative process to review, revise and renew the Standards to ensure they remain relevant and challenge institutions to reach higher. AdvancED’s guiding question is: What will support the success of each and every learner? The AdvancED Performance Standards embody the belief that high quality learning can transform lives, communities and the world.

Anatomy of the AdvancED Performance Standards

The new Standards, varying in number based on institution type, are organized under three Domains:

  1. Leadership Capacity
  2. Learning Capacity
  3. Resource Capacity

The Domains are statements that define the capacity of an organization or institution to provide quality and meet the rigorous demands of continuous improvement. Each Domain is further defined by Standards, which in turn, are defined by Performance Rubrics. The AdvancED Performance Standards are research-based statements that describe conditions that are necessary for institutions to support organizational effectiveness and improve student performance. In addition to the Domains and accompanying Standards, two Performance Rubrics also are aligned to the Standards to help provide measurable progress and an overall assessment of practices. The Rubrics act as a diagnostic tool, each consisting of four performance levels, that contain evaluative criteria related to concepts contained within the Standard statement.

Collectively, the elements of the AdvancED Performance Standards serve as a road map for the continuous improvement process for institutions and as the foundation of the accreditation process used by AdvancED Review Teams to provide relevant and quality feedback on how institutions are serving the learner.

­­AdvancED® Performance Accreditation: Step-by-Step

Join the Network

  1. Join the AdvancED Improvement Network and start your journey to continuous school improvement. AdvancED will touch base with you at least once a year to help personalize and customize your improvement journey.

Engage in Continuous Improvement

  1. Learn and Share – Gather and share stakeholder perspectives and experiences to document the results of your institution improvement efforts.
  2. Examine and Plan – Collect and analyze the shared data, prioritize improvement areas, define your vision and set the strategic direction of your institution.
  3. Act and Evaluate – Plot your journey, take action, gather evidence, evaluate results and continuously monitor and adjust course.

Do you have the tools and content to engage in these activities? The AdvancED award-winning eProve® technology platform gives all AdvancED Improvement Network members the proprietary evaluation and collaboration instruments needed to support a Continuous Improvement Journey.

Seek Accreditation

  1. Notify your AdvancED office of your interestin pursuing accreditation. A representative supports you throughout the process. New AdvancED accreditation candidatesparticipate in a Readiness Engagement Review, receive a review report and are asked to confirm their commitment to the Accreditation process before moving forward.
  2. Document your improvement journey. Using the AdvancED Certified Content or an approved alternative, supply your continuous improvement findings and insights related to school and system quality, stakeholder perspectives on your climate and culture, student and educator experiences, classroom observations, and your improvement plan.
  3. Work with AdvancED to host an Engagement Review. Led by an AdvancED-certified Lead Evaluator, a rigorously trained Engagement Review Team will visit your institution. This team will:
  • Perform classroom observations using the AdvancED Effective Learning Environment Observation Tool® (eleot®).
  • Conduct stakeholder interviews using AdvancED proprietary evaluation instruments.
  • Review student performance and stakeholder feedback.
  • Evaluate your institution based on the AdvancED Performance Standards.
  • Examine artifacts and evidence to support your improvement journey.

The Engagement Review concludes with a meeting between the institution leader (including institution team members as desired) and the AdvancED Lead Evaluator to provide an overview of the team’s findings, answer questions and address concerns.

Continue the Journey – Post Engagement Review

  1. Review the Powerful Practices and Improvement Priorities detailed in the Engagement Review report.

Institutions receive a report pending final approval about 30 working days after the Engagement Review. Review it thoroughly then share the findings with internal and external stakeholders.

  1. Receive your institution’s Accreditation decision.

Following review by the local AdvancED Council and ratification by the AdvancED Accreditation Commission, your institution will receive the final engagement review report including an Index of Education Quality (IEQ) score.