Accreditation: Two-Year Process for the Big Questions—How Do We Fit, What Are Our Strengths, and How Can We Improve?
Every six years each Catholic school in the western region of the U.S. goes through a rigorous process to reach accreditation. Reaching accreditation, to present and function as a Catholic school, is not only a stamp of approval but a wider examination: how Assumption Catholic School compares to other like Catholic schools, our strengths, and areas for improvement.
While the working load for Catholic teaching faculty and staff is always impressive, preparation for accreditation, alongside of teaching, requires even more time during this two-year process. Preparation began last year, as presented in the 2017-2018 new-family orientation, opening-day orientation, State of the School presentation, and all working committees (Parent Teacher Club, admissions and retention, finance, school commission).
And accreditation work culminates, for this cycle, in this 2018-2019 school year. A visiting committee of four-to six educators has been working with the school community to review a self-study, examine aspects of school life, and prepare a written report of findings. That report—accreditation approval, and, as importantly, findings on pedagogy (teaching content, process, and Catholic identity) along with organizing systems (how we promote, fund, enroll, and communicate)—will be shared with faculty and staff, school families, and parish.
According to the Western Catholic Educational Association (Catholic Schools Accrediting Commission), “The major purpose of this agency is to coordinate the accreditation process by assisting schools in their self-evaluative programs, to establish general standards for excellence, to grant WCEA Accreditation, and to cooperate formally with regional accrediting organizations as determined by the WCEA Board of Directors.”