MSA-CESS -> Taking Accreditation to the Next Level: What Does It Really Mean?
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Taking Accreditation to the Next Level: What Does It Really Mean?
Message from MSA President Henry G. Cram, Ed.D.
Taking Accreditation to the Next Level, our new strategic plan for the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS), was officially adopted at the Fall 2017 Commission meeting.

Developed over the past two years, the plan reflects what we have learned from our previous improvement planning processes and demonstrates our growing understanding of what we all need to do to ensure we are continuously improving.

Taking Accreditation to the Next Level can mean several things.

For example, quantitatively, it means continuing to improve metrics like member satisfaction, which has risen consistently over the past several years. Tracking data from the biannual member surveys from 2010-2017 indicates member satisfaction has continued to increase on four measures, including improved school performance, educational program alignment, school governance and organizational change.

From the perspective of the Lessons Learned Activity, completed by members seeking re-accreditation, Taking Accreditation to the Next Level provides a qualitative meaning as well. Using that lens, we found we have improved on our use of technology, expanded and strengthened our cooperative relationships, developed new protocols, like Systems, Sustaining Excellence and Programs of Distinction, added categories of membership, and improved our organizational capacity and the quality of our member services.

Throughout the strategic planning process, we gained greater insight into the importance of accountability, the use of technology to manage the improvement process, the value of applying the latest research and proven practices, and the necessity of engagement and collaboration in promoting, sustaining and attaining improved school performance. Taking Accreditation to the Next Level, therefore, means that as an organization, MSA-CESS will use that knowledge and understanding to provide our members with updated standards, more protocol options, networking opportunities, access to more educational resources and increased quality member services.

In the coming months and throughout the implementation of our new strategic plan, our goal is to demonstrate that what Taking Accreditation to the Next Level really means is that MSA-CESS and our members are leading the way in continuously improving school performance.
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