PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — The Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS) announced today that 40 Catholic schools in 11 dioceses and archdioceses earned accreditation or reaccreditation, the gold standard for measuring and advancing school improvement.
“I congratulate our newly accredited and reaccredited Catholic schools for their ongoing commitment to achieving excellence,” said Henry G. Cram, Ed.D., president of the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools. “The Middle States accreditation process is a proven and cost-effective approach to help all schools and students grow and improve.”
MSA-CESS accredits preK-12 public, private, parochial, and charter schools. In addition, MSA-CESS accredits non-degree granting career and technical post-secondary institutions, special purpose schools, supplementary education centers, learning services providers, and distance education institutions.
Accreditation is a multifaceted evaluation process that schools and school systems voluntarily use to demonstrate they are meeting a defined set of research-based performance standards. The 12 Middle States Standards for Accreditation are: mission; governance and leadership; school improvement planning; finances; facilities; school organization and staff; health and safety; educational program; assessment and evidence of student learning; student services; student life and activities, and information resources.
The accreditation process begins with a self-study that is conducted by the school or school system and requires input from school leaders, teachers, parents and students. Following the self-study, a team of volunteer educators from Middle States member schools conducts an on-site peer review visit to observe school operations and interview various stakeholders.
The visiting team makes its recommendation to the Middle States Association Commissions, which voted on the accreditations at its biannual meeting in Philadelphia this month.
“I can personally attest to the value of accreditation as it has significantly helped our school system establish and achieve goals through strategic planning, curriculum alignment and coalition building,” said Middle States Commissioner William W. Crist, school superintendent for the Diocese of Syracuse. “As a result, our student performance continues to steadily improve, and our faculty and staff along with our parents share in our mission to ensure all children have access to high quality education.”
A full list of schools and school systems that earned accreditation or reaccreditation is available here.
About Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS)
Based in Philadelphia, the Middle States Association is the worldwide leader in accreditation and school improvement. For over 125 years, Middle States has been helping school leaders establish and reach their goals, develop strategic plans, promote staff development and advance student achievement. With more than 2,700 accredited schools and school systems in 34 states and nearly 100 countries, MSA-CESS is proud of its continuing legacy and its ongoing innovations to meet the challenges of improving education in the 21st century. For more information visit www.msa-cess.org.