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What is School Accreditation and Why Is It Important?

Authored By: 
George Higgins, Headmaster

How can parents know if a school is providing a good education?  Who monitors the quality of an academic program to ensure that students are receiving the kind of preparation they need?  There are several organizations whose responsibility it is to establish an accredited high school.   These can be local, state, regional, or national organizations.  Also, it is possible to identify an accredited online high school.

So what, exactly, is an accredited high school?  It is an academic program that has been reviewed by an organization whose job it is to examine all aspects of a school, from the physical structure to the design of a course syllabus.  When you are trying to evaluate the quality of a school, look to see who it is accredited by and if that organization is unfamiliar to you, use the internet as a resource to learn more.

Once a school has been approved by a industry-wide recognized accrediting institution, parents can be assured that the standards of that school are in adherence with the expectations identified by the accrediting institution.

The best accredited online schools will be ones that allow a student “face-time” with the teacher.  A private, one-to-one lesson via the internet is an ideal way for a certain student to schedule a class whenever it is convenient, wherever it is convenient, and move at a pace the fits the student’s learning style.  Programs like this are rare, but The Beekman School’s accredited online school is one example of this type of education.

Many times, private schools are not accredited by a state’s education department.  This is not an indication that the school is providing an inferior education.  Many of the independent accrediting organizations pride themselves on establishing standards that are equal to or better than the state’s requirements.  Regardless of who a school chooses to seek recognition from, it is also important to find out who has established the accreditation.