According to an exit report from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Division of AdvancED, the Etowah County Board of Education recently earned accreditation for a five-year period. Etowah County exceeded AdvancED averages in all rated categories.
AdvancED is the largest community of education professional in the world. The group performs on-site reviews and is a partner with 32,000 schools and school systems across the United States and 70 other nations.
Accreditation is a voluntary method of quality assurance developed more than 100 years ago by American universities and secondary schools. It is designed primarily to distinguish schools adhering to a set of educational standards. Today, the accreditation process is used at all levels of education and is recognized for its ability to effectively drive student performance and continuous improvement in education. Institutions seeking to gain or retain accreditation by AdvancED must meet AdvancED standards.
Institutions seeking to gain or retain accreditation by AdvancED must meet AdvancED standards. These standards focus on systems within a school and systematic methods of attaining high student performance and organizational effectiveness. The standards address preparing students with skills that they will need for the future and include high expectations for professional practice. The standards require demonstrated growth in student learning and achievement; a commitment to developing learning, thinking, and life skills for all students; and formal structures whereby each student is well-known. The power of the standards lies in the connections and linkages between and among the standards.
Institutions must also participate in an external review, completed by a team of highly qualified external peer evaluators who examine the institution’s adherence and commitment to AdvancED standards. This review is the hallmark of the accreditation process and energizes and equips the leadership and stakeholders of an institution or school system to maintain areas of high performance and tackle those areas that may be thwarting desired performance levels. The external review is a rigorous process that includes review of artifacts, interviews with stakeholders and observations of instruction, learning, and operations.