Why Accreditation is Vital in Choosing a School

School accreditation is the stamp of approval much like a lawyer passing the bar exam. You would obviously only use a licensed lawyer, so it is natural your child would only attend a school that has been accredited by education experts.

Here are three important things to know about accreditation:

  1. All accreditations imply approval of a school’s programs and its implementation, as well as its ongoing development and adherence to established standards. Independent schools do not require accreditation to exist which is why you want to know what accreditations a school has earned.
  2. Accreditations are not permanent. Schools are consistently reviewed to ensure they are developing and growing appropriately.
  3. Accreditation is all about high standards that are uniform across the state, region, or nation.

In addition to being a member of NAIS and PAIS, Trident Academy accredited by SAIS, SCISA, AOGPE, and AdvancEd. Accreditations are more than just a list of acronyms and it is important to understand what the acronym stands for and whether the designating organization is reputable.

The Southern Association of Independent Schools is the largest independent school accrediting organization in North America and accredits more than 360 schools in the U.S. The accreditation process is very rigorous and requires presentation of more than 200 documents. Read more about where Trident Academy is in the re-accreditation process.

The South Carolina Independent School Association is the accrediting body for all independent schools in South Carolina. Requirements include qualified teachers, a proper pupil-teacher ratio, an appropriate course of study, textbooks approved by appropriate personnel or by a committee on standards representing the SCISA and more.

The Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators is the only organization authorized to expressly set and maintain professional and ethical standards for the practice of the Orton-Gillingham approach. Trident Academy is one of just a handful of schools and training programs in the nation accredited by AOGPE.

AdvancED is the largest community of education professionals in the world. It is the result of a merger of the PreK-12 divisions of the North Central Association (NCA) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). The non-profit, non-partisan organization conducts rigorous, on-site external reviews of PreK-12 schools and school systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential.

In addition to accrediting organizations, there are also important organizations that only offer memberships. By joining these organization, schools show they are committed to their mission and longevity.

The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) is a nonprofit membership association that provides services to more than 1,700 schools and associations of schools in the United States and abroad. NAIS is the national voice of independent education, advocating on behalf of its members.

The Palmetto Association of Independent Schools member schools are non-profit organizations that are either accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) or the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS). PAIS is the recognized voice of independent education in South Carolina.

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