Definition of Accreditation
Applied to the Christian school movement, accreditation is an evaluation by educational peers to verify that the school is accomplishing its stated mission and purpose. Essential elements in the accreditation process are:
- A clear statement of a Christian school's educational philosophy and goals; the assessment of quality is made in terms of these factors;
- An on-going directed self study which is focused on the achievement of the school's goals; the self study should be continuous, not sporadic;
- An on-site review by a selected group of peers of the school's educational program in operation.
As operationally defined by the Georgia Association of Christian Schools, the following statement of characteristics would apply to accreditation:
- It is totally voluntary and, therefore, cannot mandate compliance or control behavior except by persuasion and peer influence.
- It is primarily an example of on-going self-assessment that serves as a testimony to the various communities which are impacted by the Christian school.
- It provides for outside consultation through the on-site review, closely tied to the school's own statement of philosophy and educational goals.
Accreditation requires the school to evaluate its educational process objectively. For this reason, GACS encourages its member schools to undergo the accreditation process.