Norfolk Catholic School is fully accredited by AdvancED. We are also accredited by the Nebraska Department of Education and is a member in good standing of the National Catholic Educational Association.
What is accreditation?
Accreditation is a voluntary method of quality assurance developed more than 100 years ago by American universities and secondary schools, and designed primarily to distinguish schools adhering to a set of educational standards. The accreditation process is also known in terms of its ability to effectively drive student performance and continuous improvement in education. But such definitions, though accurate, are incomplete.
While accreditation is a set of rigorous protocols and research-based processes for evaluating an institution’s organizational effectiveness, it is far more than that. Today accreditation examines the whole institution—the programs, the cultural context, the community of stakeholders—to determine how well the parts work together to meet the needs of students.
Why does accreditation matter?
Accreditation is designed to help educational institutions boost their ongoing performance efforts for the benefit of their students. AdvancED insists on a relentless pursuit of excellence – for itself and for the institutions it accredits. This ethic of excellence ensures that institutions will find rich benefits from accreditation and that parents can confidently make informed decisions about their children’s education, knowing their child’s school is accredited. Accreditation matters because our students deserve the highest level of educational excellence possible.
- Educational institutions that engage in AdvancED Accreditation will:
- Unite with a global network committed to standards of educational excellence.
- Earn the distinction of quality through the recognized seal of AdvancED accreditation.
- Experience a unified, clear, and powerful accreditation process with a scalable and sustainable evaluation of education quality.
- Receive external and objective validation of the areas in which they’re doing well, and the areas for continuous improvement.
- Benefit from AdvancED research that shapes educational policy and improves learning practices.
- Experience a state-of-the-art web-based accreditation system that is continuously being upgraded and improved.
- Hear the best available ideas and thinking on education practices and trends through innovative products, educational technologies, and the collective knowledge of peers.
- Benefit from shared expertise and powerful professional learning through local and global workshops, training, conferences, and personalized service.
- Students and their parents will:
- Experience ease in transferring credits from one school to another.
- Gain greater access to federal loans, scholarships, postsecondary education and military programs that require students attend an accredited institution.
- Benefit from their institution or educational system’s commitment to raising student performance and accountability.
An AdvancED accredited institution or educational system adheres to the highest quality standards. These standards are the product of careful research and years of testing and fine-tuning the successful practices in education.
The AdvancED Accreditation Standards consider all aspects of how institutions deliver quality education, which include teaching and learning, vision and strategies, governance, data use, resources, and self- improvement. By examining the individual components of the educational system, we get a comprehensive look at the whole.
The AdvancED Accreditation Standards are:
Vision and Purpose – The institution or educational system establishes and communicates a shared purpose and direction for improving the performance of students and the effectiveness of the school/system.
Governance and Leadership – The institution or educational system provides governance and leadership that promote student performance and school/system effectiveness.
Teaching and Learning – The institution or educational system provides research-based curriculum and instructional methods that facilitate achievement for all students.
Documenting and Using Results – The institution or educational system enacts a comprehensive assessment system that monitors and documents performance and uses these results to improve student performance and school effectiveness.
Resources and Support Systems – The institution or educational system has the resources and services necessary to support its vision and purpose and to ensure achievement for all students.
Stakeholder Communications and Relationships – The institution or educational system fosters effective communications and relationships with and among its stakeholders.
Commitment to Continuous Improvement – The institution or educational system establishes, implements and monitors a continuous process of improvement that focuses on student performance.
School leaders establish a seamless link between accreditation and school improvement using accreditation as a dynamic catalyst for the continuous improvement process. School Accreditation can be used by individual institutions, both public and private, and educational service agencies.
School leaders engaged in AdvancED Accreditation will:
- Take stock in themselves in relation to a set of research based quality standards
- Establish a vision, assess their current reality, implement and improvement plan, monitor progress and evaluate results
- Enhance the school’s best thinking with the insights and perspectives of an external review team.
AdvancED provides an effective engine for systematizing and maximizing school improvement efforts. Schools testify to the significant impact and benefit that stem from integrating school improvement and accreditation, including increased student performance.