Is Accreditation Important for K12 Schools?

Accreditation is a different animal on the K-12 level than on the higher education one. Because of the varied state regulations concerning homeschooling (or any form of non-traditional learning) accreditation isn't as critical as with colleges and universities. Furthermore, most of the regionals aren't particularly equipped to handle the uniquenesses of distance primary and secondary schools.

To address this issue, the regional accrediting agencies have created a special accrediting agency called The Commission on International and Trans-regional Accreditation (CITA). CITA has developed an excellent database of accredited K-12 schools which can be searched at The International Registry of Accredited Schools.

As an alternative to the regional accrediting agencies, many Christian schools seek accreditation through The Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). The ACSI accreditation program was one of the first programs to be officially recognized by the National Council for Private School Accreditation and is recognized in the educational community as a legitimate form of accreditation. ACSI is certainly not the only recognized Christian school accrediting agency, but it is perhaps the most well-known. Accreditation by a regional agency, CITA, or ACSI is a good indication of the quality of a school; however, lack of such accreditation shouldn't necessarily disqualify a school from your consideration.

Regardless of what school you choose, be sure to check with your state educational regulations about any steps that you must take to certify your child's K-12 learning experience. Visit the Home School Legal Defense Association to learn more about the specific homeschooling laws in your state.

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