Why Accreditation Matters

Accreditation is a quality standard that is granted by an independent third party organization. It is a “good housekeeping seal of approval” that is given to schools and it verifies that the school has a quality system in place and complies with best practices in education. Like any other private school, Obridge Academy demonstrates by being accredited that our curriculum, processes, teachers, digital resources and systems are of the highest quality and meet the requirements of an online school with the most rigorous standards.

Accreditation is granted to Obridge Academy from AdvancED, one of the nation’s largest regional accrediting bodies. The accreditation is regional, due to the type of organizations that were created in the 1800s for each region of the country. These organizations include  (A) Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, (B) New England Association of Schools and Colleges, (C) North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, (D) Northwest Accreditation Commission for primary and secondary schools and Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities for postsecondary institutions, (E) Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and (F) Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Traditionally, each organization handled their own region of the country. Over time, as online schools were established, the organization that accredits the headquarters of the school is generally selected to be the school’s accrediting organization. To signal our commitment to quality, Obridge Academy selected SACS. SACS CASI accredits over 13,000 primary, middle, and secondary schools, as well as school systems located in the SACS region. In 2006, AdvancED was established with the unification of SACS CASI, NCA CASI, and NSSE creating the world’s largest education community. Today, SACS CASI acts as an accreditation division of AdvancED. AdvancED also provides tailored programs to enhance online learning and a focus on excellence in online education.

More about regional accreditation for both high schools and colleges can be found here on Wikipedia.

What’s the difference between National and Regional Accreditation?

In theory, nothing is different between the two types of accreditation. In practice, however, the older, regional, accrediting organizations are more widely linked to the liberal arts and traditional educational standards and objectives. National Accreditation is generally reserved for trade schools and organizations who focus on academics that are non-traditional. Credits may be more easily transferred/accepted by those organizations who are regionally accredited.

At Obridge Academy we wish to prepare students for entrance to any college/university to which they may qualify, and to prepare them to qualify, a regional accrediting organization like AdvancED is ideal and most widely respected.

 

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