April 9, 2012
By: Hendrik DeBoer, Research Fellow
You asked a series of questions regarding New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) accreditation. They are restated and answered below.
IS NEASC ACCREDITATION STATE OR FEDERALLY MANDATED?
Neither state nor federal law mandates that schools be accredited by NEASC or any other accrediting agency. State law does require that the board of education for any public school that is NEASC-accredited disclose the accreditation reports to the public (C.G.S. § 10-239j).
ARE THERE ANY WORTHY NONPROFITS OTHER THAN NEASC THAT PROVIDE ACCREDITATION ACCEPTED AT LOCAL, STATE OR SURROUNDING STATES' HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS?
State Department of Education (SDE) officials did not know of any other accrediting agency for public high schools in the region. Additional organizations provide accreditation for specific types of private high schools (such as Catholic schools, Montessori schools, etc.). These organizations often work in concert with the NEASC to provide joint accreditation.
HOW MANY HIGH SCHOOLS IN CONNECTICUT PAY THE FEE TO EARN NEASC ACCREDITATION? HOW MANY SCHOOL DISTRICTS' FEES, IF ANY, ARE PAID FOR BY THE STATE?
The NEASC accredits 222 high schools in the state. This includes 139 public schools, 17 state-run technical schools and 66 independent schools. Fees for NEASC accreditation include annual dues and expenses to accommodate the visiting committee every 10 years. Local school districts pay these fees for public schools; the state pays for the technical schools; independent schools pay their own fees.
(http://cpss.neasc.org/cpss_directory_of_schools/, http://cis.neasc.org/cis_directory_of_schools/, http://ctci.neasc.org/ctci_directory_of_schools/)
HOW MANY HIGH SCHOOLS IN THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT HAVE LOST THEIR NEASC ACCREDITATION?
Although some schools have been placed on probation, no high schools, other than those which have closed, have lost their NEASC accreditation in Connecticut within the last 20 years, according to the NEASC.
IF THERE ARE SCHOOLS THAT HAVE LOST ACCREDITATION, HOW HAS THIS SPECIFICALLY AFFECTED THEIR STUDENTS' ABILITY TO GAIN ADMITTANCE INTO HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS?
Although no Connecticut high schools have lost accreditation in recent history, SDE officials say that loss of accreditation would create difficulties for students applying to higher education institutions, since admission offices consider whether an applicant's high school is accredited when deciding which candidates to accept. Some colleges require graduation from an accredited high school.