|Accreditation of Schools
Hawaii State Department of Education
Board of Education Policy 2710, "Accreditation of Schools," states: " …All public secondary schools and community schools for adults shall engage in the accreditation process as prescribed by the accrediting agency that has been designated by the Board of Education. All other public schools are encouraged to engage in the accreditation process."
The organization designated by the Board is the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Accrediting Commission for Schools (ACS).
WASC is one of six regional accrediting associations in the United States. The Commission provides assistance to schools located in East Asia, California, Hawaii, and the Pacific Islands. The WASC/ACS extends its services to over 3,500 public, independent, church-related and proprietary pre K-12 and adults schools.
Why is accreditation important?
What is accreditation?
Accreditation is a continual process of assessment, planning, implementing, monitoring, and reassessment. The process is guided and assisted by self-study, visit, and follow-up.
Annually, schools are expected to summarize the degree to which all students are accomplishing the General Learner Outcomes and the Hawaii Content and Performance Standards. Schools are expected to review the progress made on the current Academic and Financial Plan in relation to student achievement and make appropriate revisions to the forthcoming Academic and Financial Plan and their three-year long range School Strategic Plan.
Every six years, the school conducts an in-depth self-study to examine overall progress accomplished since the last self-study and the effectiveness of its current program based on the WASC/DOE criteria in relation to student achievement. This results in a written summary of findings supported by evidence and the development of an updated School Strategic Plan for the next three years and the forthcoming Academic and Financial Plan. The self-study report is sent to the accreditation visiting committee members for careful study at least four to five weeks prior to the visit. The visiting committee prepares a report based on its analysis of the self-study and the visit. The report discusses highlights of the school’s programs including strengths and critical areas that need to be addressed. Using the results of the visit, the school modifies and implements its School Strategic Plan and forthcoming Academic and Financial Plan and so continues the cycle of improvement.
How is an accreditation term determined?
A term of accreditation is the period of time that best reflects the degree to which 1) the school is a trustworthy institution; and 2) the school is implementing an improvement process that will improve student learning. Visiting committees make the recommendation for a term based upon the WASC/DOE criteria.
Summary of Accreditation Terms
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