Accredited Homeschooling Programs: The Who, The What, and The Why
When you choose to homeschool you’re faced with many options for companion and partner programs. We hear questions all the time like “why does homeschool accreditation matter?” and “what type of homeschool accreditation is best?” One thing is clear: accredited homeschooling programs give your child better access to colleges and universities, security in record keeping and transcripts, and peace of mind. But, in the world of accreditation and homeschooling programs, all are not alike and it can be confusing to weed through the many options. Choosing between accredited homeschooling programs doesn’t have to be mindboggling. Keep reading to find out just what accredited homeschooling programs are and what homeschool accreditation is and why it matters.
What is Accreditation
If you’re searching for accredited homeschooling programs, you probably have some idea about what accreditation is. But, in case you’re not familiar, accreditation means that the homeschool academy or program has opened up every area to outside inspection and review by an accrediting body. Essentially, it’s an audit of policies, procedures, curriculum, and expectations. The best accrediting bodies require schools to submit self-evaluations, curriculum, performance statistics, and procedure overviews. Schools should do this yearly to show that they are maintaining a high level of quality and consistency in their program and curriculum. Accreditation is about ensuring quality, setting high standards, and promoting consistency to raise the impact and view of homeschooling.
Why Choose Accreditation
When it comes to choosing a homeschool program, selecting one that is accredited is essential. The benefits of homeschool accreditation include:
• Knowledge that your program has been audited and evaluated for quality
• Less worry about record keeping, transcripts, and reporting
• Protection of your homeschooling rights
• Freedom to transfer, move, etc. with ease by using an accredited transcript
• And more! Find out all of the benefits of accreditation here.
Types of Accreditation
As we’ve said, when it comes to accredited homeschooling programs, not all are created equal. Knowing which homeschooling programs have the best accreditation can make your decision much easier!
Regional accrediting bodies are those officially recognized by many state and local governments. The Federal government (USDE) does NOT recognize any other accrediting bodies for grades K-12. These regional bodies are the only ones officially recognized by the USDE. While some states have their own accrediting bodies, most states belong to one of the main regional accrediting bodies. Regional accreditation is often the most strict, has the highest standards, is uniform, and carries more weight with colleges and universities. They include:
• AdvancEd Joint K12 School Status Search for the Following Accreditations
• Middle States Association
• New England Association
• North Central Association
• Southern Association
• Western Association
Christian or Religious Accreditation
Many Christian groups, such as private schools and churches, do not pursue secular accreditation, rather opting to go with a private, Christian accrediting body. These groups typically carry less weight than the regional accrediting bodies and are recognized only by a handful of states. None are accepted or recognized by the USDE; however many colleges and universities will accept transcripts and diplomas from these accrediting bodies. These bodies are more concerned with the religious principles and curriculum presentation and are often grouped by denomination or religious affiliation.
Many states and private schools have come together to create their own accrediting bodies, again not recognized by the USDE, but still holding weight within those states. The requirements by these types of accrediting institutions often revolve around state standards and requirements and can vary highly in their acceptance rates between states and by colleges and universities.
Bridgeway Academy is proud to be accredited by AdvancEd, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council (SACS). Learn more about our accreditation and why you should always choose accredited homeschooling programs here. Or call today at 800-863-1474!