Greater Houlton Christian Academy was granted a ten year term of accreditation in 2010 by both the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACS), making it only the second Christian school in the state to become accredited at all and the only school in Maine that is accredited by both of these organizations. NEASC is the nation’s oldest accrediting association and is the organization that accredits public and private schools in the New England area.
So why is accreditation such a significant accomplishment? Here are some of the benefits of accreditation:
- It tells parents that objective, trained educators have validated that the school is meeting national standards and that they can have confidence that the school is doing what it says it is doing.
- It makes it easier for students to transfer from one school to another; credits are more easily transferred from one school to another.
- It offers greater access for students to federal loans, scholarships, post secondary education, and military programs that require regional accreditation.
- It forces a school to take a thorough, candid look at what it is doing—which is the first step toward improvement.
- It gives the school a road map for improvement. The visiting team’s report helps to clarify areas that need attention. It also provides some accountability to ensure that the school continues to make progress in areas it needs to strengthen.
- It makes more professional development opportunities available such as annual conferences and workshops on school improvement.
- It opens the doors for more opportunities and programs such as grants, dual credit programs, National Honor Society, etc.