Why get accredited?

Schools choose accreditation for the many benefits our Association offers. A primary reason our schools frequently share is that accreditation offers objective outside validation their school meets high standards. Other reasons for becoming accredited through MNSAA include:

  • Credibility of the quality of a school program in the eyes of stakeholders and the public

  • A framework for the best possible educational program for learners

  • A public statement that the school is measured against rigorous standards and has developed a strategic plan for continuous improvement

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How do I get started?

After determining the desirability of accreditation through discussion with school stakeholders, an interested school needs to review MNSAA’s standards, guidelines and quality expectations.

1. Letter of Intent from School Administration and the Governing Authority – The letter should include the following elements:

  • Reasons the school is seeking accreditation.
  • A statement indicating that the governing authority is committed to ensure the school meets all requirements for accreditation.
  • Submission of the Candidacy Application Form with supporting signatures (School Board/Education Committee/Pastor) and application fee.
  • Supporting evidence indicating how the accreditation process has been reviewed with key stakeholders. (Examples of documentation could include minutes, newsletters and more.)

2. Complete Candidacy Application Form and Send to MNSAA Office.

3. Payment of Application Fee

Upon receipt of the Candidate Application Form and the Letter of Intent, a representative of the Association makes a preliminary visit to the school.

The purpose of this visit is to review the required onsite documents and ascertain the readiness of the school to continue the application process.  The Executive Director shall also communicate the findings to the administrator of the prospective member school.

If the findings are that the school has met the initial application requirements, the school shall be granted Candidate Status. Training in how to develop a self study, strategic plan for improvement, and host an onsite visit will follow.

Upon Candidate Status, the school is granted a period of two years to complete the accreditation process by developing a Self Study Document. If the MNSAA process is not completed within the two year time frame, the school is required to begin the application procedures anew.

If the findings are that the school has not met the initial application requirements, the school will be advised what actions need to be undertaken to satisfy the candidacy requirements.

Following the onsite visit, the team develops a report of their findings for the school and the MNSAA Board of Directors. This report will includes commendations and recommendations for further improvement.  The board  determines accreditation status.

Following the onsite visit and MNSAA board determination, schools are required to respond to the Team Report. Specifically, schools must provide a written narrative addressing the challenges and recommendations and submit a revised/updated School Strategic Plan to the MNSAA office by the deadline defined.

There are expenses associated with application and annual membership. The application fee is $500 – payable upon receipt of the Candidate Application. Member schools pay Annual Dues at the rate of $200 per school plus $2.35 per student. Costs to a typical school range between $300-2000 depending on the school enrollment. Services such as conferences and seminars are primarily supported by registration fees.

There are additional expenses associated with accreditation renewal, onsite visits, and professional consultation.

The relatively small cost of services and benefits is possible due to the generosity of volunteers from member schools who share their time and talent.

Click here for current Fee Schedule.

Upon Candidate Status, the school shall be granted a period of two years to complete the application process which includes a self study, strategic plan and the onsite team visit. If the MNSAA process is not completed within the two year time frame, the school shall be required to begin the application procedures anew.

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Need more information to make a decision? Contact us.