New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
Founded in 1885, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. (NEASC), is the nation’s oldest regional accrediting association whose mission is the establishment and maintenance of high standards for all levels of education, from pre-K to doctoral level.
Accreditation has two purposes: quality assurance and school improvement. Schools commit to meeting standards set by the association(quality assurance) and to engaging in a ten-year cycle of self-study, assessment by independent outside visitors – trained volunteers from NEASC member schools, goal setting and reporting (school improvement).
There are two primary types of benefit for schools.
Externally, accreditation is a statement of the institutional health of the school, of its adherence to standards and of the integrity of its programs. Accreditation is an assurance of quality to teacher candidates and to families of prospective students, to the state, to foundations, to other schools, and to colleges.
Internally, accreditation is a powerful vehicle for school change and improvement. Schools learn about themselves and set goals for the future in a comprehensive self-study. They then benefit from the observations and recommendations of a group of peers from other schools who conduct a formal visit and observe the school in action over four days. The commission oversees the school’s on-going response to recommendations and monitors its continued compliance with the Standards.