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What is Accreditation?

Accreditation plays a significant role in ensuring that organizations meet certain standards and quality controls. However, when it comes to homeschooling, the value of accreditation has been a subject of debate. While accreditation can provide certain benefits, it is essential to consider the specific circumstances and needs of homeschooling families. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of accreditation, its implications for homeschoolers, and discuss whether it is a necessary requirement or merely a marketing tool. Ready to go? Let’s jump in!

Understanding Accreditation

Accreditation is a process through which an accrediting board assesses an organization’s adherence to predetermined standards. While accreditation can be an indication of quality, it is crucial to note that accrediting boards vary significantly in their criteria. Just because a school or program is accredited does not automatically guarantee superior educational outcomes. Accreditation is often an expensive endeavor, and can sometimes be more of a marketing tool than an actual standard of quality.

The Impact of Accreditation

One consequence of accreditation is the potential requirement for schools to employ licensed teachers, many of whom may have left the public-school system. However, having accredited status and licensed teachers does not necessarily guarantee a superior education. It simply ensures conformity to specific standards. As a homeschooling parent, it is important to ask relevant questions to understand the implications of accreditation on the educational experience for your child. Is the Ph.D. with years of teaching experience but licensing credential now disqualified from teaching?

Specific Considerations for Homeschoolers

When considering the role of accreditation in homeschooling, several factors come into play. First, it is important to inquire about the type of accreditation a program or institution holds and the scope of oversight by the accrediting agency. Additionally, understanding how accreditation affects the cost of classes and the percentage of teachers from the public-school system can provide valuable insights.

Moreover, as a homeschooler, it is crucial to determine whether being a licensed teacher is a requirement for teaching with a particular company. Exploring the experience of the homeschooling community within the organization can also shed light on its compatibility with your homeschooling philosophy. Understanding the homeschooling regulations are important as well. But rest assured, it is not a requirement in any state that homeschoolers go through an accredited program to homeschool!

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When Accreditation Matters

It’s not when you think. Most colleges and universities aren’t going to care if your student graduated from an accredited program or not. They are going to consider the student’s test scores and transcripts.

When does it matter? If you live in a handful of states that will not accept high school homeschooling credits in the high school program, and you intend to re-enroll your student back into high school, participating in an accredited program could be worth considering. Otherwise, it literally doesn’t matter at the high school level.

Once a student enters college, it’s important to attend an accredited college or university if you would want those credits to transfer for any reason. Colleges and universitates will rarely, if ever, transfer credits from a non-accredited institution. They will state their accrediting agency clearly on their website, or you can call the Admissions Department and ask for that information.

Weighing the Cost and Benefits

It is essential to consider the cost-benefit analysis of accreditation for homeschooling families. Accreditation can be an expensive endeavor, and these costs may ultimately be passed on to the consumer. Most colleges, universities, tech schools, internships, and jobs primarily focus on test scores, applications, essays, and references when evaluating applicants and rarely, if ever, even consider accreditation.

The Role of Non-accredited Institutions

Non-accredited homeschooling programs often establish their own standards and prioritize meeting the unique needs of their customers. The market demands accountability and correction when necessary, allowing families to have more flexibility and choice in their homeschooling journey.

In Conclusion

Accreditation in the homeschooling realm is a complex topic. Most parents have heard the term, but are not really clear about what it means, or just how important – or not- accreditation is. While accreditation may hold importance for post-high school education, its value for homeschoolers is questionable and heavily dependent on individual circumstances. Ultimately, it is crucial for homeschooling families to carefully evaluate the role of accreditation and make their own wise choices.