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An accredited school has met the standards and requirements as defined by that school’s accrediting organization. The accrediting organization monitors the school on a regular basis to assure it meets the needs of its students and provides quality instruction.
Accrediting agencies may regulate everything from teacher/student ratios to the level of academic training of instructors to how the school promotes its programs to study methods and much more.
Recognition and acceptance are the two main reasons accreditation matters. Many colleges and prospective employers, as well as apprenticeship program directors, will decline candidates who have not graduated from a regionally accredited high school.
Again, many colleges and universities only accept credits from regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation is the most widely recognized form of accreditation. For this reason, degree seekers (i.e., college-bound high school students) should always look for a regionally accredited school.
Visit the U.S. Department of Education website to find out which accrediting agencies are on their authorized list. SACS CASI, which stands for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement, is one of the most recognized accrediting agencies. SACS CASI accredits more than 13,000 schools and school systems throughout the United States and overseas and is an accreditation division of AdvancED. It is, along with five other regional accreditation organizations, recognized by both the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
The online diploma programs offered by James Madison High School are both regionally and nationally accredited. Regional accreditation is through SACS CASI and national accreditation through the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.
As you begin your search for a reputable online high school, you may hear the word “accredited” bandied around as if it’s merely a generic marketing tool. The fact is, some schools do use the term loosely, and the agencies and organizations that accredit some schools are not even recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Do your homework upfront when it comes to assuring proper accreditation is in place.