The American Commission for Accreditation of Schools and Universities (ACASU) evaluates schools in the following categories:
Mission and Vision
Mission/Vision statement should be a concise statement embraced by the school staff, which explains the specific purpose of the school and what impact the school aspires to have.
Key strategies should state school specific programs, major goals and initiatives, including priorities and plans to achieve the school’s Mission and Vision.
Organizational structure should outline a well-designed and functioning system which is aligned with positions, functions, and flow of information within the school.
Governance and Leadership Capacity
Governing body/leadership team’s competency and capacity should include wide diversity of involvement, understanding, and skills.
Curriculum should provide an excellent learning experience that ensures all students benefit from a consistent, well-rounded, and subject/grade cohesive program of study.
All students should receive high-quality, technologically supported, culturally responsive, universal academic and behavioral instruction differentiated for student need and consistent with grade-level benchmarks and national standards.
Schools should demonstrate a commitment to excellence. To fulfill this, schools should be accountable to high standards on many universal measures of school performance including student access, persistence, graduation, college enrollment, academic growth, and progress in closing the achievement gap.
Student Support Services
Schools should offer comprehensive student support services as resources to build the foundations for positive behavior, health and wellness, and sound academic performance.
Student Learning Assessment
Schools should have a formal complete student learning and performance process as well as ways to clarify expectations and performance criteria for students.
Faculty and Staff
Schools should have sufficient faculty and staff to support all programs and activities, a vigorous recruitment and retention plan for faculty and staff that provides additional dimensions to enhance the school’s programs and substantial professional development that is a vehicle for improvement in student learning.
Schools should have adequate learning spaces to support all academic programs, student development programs, and extracurricular activities.
Schools should have adequate instructional technology and laboratory equipment to support all academic student development programs and extracurricular activities.
Schools shall have financial resources adequate to fulfill its stated mission and goals, its instructional programs, student development, and extracurricular activities.
Safe and Positive Culture
The school should ensure a safe and positive culture that keeps students and employees free from safety or health risks and offers classroom environments that integrate social, emotional, and academic factors for effective learning.
Engagement of Stakeholders
The school should have effective communication approaches for engaging stakeholders in achieving the key strategies and major goals of the school.
The school should offer extra-curricular activities that play a key role in successful student learning and personal development.
The school should ensure that high-quality civic involvement practices are employed in every classroom and with all stakeholders throughout the school community.
Multicultural and Global Practices
The school should provide high quality cross-cultural learning that addresses diversity, global engagement, and social responsibility as a compelling school priority that helps students and school stakeholders engage the social, civic, and economic challenges of a diverse and unequal world.
Quality Improvement Plan
The school should have an ongoing plan to improve, monitor, evaluate, and communicate results of the efficiency, effectiveness, quality, and performance of school services and student outcomes.
The school should regularly self-assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the quality improvement plan, making changes as needed, and share its results with school constituents.