What You Need to Know About Online High Schools and Accreditation
There are more opportunities for pursuing a high school education online than ever – but not all online schools are created equal. Accreditation is an important matter when you’re considering your online high school options, especially when your student will soon begin the highly competitive college application process.
Here’s what you need to know.
- Understand the importance of accreditation.
“When a school is accredited, it gives a stamp of approval on the diploma and helps families recognize it as a legitimate institution,” says Alison Mistretta, George Washington University Online High School’s head of school and administrator.
Online high school accreditation can greatly impact the eligibility for post-graduation opportunities for students. Accredited schools must meet certain curricular guidelines, ensuring that a student is adequately prepared to take the next step in their education when it’s time to consider a college.
- Different accreditation is valued differently.
Not all online high schools offer the same value to every accepting institution. It’s not uncommon for secondary institutions to reject credits from schools that are not accredited, which can pose an issue if your child is transferring schools. While there are several different accrediting agencies, some of the most recognizable include MSA-CESS, NCAA and Advanced Ed.
- Look to states and regions for accreditation.
Since there’s currently no single governing accreditation standard set within the United States, the various states and regions are usually your most ideal option and best starting point to find legitimate accrediting agencies. Where is the online high school registered and accredited? These answers help determine quality. Also, consider accreditation agencies that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
- Ask the right questions.
Before you sign up for an online high school program, make sure you ask about the school’s accreditation standing. Also, consider the quality of the program: for example, GWUOHS offers small class sizes and a challenging curriculum, which has helped its students successfully get accepted to some of the top colleges and universities in the United States.
Here are a few factors to weigh when looking for an online high school:
- What accrediting body is the school accredited by?
- How often is the school reviewed for accreditation and renewal?
- What is the school’s standing with the accrediting body?
- Does the school offer any dual credit options?
- What specializations are available (i.e. religion, engineering, arts)?
- What is the rate of successful completion of the program?
- How flexible is the school with class delivery options or individualized programs?
- Does the school offer extracurricular activities, clubs, tutoring or counseling services?
Want to learn more?
If you have questions about online high school accreditation or the advantages of attending an online private high school, please contact George Washington University Online High School or request more information today.