SAIS Accreditation Process

Our accreditation process is both focused and flexible — strategic in its protocols, yet delivered with a human touch. Unlike one-size-fits-all programs, we adapt our process to fit each school’s needs, allowing us to pinpoint unique ways to help you improve.

Since 2002, SAIS has offered an accreditation founded on three pillars:

  • compliance with standards/indicators
  • completion of a self-study
  • visit by a team of peer educators

The SAIS process allows schools to pursue accreditation while maintaining their identity and mission. We ask schools to tell their stories in a way that demonstrates they are mission-driven. An SAIS accreditation confirms that a school’s intended efforts are also the actualized ones.

To begin the SAIS accreditation process:

Become an SAIS member school

A school must first be a member of SAIS to seek accreditation. All criteria must be met before the accreditation process can begin.

Review the guidebook

The Accreditation Guidebook outlines the accreditation process from beginning to end, highlighting the milestone markers along the way.

Attend a workshop

Attending an accreditation workshop is an extremely helpful way to deepen your understanding of the process. We offer regionally-based workshops as well as workshops on your campus.

Request for participation

Submit the Request for Participation Form 18-24 months prior to your anticipated visit date. SAIS will assign a visiting team chair as quickly as possible.

Begin your self-study

A school’s self-study offers the opportunity to tell the school’s story and impact its future. The self-study can be completed using any number of models, but we find that our schools most appreciate the school improvement or strategic planning options.

Plan for your visit

SAIS will assign your team members and chair. You may suggest areas of expertise that would be valuable to your school, but the final creation of the team is the responsibility of SAIS in conjunction with your chair.

The logistics, travel expenses, lodging arrangements, and meals vary from visit to visit, but should be determined by the chair and the school’s accreditation coordinator.

Ongoing Requirements

As part of the continuous improvement process, a two-year report is required and demographic updates are submitted each year with membership dues renewal. Additionally, all substantive changes should be reported in a timely manner.