What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is a voluntary process of self-evaluation and continuous improvement that reflects compliance with required standards/indicators, involves a self-study, and includes a peer review by educators from other schools.

SAIS accreditation is designed specifically for independent schools. The process respects and recognizes each school’s story, culture, history, mission, and goals, while still fulfilling stringent and focused compliance requirements.

SAIS partners with multiple agencies to accredit or co-accredit member schools, including: 

  • Cognia (formerly AdvancED/SACS)
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
  • American Montessori Society (AMS)
  • Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA)
  • Association of Christian Schools International (ASCI)
  • Christian Schools International (CSI)
  • Several state-based organizations including Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS) and Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS)

In a process similar to school accreditation, SAIS voluntarily participates in a rigorous and impartial review of its own accreditation model by several independent groups, including:

  • International Council Advancing Independent School Accreditation (ICAISA)
  • National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA)
  • Texas Private Schools Accrediting Commission (TEPSAC)
  • Virginia Council for Private Education (VCPE)

SAIS is specifically named as an accepted accreditor in state law and/or Department of Education administrative code in many states. The federal government recognizes SAIS accreditation for the purposes of issuing student exchange documentation through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) recognizes SAIS accreditation in determining athletic eligibility for incoming student-athletes.