Recognition as a Candidate for Accreditation is the first step toward membership in and accreditation by the NEASC Commission on Public Schools; however, achieving candidacy does not guarantee eventual accreditation. The status of "Candidate" indicates that an institution has achieved initial recognition and is progressing toward accreditation, but should not be confused with membership. Accreditation is not a single event, but rather an ongoing cycle. Member schools must, according to the appropriate Commission protocol, periodically demonstrate continued alignment with NEASC Standards in order to maintain their NEASC Accreditation/Membership.
Public Elementary, Middle, and High Schools
After confirming interest in becoming accredited, please contact a member of the NEASC/CPS professional staff to request an Application for Candidacy.
A school seeking affiliation with the Commission of Public Schools must complete an Application for Candidacy and submit it to the Commission office. The school must have been in operation for at least one complete school year. Once the application has been submitted, a NEASC staff liaison will contact the school to discuss next steps.
Upon receiving candidacy status, the institution must make a commitment to accreditation by conducting a Self-Reflection (formerly "Self-Study") and hosting an Accreditation Visiting Team within three years of becoming a Candidate. Earlier team visits may be scheduled at the discretion of the Commission; the principal should send this request to the Director of the Commission in writing.
"Candidate for Accreditation" is a temporary status during which time a school is preparing for an initial accreditation visit. An institution admitted to this category is entitled to make public its Candidate status in its publications, correspondence and student transcripts. Candidate schools are listed in the Commission's Membership Directory.
Date of Initial Accreditation
The date of a school's initial accreditation is retroactive to the last day of evaluation by the Visiting Team.
Eligibility - High Schools
Public High Schools that wish to apply for Candidate status must:
- have completed one year of operation
- be approved by the appropriate government agency
- be tax supported
- publish and distribute a program of studies and student handbook
- prior to the candidacy visit, submit a narrative assessment of the extent to which the school meets each Standard for Accreditation, to be signed by a committee of representatives of the school, along with a statement of major strengths and needs related to adherence to the Standards, and the school’s stated mission and expectations
- host a visit from a Commission representative(s)
- pay the required candidacy application fee
Eligibility - Elementary and Middle Schools
Public elementary and/or middle level schools seeking candidacy status from the Commission on Public Schools must meet the following preliminary conditions:
- have completed at least one year of operation
- be tax supported
- complete and submit a candidacy application form to the Commission office, and host a candidacy visit from a Commission representative(s).
Technical and Career Schools and Centers
A school considering to apply for candidacy with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Committee on Technical and Career Institutions (CTCI) should first consult with Bruce Sievers, Associate Director of the Commission, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The "Candidate for Accreditation" status is limited to a maximum of five years provided that the Biennial Progress Report indicates that the institution is progressing towards regional accreditation. If an institution does not achieve accreditation status within the five-year period, it will no longer be listed as a Candidate for Accreditation and must wait at least two years before applying for the same status.
An institution must first be licensed to operate in one of the six New England states and demonstrate that it meets the Commission's Eligibility Requirements. The process begins with an in-person interview with Commission staff. The length of time to candidacy depends on a number of factors, including how long the institution has been in operation and the results of its on-site evaluations. Once candidacy is achieved, an institution must progress to accreditation within five years.
To become a CTCI Candidate for Accreditation or be considered for accredited status, an institution must meet and maintain the following Eligibility Requirements:
- Have a charter and/or formal authority from an appropriate governmental agency as a freestanding institution
- Be geographically located and organizationally structured to fall within the scope of Committee activities
- Have the legal authority to confer a certificate or diploma
- Have been in operation at least one year and graduated one class prior to the date of application
- Have a governing board, whether elected or appointed, with adequate voting membership that is representative of the public interest and is without any contractual, employment or personal financial investment in the institution
- Have employed a chief administrative officer
- Have a faculty, qualified by education and experience, which is significantly involved in the development and review of educational programs
- Have a basic plan for the development of the institution
- Have formally adopted and made public its statement of mission and program goals
- Have admission policies compatible with the institution's stated mission and program objectives
To obtain a current CTCI application, please email email@example.com.
The application fee for CTCI Candidate for Accreditation status varies according to the institution's enrollment, as per the Committee's dues schedule. If the institution is accepted as a Candidate, it will pay an annual affiliation fee as set by the NEASC Board of Trustees in addition to its application for candidacy fee.