NEASC Accreditation relies on a voluntary, peer review process which engages thousands of educators in school visits each year. NEASC volunteers are an outstanding asset to the process of accreditation. These well-trained peer reviewers put their best efforts forth when they visit schools to observe teaching and learning, meet with members of the learning community, and validate the findings from the school's self-reflection. Participating on a NEASC Accreditation Visiting Team is a unique, immersive experience frequently referred to by volunteers ("Visitors") as the best professional development they've had as an educator.
The best part of participating on a NEASC Visiting Team was the opportunity to be welcomed into a professional team of educators from across New England and offered the chance to get to know a learning community behind the scenes. It was a valuable opportunity to reflect on my own practice and the ways I may use best practices within my own school community.
Once a school becomes a Candidate for Accreditation or is fully a Accredited Member School it is a very important aspect of the accreditation process — and a NEASC policy — that the school head encourage academic staff and leadership to qualify to serve as an NEASC volunteer and to allow them to serve on Visiting Teams/Committees when invited.
The experience garnered from these visits will be extremely helpful not only to the individual volunteers, but to their school as well, as it enhances a school's preparation for their own pathway to NEASC Accreditation.
Peer-review is a unique opportunity for schools to receive a detailed, objective evaluation/validation from trusted, highly qualified, and thoroughly trained colleagues in the educational community.
NEASC is notified of prospective volunteers for NEASC-CPS Visiting Teams via the Annual Information Report (AIR). If you would like to participate on a Visiting Team, make sure to let your school head know that you would like to be added to the Visiting Team Volunteer List on the AIR.
In order to serve as a NEASC Accreditation Visiting Team Member on a public school visit, teachers and administrators must:
- hold current certification as a teacher or administrator in one of the six New England states
- be currently employed as a teacher or administrator in a school accredited by NEASC
- have at least two years experience
- have some understanding of the Standards for Accreditation for public schools
- understand that collaboration and writing are involved
- have the recommendation and approval of the school head