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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Do Homeschool Programs Need to Be Accredited?



FAQ: Accreditation and Homeschool Connections

Q. What is accreditation?
Accreditation is a voluntary process, performed by private, nongovernmental agencies.
There is no central control or authority.
There are good accrediting agencies and bad ones.
One accrediting organization is not legally designated as being superior over another.

Q. What does accreditation have to do with learning?
Nothing directly. It measures standards and does not develop educational programs.
Some of the worst public schools and private schools are accredited.
Some of the best are not.

Q. What is the purpose of accreditation?
The main function is to weed out diploma mills and other education scams.
Gives assurance that the educational institution being reviewed is legitimate and meets minimum standards.

Q. What is the usefulness of accreditation for homeschool families?
Educationally, there is little usefulness for students and their families.
Does provide a comfort factor for parents, giving them assurance by a 3rd party that the program meets minimum standards. However, parents must still determine if the accrediting body is legitimate.
Useful to schools for marketing and recruiting.
May be helpful in some cases if putting children into a public or private high school after homeschooling partway through high school.
Possible requirement for NCAA scholarships.

Q. What if I want to design my own curriculum or use a non-accredited program, but am one of the rare cases where accreditation is necessary?
There are several accredited agencies that will review your course of study and issue an accredited diploma for a fee. These programs include, but are not limited to:
     Clonlara
     NARHS
     West River Academy
We have not used these programs personally, so cannot recommend one over the other. As always, do your research.

Q. Is Homeschool Connections accredited?
No. Our policy is that parents are the ultimate authority in their child’s education.
Non-accreditation allows us more flexibility.
Non-accreditation keeps our classes inexpensive.
Home education does not involve attending a school.
We are not a school, but an online curriculum provider.
Our focus is providing the best online curriculum for use at home, not accreditation.
As private homeschoolers, parents are the ones who provide “accreditation” for their child’s education.
The quality of home education is assured by parents, not a 3rd party or accrediting body.
Students using our program are educated at home by themselves and their parents. We merely assist the students and parents with online classes and other services.

Q. What about transferring to a public or private high school after homeschooling? Will lack of accreditation affect my student? 
Some high schools will require an accredited transcript.
If the school will not accept a student’s transcript, they will likely evaluate the student using standardized testing, whether the homeschool program is accredited or not.
If you have plans to put your child into a local site-based school, check their policy on transfer students.

Q. Is it necessary to have attended an accredited high school or program to be accepted to a college or university?    
No. The high school’s accreditation or non-accreditation status is not a factor in the evaluation of a high school student’s eligibility for college admission, except in rare cases.  Check with perspective colleges if you are unsure.
A school’s accredited status from any accrediting organization does not provide a legal guarantee that a student will be accepted into any private or public institution.
The majority of students are accepted into colleges based on an evaluation of their application, the results of their Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or American College Testing (ACT) scores, and their high school Grade Point Average (GPA).

If you have further questions about Homeschool Connections' accreditation policy, please do not hesitate to email us at homeschoolconnections@gmail.com

Note: This FAQ refers to the accreditation of K to 12 education. College accreditation is a completely different, and important, topic.

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