In November 2009, St. Rose of Lima School was awarded accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. In 2016, St. Rose of Lima School completed the process of re-accreditation an dare awaiting final re-accreditation.
The Middle States Association (MSA) is a non-governmental, non-profit, peer-administered organization providing leadership, in the U.S. and beyond, in public and private school improvement for over 100 years. It operates in a manner that improves educational quality, encourages innovation and increases public trust.
The Middle States accreditation process utilizes qualitative standards that reflect research-based best practices from throughout the education profession. These standards serve as a school improvement mechanism and a qualitative guide of what should be in place in an accredited school. The standards are not designed to make all schools look alike, and the process respects the individual nature and character of each school.
This process, which St. Rose entered into in spring 2007, was one of rigorous internal review, self study and self knowledge. Utilizing the MSA standards across all academic and administrative disciplines, we defined who we are, what we are about, our vision for the future and specific objectives for reaching that vision. In March 2009, St. Rose hosted a MSA evaluation team of independently-appointed educators who visited our school for three days. This team used our definitions as a lens to determine whether the nature and quality of the students’ experiences in the school are consistent with those self definitions.
Their objective was to determine if we are what we claim to be and do what we claim to do. The process was about identifying strengths and areas for quality improvement, not about perfection. Importantly, it involved our development of a strategic plan to move school improvement forward as the process does not stop with the accreditation. In order to maintain the vigor of the accreditation process, schools are involved in an ongoing assessment of development and performance, including MSA annual reviews of progress.
The Middle States Association defines the meaning of accreditation as follows:
Accreditation is an activity, not a status. Schools are accredited because of the way they move, not how they stand. Accreditation concentrates on what schools are doing, not what they have done. Accredited schools are engaged in a continuous school improvement discipline.
Accredited schools are known to be improving schools. They are alive to their own nature. They are true to their mission and beliefs. They are actively developing in ways that are recognized by the academic profession.
Middle States accreditation is recognized around the world as an indication of trustworthiness, quality assurance and educational integrity. We are most proud of this recognition of both our achievements to date and, importantly, our commitment to greater future accomplishments.
For more information on the Middle States Association, visit www.ces-msa.org.