Accreditation 101: Why does a school seek accreditation?

Accreditation is a buzzword that parents hear when looking at schooling, but may not fully understand. When looking for an international school in Japan, accreditation is one way to measure the strength of a program. There are so many schools that are advertised as “international schools” that it is hard for parents to measure the quality of schooling. One way to determine quality is by looking for accreditation.

What does accreditation mean?

The word accredit shares a root with the word credible, or believable. An accredited institution is therefore one that can be believed. In other words: This institution is fulfilling its stated purpose with integrity and excellence.

Why do schools choose to pursue accreditation?

International schools in Japan are concerned about communicating the educational quality and academic excellence of their programs. Since these schools lie outside the realm of Japanese government jurisdiction, schools seek accreditation from international bodies to certify the strength and quality of their academic programs.

What is involved in a school gaining accreditation?

All aspects of a school are examined and approved by the accrediting body. Some examples of what schools must submit for review are:

  • Administrative decision making processes
  • Health and Wellness policies
  • Discipline policies
  • Hiring and staff retention policies
  • Curriculum goals and objectives per grade level
  • Textbook selection
  • Teacher-student ratios
  • And much more!

In plain terms, accreditation shows a school’s willingness to: a) subject itself to outside scrutiny, b) work hard to establish a high quality program, and c) commit to continued improvements.

Yokohama Christian School (YCS) staff and administrators are happy to be working toward accreditation and look forward to announcing further accreditation information in the future.