Should our school be state accredited?
We understand that the following list of advantages and disadvantages is, by nature, subjective. What one ministry may consider an advantage may be considered a disadvantage to another. Please read the entire list carefully and prayerfully to determine the best match to your ministry’s vision, resources, and fulfillment of God’s perfected plan. Also, consider that a new church-related school that wishes to seek accreditation must begin as a non-accredited school. Generally a three-year track record is required before a school would be granted accreditation by TANAS. However, we are happy to work with new schools throughout these years to allow as smooth of a transition as possible to your intended goals.
For details of TANAS standards for accreditation, please review the Catagory II Manual located under our downloads section.
ADVANTAGES OF BEING STATE ACCREDITED
(ALSO KNOWN AS AGENCY APPROVED OR CATEGORY II)
- The title of “state accredited.”
- Facilitates the transfer of students between private and public schools. Students may transfer without loss of credit for completed work.
- Facilitates entrance into colleges and universities.
- Schools may join TSSAA.
- Schools may qualify for certain federal and state grants.
- College students would be eligible to do student teaching at the school.
- Schools may purchase Tennessee Proficiency and Basic Skills Tests and Gateway Tests from the State Department of Education.
- Teachers can transfer back to public school without loss of teaching experience.
DISADVANTAGES OF BEING STATE ACCREDITED
- Schools must hire only State Certified Teachers and Administrators.
- Limits curriculum choices.
- Building facility requirements are more stringent.
- More costly due to staff salaries, accreditation fees, building compliance upgrades, etc.
ADVANTAGES OF REMAINING NON-ACCREDITED
(ALSO KNOWN AS CHURCH-RELATED OR CATEGORY IV)
- Schools may hire teachers and administrators that may be very qualified, but not Tennessee certified.
- Schools have a wider range of curriculum choices. (Accredited schools are limited to A-Beka, Bob Jones, Alpha Omega, or School of Tomorrow)
- Less ties between church and state.
- Less start up expenses with regard to equipment and supplies.
DISADVANTAGES OF BEING A NON-ACCREDITATED SCHOOL
- When transferring a student between private and public schools, especially at the high school level, the student may be required to complete testing provided by the public school to verify credits earned.
- When a graduate applies for entrance into colleges or universities, a student may need to provide more stringent verification of high school accomplishments, such as a successful GED score or a higher score on an ACT or SAT test, than what is required from a student graduated from an accredited school.
- Schools are unable to join TSSAA.
- Schools will be unable to qualify for many federal and state grants, which are reserved only for accredited schools. However, other grants may be available.
- College student teachers are not eligible for college credit for time training at non-accreditated schools.
- Schools may not purchase Tennessee Proficiency and Basic Skills Tests from the State Department of Education.
- State Certified Teachers that choose to teach at a non-accredited school cannot use their accumulated years of service as part of their professional career pa