Accreditation is an internal and external review process that identifies strategies for building the best possible educational program for learners.
In addition to demonstrating the quality of a school program in the eyes of stakeholders and the public, accreditation also offers outside objective validation that a school has met high standards and is actively engaged in school improvement.
Founded in 1984, MNSSA serves nearly 200 Catholic schools from throughout the State of Michigan. MNSAA is recognized as an approved accrediting association within the State. MNSAA is nationally recognized through the National Federation of Nonpublic State School Accrediting Associations (NFNSSAA) and the Council for American Private Education (CAPE). MNSAA accredited schools are approved by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the Student Exchange Visitor Service (SEVIS).
Catholic school accreditation is provided within the framework of the National Standards and Benchmarks for effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools (NSBELS). Reciprocal accreditation is also provided to member schools already accredited by an accepted and approved accrediting association.
- Quality education is the goal of every education institution
- School improvement is the result of a planned process that responds to the input of students, parents and the community
- All non-public schools need to be involved in a school improvement process
- Non-public schools need to strategically plan for their future. The accreditation process provides an avenue to do so
- All society benefits from a quality education institution
MNSAA is open to Michigan religious, independent or private elementary or secondary schools through its MNSAA process or through an approved reciprocal program. To begin the accreditation process, a school must have an established program for a minimum of three complete school years.
The school also must complete:
- A self-study based on material provided by the MNSAA office. The study requires schools to examine their mission and purpose and to have a strategic plan for school improvement.
- An external evaluation process by a team of non-public educators from various levels and positions. This site team prepares a report that is then reviewed by a team of readers who may recommend accreditation status to the Leadership Council.
Annually, the school must submit a report documenting compliance with state rules and regulations, and detailing their progress addressing any concerns listed by the site team. Each team undergoes the complete self-study process every seven years.
MNSAA School of Distinction Opportunity
MNSAA recognizes exceptional faith-based schools through its School of Distinction designation. Schools who have recently completed a full accreditation cycle may be identified to apply for this prestigious recognition that is awarded based on continuous school improvement and commitment to challenging strategies that lead to further growth.
The following schools are past recipients of the School of Distinction designation.
- 2012 School of Distinction – St. Augustine Cathedral School – Kalamazoo
- 2011 & 2008 School of Distinction – St. Michael Catholic School – Livonia
- 2009 School of Distinction – St. Mary Catholic School – Wayne
- 2007 School of Distinction – St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School – Grand Rapids
- 2007 School of Distinction – St. Gerard Catholic School – Lansing
- 2007 School of Distinction – Holy Angels Catholic School – Traverse City
- 2007 School of Distinction – Immaculate Conception Catholic School – Traverse City
- 2007 School of Distinction – St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Middle School – Traverse City
- 2007 School of Distinction – St. Francis Catholic High School – Traverse City
The program is currently being revised to address updated accreditation standards. Check back in 2020 for eligibility information!