What is the Importance of Accreditation in Online Senior High Schools?
In your quest toward finding the right senior high school, you may have encountered schools saying that they are “accredited by DepEd” or “PAASCU Accredited.” What does this mean? What is the importance of accreditation in online schools?
The accreditation system in online senior high schools in the Philippines helps ensure the quality of education in the country. It provides a guide and governing body for senior high schools to follow to ensure that their institution holistic, high-quality education appropriate for modern society.
In this article, we’ll talk about the basics of accreditation, how accreditation works in the Philippines, and why this is an important part of the education system.
Accreditation in Online Senior High Schools
Accreditation is a system for evaluating the capabilities of an educational institution to meet accepted standards of quality. The accreditation system ensures that all operating educational institutions and programs in the country meet the set standards of quality.
Apart from ensuring quality, the accreditation system was established to encourage continuous improvement of education and programs through self-evaluation and peer evaluation. This system has been established for years for traditional education, but the DepEd and other accrediting agencies have also accommodated schools providing online education.
The status signifies that the educational institution – whether it operates offline, online, or hybrid – meets the quality standards for teaching senior high school students. The accreditation program serves a two-fold purpose of helping parents and guardians find the right school for their children and providing a guide for schools to achieve quality education.
In essence, the accreditation system for senior high schools is a continued pursuit of excellence to uplift the future of the next generation.
How are Online Schools Accredited in the Philippines?
Senior high schools have the option to become recognized by the Philippine government – a basic requirement for all – and/or receive accreditation from an accrediting agency.
The national government has established the Department of Education (DepEd) to regulate educational institutions and the quality of higher education in the country.
All educational institutions that wish to teach senior high school in the Philippines are required to get a recognition permit from the DepEd.
Private institutions have the option of applying for voluntary accreditation from an accrediting agency. The Philippine government recognizes three voluntary accrediting agencies:
- Philippine Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities (PAASCU)
- Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA)
- Association of Christian Schools, Colleges and Universities-Accrediting Council, Inc. (ACSCU-ACI)
For voluntary accrediting agencies, higher education institutions are encouraged to initiate the application process when they feel they have met the established standards. Depending on the institution, they may go through a series of survey visits.
Similar to the DepEd’s process, the school will receive temporary accreditation for a few years before receiving full accreditation. Furthermore, institutions receive an accreditation level based on their capacities – Level I, II, III, or IV. These levels come with certain reputations and privileges, such as the authority to determine tuition fees, revise the curriculum without DepEd approval, priority in awarding of grants and other subsidies, and limited visitations and inspections.
The DepEd recognizes the importance of accrediting agencies in helping maintain quality education throughout the country. For educational institutions, accreditation is also associated with a positive reputation within the education community, making their students sought-after by higher institutions and employers as well.
The Importance of Accreditation in Online Senior High Schools
Despite the benefits of online schools, there are some concerns regarding the quality of education, particularly with ensuring that all students meet education standards. Indeed, the safety and quality of education is a major concern when it comes to online education. This is why we ask: why is accreditation important in online schools?
Let’s see why accreditation is important:
Establish Standards for Measuring Quality
The accreditation system provides an avenue for evaluating education from various educational institutions apart from standardized tests or the students’ testing abilities.
DepEd and accrediting agencies established their standards for what constitutes high-quality education. While each organization has its philosophies and approaches, they are all geared toward excellence. Thus, the accreditation system provides a common framework for schools to build and improve their curricula, which makes excellence attainable.
Maintain Quality of Education
The primary goal of accreditation is to maintain the quality of education among all Philippine senior high schools. This is vital in ensuring that all students receive high-quality education, which is a major concern in online education.
DepEd and the other accreditation agencies set a standard and goals. These serve as guides and goalposts for all senior high schools to strive for.
By establishing a leveling system, educational institutions avoid becoming complacent. The system encourages them to continuously aim for better quality, either by aiming for a higher level of accreditation or simply maintaining their status.
Furthermore, the system ensures that a governing body oversees that standards remain relevant to the current context and educational needs of the students. The accreditation system helps provide a guide for how to improve education and respond to the demands of society.
The accreditation system is not merely a way to police or filter schools that are unable to provide quality education. Rather, it was established to encourage all educational institutions to also engage in self-evaluation with the goal of self-improvement.
For parents and students, a school’s accreditation is a guarantee that it continuously improves its programs and services despite having met current standards of quality.
Ensure the Integrity of Educational Institutions
As a relatively new method for delivering education, people are often concerned with the integrity of online school vs. traditional school.
Unlike traditional schools, parents rarely can visit the premises of an online school and meet its teachers and administrators. Parents only rely on information available online, which, unfortunately, can be easily deceiving.
The accredited status offers some assurance to parents and guardians that the government and trusted agencies recognize the senior high school and confirm that it has met the education standards.
With this status, parents can ensure that they are enrolling their children in a reputable educational institution.
Build Public Trust and Confidence
Accreditation of online senior high schools is also important for the schools, not just for students and parents. With the potential for fraud and scams online, accreditations offer a way for schools to establish their credibility and win the trust of potential students.
With the badge of approval of DepEd and/or an accrediting agency, parents and students have another way to verify the credibility and quality of education in their target school rather than simply trusting their claims.
Promote Transparency and Accountability
The criteria accrediting agencies like PAASCU evaluate include leadership and governance, quality assurance systems, and resource management. These are concerned with responsible management and leadership and policies, ensuring that senior high schools are run efficiently and resources are allocated appropriately.
Transparency and accountability help ensure the quality of education. When educational institutions are well run, they hire and properly compensate qualified staff, provide and maintain facilities conducive to learning and teaching, and with that, nurture a healthy educational community centered on learning.
Accreditation recognizes these factors as signs of a good senior high school. Thus, parents, guardians, and students can be confident that an accredited school does not only produce students with good grades but is genuinely educating students.
Pursuing Quality Education with OEd Senior High School
OEd SHS understands why maintaining quality and accreditation is important in online schools. This is why we are committed to continuous improvement to provide the best possible online learning in the Philippines. As an online learning platform, we offer students the privilege of learning at their own pace, empowering them to maximize their education no matter their circumstances.
OEd’s online senior high school offers Technical-Vocational-Livelihood, Accountancy, Business and Management (ABM), Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS), Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and General Academic Strand (GAS) strands to prepare students for a path of excellence.
Send us a message so we can talk more about our SHS program.