This next week OCA will be going through our five year accreditation review. This is a very important process that OCA goes through to demonstrate the commitment to excellence that OCA has with our leadership, faculty, facilities, curriculum and programs. This is a costly endeavor for a school to participate in (not to mention very time consuming). This past year OCA has been collecting data in preparation for this review. In order for each of you to understand the process I thought it would be a good idea to share what will be taking place next week.
OCA will host four individual administrators from different GACS member schools. These four individuals job’s will be to examine our leadership, faculty, facilities and review our schools financial review for the school including Athletics and Fine-Arts. This accreditation team will examine files, watch our teachers in action and most importantly to see if we are doing what we say we do. The team will be asking questions to students, parents, faculty and staff. The team will meet with all of the OCA employees minus administration to ask questions as well. On Thursday evening the team will have dinner with the Trustees to ask questions of this group.
The total process takes three full days for the accreditation team to gather all the information needed to write up a report concerning OCA’s accreditation status based on 12 standards. In the end the cost for accreditation is around $10,000 to $12,000 on top of the $7,500 already paid yearly. Please help OCA by praying this next week to see God show up and show out. So you my be asking the question of whether accreditation is valuable and needed at OCA? In short the answer is yes!
Here are the main reason’s why?
Currently, Oakwood Christian Academy is fully accredited by the American Association of Christian Schools (AACS) and the Georgia Association of Christian Schools (GACS). At the end of this accreditation process the school hopes to add Advanced Ed (formerly known as SACS).
Recognition of AACS Accreditation
AACS Accreditation is a means whereby the American Association of Christian Schools can assist member schools in building stronger Christian schools. AACS is a national/international accreditation body.
Recognition of GACS Accreditation
The accreditation program of the Georgia Association of Christian Schools has been recognized and approved by the following Georgia state boards and authorities:
Georgia Private School Accrediting Commission (GAPSAC)
The Georgia Board of Education has approved the Georgia Private School Accrediting Commission (GAPSAC) of which the Georgia Association of Christian Schools is a charter member. All schools provisionally or fully accredited GACS are entitled to benefits, including transfer of grades and credits to public schools, on the same basis as students from public schools. No additional tests over and above those required by public school students have to be taken by students from GACS accredited schools, nor additional measures whatsoever will be required.
Georgia Board of Regents
The Georgia Board of Regents has approved graduates from GACS provisionally or fully accredited schools for entrance to colleges of the University System of Georgia (USG). However, individual colleges of the USG may place additional requirements, over and above those required for graduation by the Georgia Board of Education, on all students (from both public and private schools) applying to a particular college. Usually these requirements are based on the “Freshman Index” which is a combination of SAT or ACT scores and course grades from the student’s cumulative grade point average (GPA).
For this reason, we recommend that any student planning to attend a college or university of the USG to contact that particular college or colleges no later than the beginning of their junior year of high school to be assured the student is on track to meet admission requirements. Information on the Freshman Index may be requested from any college or university of the USG.
Georgia HOPE Scholarship
Graduates of schools which are candidates for accreditation provisionally accredited or fully accredited by the Georgia Association of Christian Schools are eligible for HOPE Scholarship on the same basis as are graduates from public schools in Georgia. Application for these scholarships may be made through the Georgia college or university to which the student has applied.
OCA will also be seeking accreditation through a regional accreditation known as Advanced Ed (formerly SACS). Last month this accreditation group changed its name to Cognia. The new name comes from the Latin word cognitio, which means knowledge. The name change reflects the nonprofit’s belief that knowledge is the key to helping people reach their aspirations—regardless of circumstance or background.
This means that Oakwood will be as fully accredited as it possibly can be as an institution. Oakwood would have a state, regional and national/international accreditation along with a list of Christian organizations that are attached with these accreditation’s. At that point OCA would be the most accredited school in North Georgia. Again we ask for your prayers as we continue to keep our eyes focused on Christ in all that we do while we maintain accountability and sustainability for our faculty and students. Feel free to say hello if you see one of our visitors on campus Wednesday-Friday of this next week.
In His Hands,