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What is an Accredited Online High School?

November 10, 2021

In the global marketplace, how can consumers be sure they are buying a quality product? 

One accepted and trustworthy marker of excellence is accreditation.

What is Accreditation? 

Accreditation is the process of an impartial, third party assessment that checks for competency, and compliance with high standards and regulations. When a business or service is accredited by a reputable source, consumers can feel a measure of confidence that they are investing wisely.  

Accreditation provides a stamp of approval on scores of industries, including:

  • food and beverage manufacturing 
  • automobiles and transportation 
  • agriculture and farming 
  • hospitals and health care 
  • aerospace and engineering  
  • medical devices 
  • small businesses 
  • and yes, education! 

How does school accreditation work?

Accreditation is both a status of excellence and a process of accountability.

In the case of an independent high school, especially a private online high school like Dwight Global Online School, accreditation is particularly important. 

Not all online high schools are accredited, and a school’s accreditation status is a key part of the matrix colleges and universities use to determine if a student is prepared for higher education.  Additionally, accreditation assures parents that the school is meeting state and national standards in all areas, and allows students to transfer credits to another school. 

The accreditation process is rigorous, and includes many steps over months and years. The entire school community takes part in a year long self-study of each area of their community: development, communication, student life, athletics, academics, and admissions, with an eye toward identifying strengths and areas needing improvement. 

Next, a review committee from peer schools evaluates the self-study against a set of established metrics, and schedules a multi-day visit to the school for meetings and observations. 

Finally, the review committee’s findings are compiled in a report, with short and long term goals and recommendations for accreditation, and then re- accreditation within 5-10 years, with regular check-ins.  

“Accreditation teams look at every aspect of a school, from academics, to resources, to budgeting, to governance, to teacher qualifications, to community-building and mission.  An accredited program like Dwight Global Online School has shown that it meets top standards in every area.” said Dwight Global Online School’s Head of School Louisa Childs. 

Why is accreditation important for an online high school?

Reputable accreditations ensure a private online high school is meeting the needs of students while providing rigorous, qualified online instruction. They also affirm the school’s commitment to continuous improvement, and are symbols of trustworthiness and integrity.  
“When a school commits to accreditation, it’s signing on to a multi-year process of continuous improvement and review for all of its stakeholders,” said Ms. Childs.  “Parents can gain comfort in knowing that a school not only excels in a particular moment in time, but also is committed to evolving and growing as an institution in comparison to research- and evidence-based standards.”

Dwight Global families can be certain that their children’s course credits and grade-level placements will be recognized at schools and universities around the world, and that a diploma from Dwight Global is valid and recognized. 

“Accreditation is crucial for college admissions, since accreditations are included in the school profile, a major component of the college application,” said Megan Miller, Senior Associate Director of College Counseling.  Accreditations also underscore the rigor and college-preparatory experience provided by Dwight Global to all our students.” 

Dwight Global is accredited by Cognia (formerly Advanc-ed), a top accrediting non-profit which assesses each school against data collected from schools and school systems from the United States and 85 other nations. 

Dwight Global’s reputation has been recognized by other public standards, as well. In 2021, Dwight Global was acknowledged for its excellence as a private, accredited online high school, ranking No. 2 on Newsweek’s listing of the 50 best online high schools in the United States. 

Learn more about Dwight Global Online School here.