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In July 2012, the North Carolina General Assembly empowered the State Board of Education (SBE) to accredit high schools in the state. North Carolina General Statute §115C-12(39) directs the SBE to adopt rigorous academic standards for accreditation after considering regional and national accreditation standards, curriculum standards, and other information it deems appropriate. Though accreditation is not required, for schools that wish to be accredited by the State Board of Education, this site provides an outline of the accreditation process, and information on how to request an accreditation review.

State Board of Education describes the High School Accreditation Framework as the process whereby public schools undergo a quality assurance external review, which may include a site visit, of school performance indicators. The goal of accreditation is continued improvement, usually translated as higher student achievement. A high schools accredited by the State Board seek to equitably prepare all students for entry into the workforce and further education.

High School Accreditation Policy
State Board of Education Policy ACCR-000 describes the High School Accreditation Framework as the process whereby public schools undergo a quality assurance process that includes review of school performance indicators and may include a site visit.

The essence of a North Carolina high school accreditation review includes the following rudimentary steps.

  1. Request for Accreditation Review. The local district superintendent (designee) shall submit a request for an accreditation review to the State Board of Education.
  2. Data Review. The Department of Public Instruction will review three years of the school’s performance data and other available data sources may be reviewed. (For example, the demographics of honors and advanced placement course enrollment and an analysis of subgroup performance may be considered.) A site visit may be conducted if necessary.
  3. Submit Findings and Recommendation to the State Board of Education. Department of Public Instruction staff will provide findings of the data review/on-site observations to the State Board and the Board shall make a decision regarding accreditation.

Accreditation Process
The accreditation process includes an analysis of:

  • School Performance Data
  • School Improvement Plan
  • Internal Assessment (Self-Evaluation)
  • School Improvement Team Meeting Minutes

These data sources will be used to determine an applicant’s accreditation designation. Additional data may be requested.

Request for Accreditation Review
High schools that wish to pursue an accreditation by the North Carolina State Board of Education should download and complete the request form. The completed form should be submitted to hsaccreditation@dpi.nc.gov
(pdf, 44kb)