Choosing a School in California - Why WASC, UC, and NCAA Matter

There are a large number of charter schools available to choose from today and that number continues to grow. It can be a daunting task for students and their parents to sift through the numerous options when looking for a charter school in which to enroll. Identifying the differences between charter schools can be challenging and requires research into elements of the schools such as the curriculum offered, components of the educational program, and the overall school community, just to name a few.

In researching charter schools, it can be useful to look for those that have acquired certain accreditations to ensure they are of quality and have accountability measures in place. The following accreditations can be useful in determining the quality of the program:

 

  • Charter schools that have been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) exemplify a school that has gone through a quality check on key elements of the school and acts as a certification to the public that the school is a trustworthy institution of learning. 
For a directory of WASC accredited school, click on the following: http://www.acswasc.org/directory_search.cfm
  • Additionally, it can be useful to look for high schools that offer courses that are University of California/a-g approved. This can ensure that the courses a student takes at the school will be accepted by a California State University, if the student chooses to go to a California State college.

To search for schools’ UC/a-g approved course list, click on the following: https://hs-articulation.ucop.edu/agcourselist#/list/search/all

  • It can also be helpful to look for schools that offer courses that are NCAA approved. This is critical for students who are athletes and plan to go to college.

For more information, click on the following: http://www.ncaa.org

 

Looking for these accreditations during charter school search efforts can help in finding quality programs with accountability measures implemented. This can ensure the best charter school experience possible and ultimately best prepare students for their endeavors ahead.

Dr. Jessica Spallino
Dr. Jessica Spallino
Jessica has a demonstrated track record of building schools that are forward-thinking, high-performing, and often unconventional. She is particularly experienced at building online and blended learning charter schools, and has a passion for improving K-12 education through new and innovative models and concepts. She’s regularly asked to speak on change management and building positive and innovative cultures in schools and in the workplace. Jessica holds a BA in English, an MA in Educational Leadership, and holds PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from New Mexico State University.
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