The Cat Chat CCS Blog
Is CCS an accredited school?
I am often asked about whether or not CCS is accredited. What many parents seem to believe they are asking is, “Will colleges respect CCS as a viable college prep program?” Those are not the same question, regardless of what you have been led to believe. The answer to the first question is no; the answer to the second is yes!
CCS is not accredited for one reason; we love our staff and have chosen not to let them go. CCS has an experienced professional staff that has proven they can produce strong academic achievers while engaging them in active learning that fosters a love of learning. When we looked into the accreditation process and completed a lengthy self study of our programs there was only one area that we did not comply with what Idaho’s State Department of Education and AdvancED’s agency required. That one area was uniform teacher certification.
CCS does have many Idaho or other state certified teachers. However, uniform certification would mean that even an instructor like Dr. Burns, our chemistry teacher, who is a professor of Chemistry at Whitworth University with a PhD in Chemistry, would need to comply with Idaho state certification policies. We believe he is already well qualified as a teacher, as does Whitworth. It also would mean that we would be required to hire a certified Spanish teacher with a degree in Education rather than a native speaker of Spanish with a degree in Aeronautics. As you can see by my examples, we do not believe that the only qualified teachers are those with degrees in Education and endorsements by the state.
However, let me stress again that we took the accreditation process very seriously and we qualified or exceeded qualification for accreditation in every area except teacher certification. That, and some additional trends in the accreditation process, gave us pause. The CCS Board continues to evaluate whether or not we would desire to complete the accreditation compliance. At this time we have chosen not to.
As to the second question above, “Will colleges respect CCS as a viable college prep program?” the answer is yes they have and continue to. CCS has been sending students to colleges of their choice for many years. CCS alumni are engineers, pastors, teachers, nurses, business owners, executives, police officers, and many many other professions. Currently, we have alumni attending Whitworth, Biola, Eastern, Mid-America, Boise State, University of Idaho, Eastern Washington University, and others. What are colleges and universities looking for? That is the question parents should be asking.
Colleges and Universities are well aware that high schools across the nation offer much the same curriculum on the one hand, but differ greatly from school to school when it comes to grading criteria. Because of this fact, they do not make their decision based primarily on a student’s High School transcripts nor the accreditation of those transcripts. High School transcripts communicate to a college, university or post secondary program which classes the student chose to take and how they performed in those classes. Students who take more challenging courses and do well in them are more highly desirable to these programs. CCS is a college preparatory program. We hold our students to some of the highest graduation requirements of schools in the state. Most of our High School students take four years of math, history, English and science, are fluent or close to it in Spanish, have taken on-line classes, and enroll in college level classes through Idaho colleges prior to graduation, . Our standardized test scores are on average two years ahead. These factors make our students very desirable.
Beyond our student’s transcripts, SAT and ACT test scores play a big role in admittance and scholarship opportunities. Again, most CCS students are awarded not only admittance but merit scholarships at the colleges and universities they attend. Their academic records also makes them eligible for private scholarships and grants.
In short we have never had a student admissions turned down because CCS is not accredited.
As CCS continues to grow its programs, the CCS Board will continue to evaluate whether or not we believe it is in our students’ best interests to pursue accreditation to meet our mission. We make a commitment to you to provide individual academic excellence in a family environment to biblically prepare tomorrow’s leaders to reach our community and world for God’s glory.
Julie Yetter, Principal