Lincoln School is accredited by two internationally recognized accrediting agencies: the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), and the Council of International Schools (CIS). Lincoln received its first accreditation from NEASC in 1989, after undergoing a rigorous process of self-study and on-site review. In subsequent years, Lincoln sought joint accreditation through the European Council of International Schools, the parent organization to the present Council of International Schools. For over twenty years, Lincoln has maintained its accredited status with these two organizations.
The accreditation process functions on a 10-year cycle. Re-accreditaion requires a major Self-study that includes exhaustive reviews of mission and philosophy, curriculum, program, governance, staffing, facilities, safety, and finance. The Self-Study is followed by a week-long, on-site visit by a team of international educators. The Self-Study and Team Visit process requires a period of eighteen months, or more, for completion.
In June 2009, Lincoln School was awarded joint CIS/NEASC accreditation, for a period of ten years. Lincoln has just successfully completed its five-year mid-term review, and will commence preparation for the next re-accreditation in 2017.
About our Accrediting Agencies
The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) is the oldest of the six regional accrediting agencies in the United States. Since its inception in 1885, the Association has awarded accreditation to educational institutions in the six-state New England region that seek voluntary affiliation. In 1980, NEASC agreed to work co-operatively with the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) in serving institutions interested in seeking accreditation with both organisations. This cooperation continued when ECIS transferred responsibility for accreditation services to the Council of International Schools (CIS) in July 2003.
The governing body of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges is its Executive Committee which oversees the work of five commissions: Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, Commission on Independent Schools, Commission on Public Secondary Schools, Commission on Technical and Career Institutions, and the Commission on Public Elementary Schools. The Committee on American and International Schools Abroad (CAISA) of NEASC submits its recommendations on membership to the Executive Committee through one of the school commissions.
The United States Secretary of Education is required by federal statute to publish a list of accrediting agencies which he determines to be reliable authorities as to the quality of education offered by institutions. The New England Association is on the Secretary’s approved list. In order to achieve this status, the Association was required to submit its policies and procedures to the same rigorous scrutiny which is expected of the Association’s own member institutions during the evaluation process.
The Council of International Schools (CIS)
In July 2003 the Council of International Schools (CIS) took over responsibility for the Accreditation Service which the European Council of International Schools (founded in 1965) had been offering to schools since 1970. CIS is an independent, non-profit, membership organisation of approximately 620 international schools in approximately 110 countries throughout the world. It serves the interests of some 340,000 young people, a constituency which represents many nationalities with varied cultural, religious, and linguistic backgrounds. CIS also includes universities and colleges to which students from international schools apply.
Presently over 260 CIS member schools have been granted accredited status following a directed comprehensive self-study and a rigorous, thorough evaluation by a Visiting Team, which found them to meet the CIS Standards for Accreditation. Accredited schools are subject to regular monitoring through routine progress reports and visits, and they must undergo a full re-evaluation every ten years. CIS accreditation is accepted throughout the world, including in the USA through the recognition programme of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS).
The school evaluation programme consists of three main stages: the self-study conducted by the professional staff and other members of the school community, the evaluation by the visiting team, and the follow-up programme carried out by the school under CIS monitoring to implement the findings of the self-study and the valid recommendations of the visiting team.
CIS recognises that schools which are different may be equally good. The fundamental premise of the accreditation programme is that an educational institution must be evaluated in terms of the CIS Standards for Accreditation and the degree to which the school is putting its own Philosophy and Objectives into practice. The school’s Philosophy and Objectives statement is therefore a vital document, and it should express the principles which guide the governing body, school management and professional staff in their efforts to meet the needs of the students enrolled. The visiting team’s observations on the school’s philosophy are found in Section A of this evaluation report.
As the responsible body for matters of evaluation and accreditation, the CIS Board of Trustees charges visiting teams with the responsibility of assessing the degree to which evaluated schools are putting their own Philosophy and Objectives into practice and the extent to which they are meeting the published Standards for Accreditation.