What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is the affirmation that a school provides a quality of education that the community has a right to expect and the education world endorses. Accreditation is a means of showing confidence in a school’s performance. When the Middle States Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools accredits a school, it certifies that the school has met the prescribed qualitative standards of the Middle States Association within the terms of the school’s own stated philosophy and objectives.
The chief purpose of the whole accreditation process is the improvement of education for youth by evaluating the degree to which a school has attained worthwhile outcomes set by its own staff and community. This is accomplished by periodically conducting a comprehensive self-evaluation of the total school. Through the accreditation process, the school seeks the validation of its self-evaluation by obtaining professional judgment from impartial outsiders on the effectiveness of the total school operation. The intent throughout the process is more than to focus on shortcomings; the chief goal is to seek remedies for inadequacies and to identify and nurture good practices.
Accreditation of a school offers the following benefits to the school community and its stakeholders:
- Greater clarity of purpose
- Stronger internal relationships
- Wider professional participation
- More effective methods of planning for school improvement
- Improved consistency between educational purpose and practice
Accreditation is Voluntary
- Mission and Philosophy
- Governance and Leadership
- School Improvement Planning
- School Climate and Organization
- Health and Safety
- Educational Programs
- Assessment of Student Learning
- Student Services
- Student Life and Activities
- Information Resources and Technology
Orion Online Learning, Inc System
Orion High School is a school in the Orion Online Learning, Inc. System of Schools. Orion Online Learning, Inc. earned System Accreditation by the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools in 2023. Orion High School, New Mexico Trinity Prep, and All Gifted School (Singapore) are part of the system of schools who operate under the Orion Governing Board of the System of Schools (OGBSS). As part of the process for system accreditation each of the schools underwent the accreditation process, and each school has earned Middle States accreditation as well (see below). The current term of accreditation expires in 2030, with a re-accreditation process occurring in 2029.
Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools
Orion High School is accredited by the Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS) using the Excellence by Design protocol. In order to be accredited, Orion High School underwent a two-year-long self-study process that involved surveying stakeholders, analyzing student data, creating student performance objectives based on the results of the analyzed data, and providing evidence and documentation that the school met the twelve standards of excellence that MSA-CESS has designated as necessary to be accredited.
Association of Christian Teachers and Schools
In 2017, Orion High School earned the Association of Christian Teachers and Schools (ACTS) accreditation. ACTS is a non-profit organization that strives to set new standards of Christ-centered academic excellence while assisting Christian schools to realize the highest level of educational credibility.
In 2009, Orion High School earned initial accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which later became AdvancED, and later Cognia. In 2017, Orion School became re-accredited through Cognia's partnership with ACTS (see above). The term of re-accreditation is set to expire in the coming year.
NCAA Eligibility Center
Orion High School's core courses may be used for student-athletes during their initial eligibility status with the NCAA.
Texas Private Schools Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC)
Texas Private Schools Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC) - Orion is a TEPSAC approved institution. ACTS, Middle States, and Cognia serve on the Commission, therefore, represent accredited schools respectively. TEPSAC was formerly a department of the Texas Education Agency. Through legislative action, TEPSAC serves as the approval commission for Private Schools in Texas, once those private schools receive accreditation. TEPSAC accreditation provides for seamless transition between Orion and public schools in Texas. Orion High School's identifier number through TPSAC is 165-181-001. A school identifier in Texas is used to identify a school's physical location, therefore, since Orion High School's Headquarters Office is physically located in the County of Midland (Texas), the 165 identifies the county; the 181 identifies the school district in which the Headquarters Office is located, in this case Midland Independent School District, and the 001 identifies the school itself: 165 (County) 181 (District) 001 (Campus).