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Accreditation year affects students, teachers, parents

[/media-credit] Spanish teacher Beatriz Foth says she is ready for the upcoming WASC accreditation.
Many students will walk the halls of the school each day, completely unaware of the weight this year holds for the school.

Every six years, a lengthy evaluation for WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) accreditation takes place. Seemingly countless questions concerning school policies and standards, everything from parking lots to bathroom facilities, are answered and analyzed to achieve the highest possible level of accreditation.

Recently, the process has been changing. The last accreditation year, six years ago, the first online accreditation process was formed. This new system made the lengthy process that was in place before much less time consuming for teachers and the accreditation team.

This year, campus administration has applied for a new sort of accreditation, in which 10 professionals come and evaluate the classrooms. This new process will save even more time for teachers to continue what they have been doing, instead of spending hours answering repetitive questions.

“We’re hoping we’ll be accepted for this new process of accreditation,” Tim Wilkins, superintendent, said. “It’s a much more efficient system.”

Yet many students do not know why accreditation is so important.

“I don’t even know what it means,” Derek O’Brien, ’08, said.

However, for graduating students, accreditation is very important. For students at non-accredited schools, the credits they have achieved mean absolutely nothing to colleges, making it quite difficult for them to be accepted to the universities they would like to attend.

At an accredited school, graduating seniors’ credits are given more attention when colleges analyze their class credits.

For college-bound seniors, this accreditation year holds great significance.

“I think accreditation is important because it is useful to get into the UC schools,” Jennifer Schmidt, ’06, said. “Other colleges will accept my credits because the school is accredited.”

The new system has an effect on the teachers as well, most are already prepared for the upcoming evaluations.

“I don’t really have anything I need to change this year,” Beatriz Foth, Spanish teacher, said. “Most of the things that I’ve done to prepare have already been taken care of. I’m just going to continue doing what I’m doing this year.”

“These accreditations make us a better school,” Wilkins said. “They really mean something.”

Apart from college transcript advantages, accredited schools are something students can be proud of.

“Look on the FCS website, along the right side,” Wilkins added. “It shows our various accreditations.”

Fresno Christian has been accredited at the highest possible level every time in the past, and administration is hoping that the trend continues.

For information on the changes in curriculum, standards and the accreditation process, go online to read “Curriculum, programs undergo change,” by Anne Hierholzer on May 20.

For more information concerning the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, visit

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