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History

Founded in 1885...

The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. is the nation’s oldest accrediting association, serving more than 2,000 public and independent schools, colleges and universities in the six states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and American/international schools in more than sixty-five nations worldwide. It is characterized by a commitment to establishing and maintaining high standards for all levels of education (pre-K to doctoral level) within one Association. Since 1990, it remains the only one of the nation’s six accrediting agencies to promote collaborations for educational improvement among all levels of education. Through the office of the President/CEO, the Association contributes to public policy and conducts research with a variety of national and international groups and develops assessment processes for other educational providers.

Formed as an educational entity in 1885, it received tax exempt status pursuant to 1954 Code section 501(c)(3) or its predecessor Code Section (July 1944, U.S. Department of the Treasury) and was incorporated as New England Association of Schools & Colleges, Inc. (changing the name from “New England Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, Inc.”) under Articles of Amendment, General Laws, Chapter 180, Section 7, of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, filed December 10, 1971.

 

Charles W. Eliot

Charles W. Eliot, President of Harvard University, was a key spokesperson during the Association’s early years. His leadership from 1885 to 1926 was instrumental to the Association’s growth.

Alice Freeman Walker

Alice Freeman Walker, President of Wellesley College, was one of the founding Committee of five members of the Association in 1885.

Helen Magill

Helen Magill, Director of Howard Institute in West Bridgewater, MA, was elected Secretary of the Association in 1885. She was the first woman in the country to earn a PhD and the first woman to serve as an officer of the Association.

Noah Porter

The Topic of the first meeting of the Association was “How Can the Preparatory Schools Cooperate More Effectively with the Colleges?” addressed by Noah Porter, President of Yale College.