Accreditation Process - International Education

Accreditation Process - International Education

NEASC ACE Learning - logo

ACE Learning is a protocol that offers a fundamentally different approach to school accreditation compared to prior accreditation protocols. ACE Learning offers a framework for schools to reflect deeply on their 1) foundational structures and processes, and 2) their effectiveness as a learning community.

ACE Learning entails several phases culminating in the External Review Visit (ERV) by a team of trained peer educators that typically leads to accreditation for candidate schools or re-accreditation for member schools. Schools undergo a re-accreditation process every five years.

Accreditation Cycle

While traditional accreditation asks schools to reflect on what they do for students, ACE Learning challenges schools to reflect deeply on the Impacts they have on learners and to what extent these Impacts align with the ACE Learning Principles.

NEASC Accreditation Cycle graphic


ACE Learning is as much a developmental process as an evaluative one. NEASC meets schools where they are in their process of building greater effectiveness as impactful learning communities for all learners. Having demonstrated compliance with Foundation Standards, schools move on to imagine new ways of supporting deep learning, using the ACE Learning Principles as both guide and provocation. While exploring each of the Learning Principles, schools are asked to indicate where they are on the dynamic ACE Learning transformational continuum as they help shape impactful learning inside and outside the classroom.

The 4 Cs

A key element in each school’s reflection is how the 4 Cs support or hinder the realization of a learning community’s vision:

  • Conceptual Understanding
  • Commitment
  • Capacity
  • Competence
4 Cs



ACE Learning isn't the easiest accreditation I've participated in, but I do think it was the most beneficial. Our school has grown tremendously and ACE has been a guiding influence in this change process.

-- Mark Lentz, Head of School/CEO, GEMS American Academy, Qatar