Accreditation Process and Designations


The accreditation process includes an analysis of:

  • School Performance Data
  • School Improvement Plan
  • Internal Assessment (Self-Evaluation)
  • School Improvement Team Meeting Minutes

These data sources will be used to determine an applicant’s accreditation designation. Additional data may be requested.


The State Board of Education will assess the data points below in the accreditation review process to determine a school's accreditation designation:

  • School Performance Grade
  • Student Growth
  • Percentage of Graduates Passing Math III
  • ACT Overall Proficiency*
  • WorkKeys Proficiency Rate
  • Four-year Cohort Graduation Rate
  • Dropout Rate

Schools may be fully accredited, provisionally accredited or denied accreditation based on the most recent three years of performance data. Schools awarded full accreditation must have earned a minimum performance grade of "C" on the North Carolina School Report Card including, but not limited, to the following:

  • at or above the state average in the percentage of graduates passing Math III
  • at or above the state percent proficient in ACT overall proficiency*
  • at or above the state percent proficient on WorkKeys assessments
  • at above the state four-year cohort graduation rate
  • at or below the state dropout rate

*The percentage of students who achieve the minimum score required for admission into a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina on the ACT (composite score of 17).

Accreditation Process

Accreditation Process

North Carolina General Statue §115C-12(39) directs the SBE to adopt rigorous academic standards for accreditation after considering regional and national accreditation standards, curriculum standards, and other information it deems appropriate. North Carolina State Board of Education Policy ACCR-000 describes the High School Accreditation Framework as the process whereby public schools undergo a quality assurance process that includes outside review of school performance indicators.

In order to earn and/or maintain accreditation, a school must

  • Meet accreditation standards
  • Submit all required accreditation reports
  • Pay the accreditation review fee as required

North Carolina’s high school accreditation process includes the following steps:

  1. The superintendent of a Local Education Agency shall submit a request to participate in the accreditation review process. (pdf, 44kb)
  2. Schools will conduct an internal assessment using the Self-Evaluation Form. Schools are strongly encouraged to read the Notes of Guidance document prior to completing the self-evaluation form.
  3. The school submits via email (, the internal assessment, school improvement plan (electronic file or weblink), and minutes of School Improvement Team meetings for the previous 12-month period. A review team from the Department of Public Instruction will review these documents and the school’s performance data. Additional data may be requested. Upon completion of the data review, the review team will provide findings to the State Board of Education and the Board shall make a decision regarding accreditation.
  4. The Local Education Agency shall be notified of the Board’s decision.

Data Submissions
Schools seeking accreditation must submit the following documents:

  • Current School Improvement Plan (document or link)
  • School Improvement Team Minutes (most recent year)
  • Internal Assessment (Self-Evaluation Form)

Documents should be emailed to

Data Review
Staff from the Department of Public Instruction will compile and review the most recent three year’s of student performance data, the school’s improvement plan and minutes of the School Improvement Team’s meetings.

Site Visit
After reviewing the required data, the Review Team may request a teleconference or site visit. Additional fees are required for site visits.

Fee Structure

Fee Structure

The fee for a data only accreditation review is $1,840 per school. This covers the cost of staff time to synthesize, analyze a school’s data and determine an accreditation designation.

The fee for a school that requires a site visit is estimated to be $6,806. This fee covers the cost of staff time to synthesize and analyze a school’s data, conduct a two-day site visit, write the assessment report and follow-up with the school.

The aforementioned fees are costed at the average salary of an Education Consultant along with matching benefits, a total compensation of $95,680 per year. Travel costs are included and estimated at current State rates.