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Accreditation Standards

Page history last edited by Sue Sherif 15 years, 4 months ago

Alaskan schools are accredited by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools (formerly Northwest Association of Schools & Colleges 1) The standards of the agency as they relate to school libraries (school instructional media centers) are listed below and are available on their web site at http://www.northwestaccreditation.org/Publications/Standards/Standards.pdf These standards, which are revised periodically (the standards below were published in 2008), can be used along with other national (see Information Power), and state (see entry under Alaska Standards for School Library Media Programs) documents to serve as guidelines for Alaska school libraries. The purpose of the standards, according to the association is:

"Students, parents, community members, the school board, and colleges can depend on the Standards for Accreditation and

the accreditation process to ensure that schools in the Northwest Association meet high but reasonable expectations and are

constantly striving to improve student achievement as well as the systems, processes, practices, and conditions that support

student learning in their schools."

The Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges accredits all types of schools in a region that includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Schools from other areas and distance delivery schools are may also follow the accreditation process. The process addresses all aspects of the school’s educational program.


For a school to be accredited and/or maintain accreditation, the school library program needs to meet the standards agreed upon by the Commission. In the July 2008 edition of Northwest Accreditation Standards, the school library program falls under Goal 6: Support Standards and within School Services rather than within the instructional program, but these standards do specify levels of staffing,general collection standards, and standards of access.


Northwest Association of Accredited Schools

Library Information Services

July 2008



6.15 The library media program is directed by a certified library media specialist.


a. Library staff in schools of fewer than 250 students need not be certified, but are

under the direction of a certified library media specialist.

b. Schools with an enrollment between 250 and 500 students have a full-time

certified library media specialist. 

c. Schools with more than 500 students have a full-time library media specialist

and have additional library media personnel. 

d. Non-certified personnel are under the direction of a certified library media



6.16 A wide range of materials, technologies, and other library/information services that are

responsive to the school's student population are available to students and faculty and utilized to

improve teaching and learning.


6.17 Students, faculty, and support staff have regular and frequent access to library/information

services, facilities, and programs as an integral part of their educational experience before, during,

and after the school day.


6.18 The library/information services program fosters independent inquiry by enabling students and

faculty to use various school and community information resources and technologies.


6.19 Policies are in place for the selection and removal of information resources and the use of

technologies and the Internet.





1 For more information: Northwest Association of Accredited Schools, 1510 Robert St. Suite 103, Boise, ID 83705-5194   Telephone: (208) 493‑5077 Email: info@NorthwestAccreditation.org.

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