Connections Education Awarded Renewed AdvancED Accreditation
K-12 Virtual School Provider Achieves High Scores, Commendations for “Certified, Qualified Teachers” and “Quality, Technology-based Instruction”
BALTIMORE, MD (August 5, 2015) – Connections Education (CE), a leading provider of high-quality, highly accountable virtual education for students in grades K–12, today announced that it has been awarded renewed accreditation from AdvancED, the national accreditation commission. In addition to bestowing its accreditation – a quality ‘seal of approval’ – on CE, the AdvancED reviewers praised the e-learning leader for its “culture and commitment focused on student learning (that) permeates throughout the Connections Education organization.” AdvancED further noted that “Connections Education’s quality assurance processes and data-driven culture leads to systemic, systematic, and sustainable continuous improvement.”
AdvancED is the global leader in providing continuous improvement and accreditation services to over 32,000 educational institutions serving 20 million students worldwide. The organization awarded Connections extremely high “Index of Educational Quality (IEQ)” scores that are significantly above the AdvancED network average. Connections’ Teaching and Learning Impact score was 341.18 (AdvancED Network Average score = 274.14), only surpassed by its Leadership Capacity score of 347.50 (AdvancED Network Average score = 296.08).
“We are very proud that Connections Education’s AdvancED accreditation has been renewed, and are very pleased with the scores and the comments provided in the report,” said Dr. Steven Guttentag, president of Connections Education. “Our AdvancED accreditation provides a nationally-recognized mark of quality to parents, students, and our education partners. It signals our commitment to excellence, to continual improvement, and our desire to be the best we can be on behalf of the students we serve,” Guttentag noted.
Angie Koppang, who led the AdvancED External Review Team evaluating the Connections Education accreditation renewal application, noted, “Connections Education demonstrates a culture of collaboration, supported by a strong shared commitment to the organization’s mission, vision, cultural pillars and core values. This shared commitment enhances the collaboration across all departments to reach the shared goal of making decisions based on what is best for students. The AdvancED Review Team discovered in Connections a true passion, keen focus and dedication to improving learning experiences for students.”
The AdvancED accreditation process involves three ongoing components: 1) meeting high quality standards; 2) implementing a process of continuous improvement; and 3) engaging in quality assurance through internal and external review. Previously accredited by AdvancED, Connections Education’s renewed accreditation is for a five-year term with regular monitoring of progress and reporting occurring during the term.
The Connections staff fully embraced the accreditation process, largely because Connections and AdvancED share a philosohpy of continual improvement to help students achieve their full potential. The AdvancED team interviewed more than 100 Connections employees, 15 school staff members, and 14 parents of students enrolled in Connections-supported schools. The message across all stakeholders and stakeholder groups was consistent: “I am here because I care about kids, I am empowered to do my job, and am held to the highest standards of both ethics and outcomes. While we are all immensely proud of what Connections does, we approach our work, our colleagues, and our clients with a humility based in our deep understanding that we are here not for ourselves, but for the students and families we serve.”
AdvancED is the unified organization of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), Northwestern Accreditation Commission (NWAC) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI). AdvancED is dedicated to advancing excellence in education worldwide through accreditation, research, and professional services. AdvancED creates the world's largest education community, representing 27,000 public and private schools and districts across the United States and in 65 countries worldwide, educating 15 million students.
About Connections Education
Connections Education is a leading provider of high-quality, highly accountable virtual education solutions for students in grades K–12. Since 2001, the company’s Connections Academy has delivered individualized learning to students through tuition-free virtual public schools. In the 2015–2016 school year, Connections Academy will support 30 virtual public schools in 26 states and is expected to serve over 65,000 students. Connections Education offers a fully online private school for students worldwide and delivers blended (combination of online and on-site) learning in select states via tuition-free, public, Nexus Academy schools. The Connections Learning by Pearson division meets the needs of schools, school districts, and other institutions with a full range of digital learning solutions for grades K–12 including: online courses, a program for homebound students, a digital learning platform, and private and public online schools. Connections Education is based in Baltimore, Maryland and was named a 2014 “Top Workplace” by the Baltimore Sun and a 2013 “Best Place to Work” by Baltimore magazine. Connections Education is part of the global learning company Pearson.