[Jim Williams, Executive Director, National Independent Private Schools Association (NIPSA), explains how NIPSA helps for-profit schools by establishing educational standards, and providing an accreditation system to implement and maintain those standards.]
Who We Are:
The National Independent Private Schools Association (NIPSA) is an association of over 120 schools, with membership restricted to those who are for-profit and tax-paying. Founded in California in 1981, our mission is to:
Encourage the accreditation process based on accepted and published standards of excellence
Recognize, encourage and improve the quality and diversity of private preschool, elementary, and secondary education
Engage freely in all lawful activities and efforts that may enhance and advance these goals
Provide a structure for the improvement of educational programs
Establish educational standards for such programs and provide an accreditation system to implement and maintain those standards
Provide a source for consulting services, conferences, workshops, and news of mutual interest
Establish an educational program to present our views and beliefs to the public and the educational establishment
Provide mentoring relationships for those wanting to open private schools and for schools undergoing the accreditation process.
NIPSA accreditation represents significant value for participating schools:
We are proud of our accreditation process. For all schools, newer and older, the accreditation process is an extremely valuable learning experience. Each school conducts a self-study with its entire school community (faculty, staff, students, staff, parents and patrons), followed by a visit from a committee of member owners and peer educators. If the school meets our accreditation guidelines, it is offered accreditation for five (5) years.
We ourselves are accredited. NIPSA is a member of the National Council for Private School Accreditation (NCPSA), an organization that evaluates and approves accrediting associations. NCPSA accreditation is your assurance that we are a highly respected and recognized accrediting organization.
You have the opportunity to broaden the extent of your school's accreditation. Through NIPSA and NCPSA, member schools may also be able to obtain reciprocal accreditation with regional associations that are members of the Commission for International and Trans-regional Accreditation (CITA).Information about those organizations can be found on line at www.ncpsa.org and www.citaschools.org.
By joining NIPSA, schools:
Become members of the largest entrepreneurial educational accrediting association in the United States, an organization that is itself accredited by the National Council for Private Schools Accreditation (NCPSA).
Become part of a dynamic national organization representing only proprietary schools and their interests.
Become associated with schools that value professionalism and subscribe to high standards of operation, including the NIPSA Code of Ethics governing proprietary school management.
Gain a voice in national councils where educational policy is formed. NIPSA is a member of the Education Industry Association and is actively involved in monitoring national policy.
Are kept abreast of the latest developments that affect proprietary schools: Pending legislation, laws and procedures affecting accounting, taxes, insurance, personnel practices and other areas of operation. NIPSA keeps you up-to-date via newsletters, conferences and regional meetings.
Have opportunities to talk with other proprietors face to face and share challenges and successful ideas. Finding inspired peers is not always easy. NIPSA holds an annual conference where our leaders network, attend valuable sessions dealing with school ownership and operation, and meet on an informal basis. We meet jointly with the Education Industry Association, www.educationindustry.org at their EDVentures Conference. This year the conference was held in Denver on July 19-21, 2006. School owners are also invited to meet when our board meets at various times and locations around the country.
Have input into shaping NIPSA programs, services, and policies, for we not only value your participation, but your counsel as well.
Participate in the accreditation, self-study and evaluation process and experience evaluation by fellow professionals and representatives from peer schools.
NIPSA is the only organization that represents the interests solely of proprietary schools, and it is our goal to make this coalition stronger so that we can better represent our interests at all levels of government.