Application for Membership
APPLICATION PROCESS AND FEES
Organizations desiring to apply for candidacy or accreditation should review our "Standards for Accreditation" (see below), determine if NISAC is a good fit for their school, and fill out an application, submitting it to NISAC with the appropriate fee. NISAC will respond and establish an initial appointment.
Application for Candidacy $ 250.00
Candidacy Visitation 500.00
Application for Accreditation 350.00
Subject Specialty Fee 500.00
Accreditation Self-Study Visitation 500.00 per committee member
Fee Schedule 250.00 (under 200 students)
350.00 (201 – 400 students)
450.00 (401 – 600 students)
550.00 (601 – 800 students)
650.00 (801 students and over)
Please include the following documents with your application:
* Copy of dba or articles of incorporation
* Copy of Affidavit or filing with your state
* School Brochure or Handbook
* High School Manual/Handbook
* Course of Study
* Copies of Record Keeping Forms and Procedures, including Teacher Evaluation Forms and Transcripts
* Copy of Annual Financial Report (recent) and Budget
* Application Fee payable to NISAC
Submit Application and Documents to:
National Independent Study Accreditation Council
13216 Leach St., Sylmar, CA 91342
"Standards for Accreditation"
In applying for membership, address each general area with narrative, comments, description (use additional paper when necessary), or refer to any supportive documentation you have included:
1. Philosophy and Objectives
A. Define your educational philosophy and statement of objectives
B. Both statements shall reflect a professional perspective of education and an understanding of student growth and development.
A. The business structure shall be clearly defined and maintenance of all necessary documents shall comply with local and state
requirements. (Types of Structure: Profit or Non-profit corporation, sole proprietor, general partnerships or partnerships
B. Each organization shall have a governing body, school board or committee, which shall be responsible for the development of
general policy, direction, and financial stability of the institution.
C. The governing body, school board or committee shall maintain printed materials available to the general public of its structure,
internal policies and procedures. All legally binding decisions and/or contracts shall be properly documented. Policies and
procedures shall show professional ethics and high standards.
D. The governing body, school board, or committee should delegate executive and administrative functions to the chief executive officer
who shall be recognized as the head of the organization.
E. A complete range of grades being served is required for accreditation (K-6, 8-12, etc) or one or more specific programs, e.g. all
honor's programs, art, math or science. An institution must have a minimum of 100 students for accreditation. The organization shall
have completed three full years prior to the visiting committee's self-study evaluation.
F. Records of all finances shall be kept accurately and shall be available for audit by an independent auditor from outside the
organization. The governing body should approve the budget. The budget should be realistic and adequate based on the
institution's size and goals. Finances shall not become a hindrance to the educational goals of the institution. The organization's
financial resources should be sufficient to fulfill its programs.
G. Facilities and offices shall be suitable for the purposes of the institution's programs and shall meet legal requirements and shall be
1. Schools are required to maintain the following records:
a. A listing of faculty with their addresses and qualifications.
b. Verification of licenses, degrees or credentials.
c. Criminal record summary (fingerprinting check) for those school employees who do not have valid teaching
credentials but have contact with students.
d. A list of all costs associated with education (e.g. costs for enrollment, curriculum, books, testing, assessment,
conferences and other items).
e. Accurate, complete financial records.
2. Information regarding the appropriate state requirements relative to the number of school days in a year, and the number of
hours per day students are expected to study must be provided to enrolling students.
3. Schools shall adhere to all state laws regarding child abuse reporting and health and safety code requirements.
1. Upon enrollment or admission, the student and the adult who will be responsible for ensuring the child is properly educated
must meet with a teacher/representative of the school to discuss:
a. Student's prior school experience and records.
b. An informal assessment of current student accomplishments and skills to determine the appropriate curriculum.
c. Formal assessment and testing if deemed necessary.
d. Review of curriculum (formal or informal) to ensure the parent and/or student fully understands their responsibilities.
e. The responsibilities of each member of the educational partnership: the teacher, the parent or other adult, and the
f. Financial arrangements for paying for the curriculum, administrative enrollment and/or other services.
g. When and where to call for assistance.
2. The Individuals with Disabilities.Within the structure of the home education center, the provision of these services may be
contingent upon the nature of the services and the severity of the disabling condition. At the time of enrollment, the following consideration must be reviewed:
a. type of disability; eligibility under federal and state criteria;
b. intensity of the required services;
c. provider of services, i.e. district of residence or home education center;
d. IEP specifications, i.e. duration and frequency;
e. special credential or license requirements.
C. Student Records - Schools must maintain accurate and complete records for their students. Specific provisions must be made for
ensuring the safety, security and confidentiality of all student records.
1. Requirements - The following items are required for cumulative file records.
a. Legal name of student.
b. Date of birth.
c. Verification of birth date (e.g. copy of birth certificate or passport).
d. Sex of student.
e. Name and address of parents of minor students
1. Address of student, if different from parents.
2. Annual verification of the name and address of parents and student.
f. Entering and leaving date of each school year.
g. Subjects taken during each year, semester, summer session or quarter.
h. Grades or credits, if given.
i. Grades or credits towards high school graduation.
j. Verification of, or exemption from, required immunizations.
k. Date of high school graduation, or passing the CHSPE or GED or equivalent.
l. IEPs, standardized test results or any other records of assessment.
m. Attendance records.
n. Report of Health Examination for School Entry or Waiver of Health Check up for School Entry within 90 days of entering
the first grade.
o. Cumulative records from prior schools.
a. Cumulative files must be maintained with access limited to those who need to know or use the information for
legitimate school and student purposes. For example, records may be stored in locked files cabinets or a locked
b. Computerized student records must be backed up when major changes occur (e.g. at the end of grading periods,
end of the school year) or on a regular schedule (e.g. monthly) For safety reasons, the backed up data must be
maintained at a separate physical site from the school's administrative office. Access to computerized student
records must be limited to those with a need to know or use the information through use of passwords of other control
a. When a student enrolls, the school must request records from prior educational institutions, if any, within 30 days of
enrollment. If records are not received within a further 30-day period, a follow-up request must be made.
b. Upon the departure of a student from the school, when another institution requests in writing for the transfer of the
student's cumulative records, records must be mailed within 30 days.
4. Long Term Maintenance
a. Permanent records of graduated or no longer enrolled students should be kept by the school.
b. If the school goes out of business, the records will be maintained by the individual or organization listed on the most
recent affidavit, or transferred to the local public school system. Also, every effort should be made to give a copy of
pupils' permanent records to the pupils' parents.
c. If the school is purchased or otherwise transferred to another educational institution, records will be transferred to that
4. Instructional Program
A. Course of Study
1. The school shall have a defined course of study as detailed below:
2. General supervision and ongoing assessment of the Instructional Program will be made by a qualified teacher.
1. The school will have a curricular program with written course descriptions and objectives that meet state requirements, and
the student's needs, abilities and interests while at the same time providing all students with suitable courses of study
consistent with the school's philosophy, goals and objectives.
2. There will be adequate and appropriate instructional and other resources to implement the curricular program.
3. The curriculum shall support a wide variety of programs utilizing up-to-date information and providing accessibility to all
students. Instructional strategies such as independent study and self paced learning may be used to meet the learning
styles of students of all ages and produce a high academic achievement and meet individual learning objectives.
4. The curriculum shall be the object of on-going cooperative evaluation involving the administration, faculty, parents and
1. Human Resources - The school will have qualified staff to create, implement and supervise its instructional program.
2. Service Resources - The school will have a plan for student support services that identifies the needs, interest, aptitudes and
goals of all students and provides these students with appropriate educational, career, personal and social guidance and
other necessary student support services.
3. Network Guide and Communication - There will be a strong communications network supporting staff interaction and
accountability including the involvement of parents, students and community.
D. Standards for Graduation
1. The school shall have a standard for graduation consistent with the goals, objectives and philosophy of the school, while at
the same time meeting state requirements.
1. The school will be staffed by persons capable of teaching and meet state minimum requirements for teachers of private
2. The school will have qualified faculty members working cooperatively to create an environment in which effective learning
1. The teachers shall meet and communicate on a regularly scheduled basis and receive continuous staff training.
1. The school shall provide ongoing opportunities for teacher education and development.
2. Teachers shall be encouraged to pursue continuing education.
A. Enrollment Assessment
1. Academic - At time of enrollment, the skills, academic background, abilities, interests, and learning needs of each student
must be assessed in order to determine an appropriate educational program for the student.
a. Prior to enrollment or within the first month, the following records of the student (if any) should be obtained from prior
academic institutions and reviewed:
l. Past school records
2. Current achievement records
3. Results of formal/informal tests or other assessments that may be available
4. Individual Education Plans, if any
b. To determine the provision of an appropriate curriculum, if any, the administrator may conduct informal assessments
of a student's ability (e.g. in reading, writing or mathematics). These informal assessments may be documented for
the student's file.
2. Learning Needs and Styles - Professional and/or informal assessment tools will be used to better determine the student's
special learning needs and/or styles,
3. Special Education Needs - Professional assessments are to be made, where appropriate, to ensure students with special
needs are provided programs appropriate to those needs.
B. Development of Independent Study Course/Goals
1. At the initial consultation, the student, parent, and/or other person responsible for the student's education will be provided
with a comprehensive explanation of independent study. This includes:
a. Providing the student/parent/teacher with an explanation of the roles and responsibilities of the student, parent,
b. Ensuring the curriculum options are explained
c. Documenting the learning goals to be accomplished during the next review period, and the timetables for
d. Describing the support available from the program.
C. Standards for Assessment
1. Each school shall have standards for verifying student's progress and adherence to the independent study program.
Meetings, tests, report cards, transcripts, portfolio, etc.
Any exceptions to the standards of accreditation must be presented in writing to the Accreditation Association for consideration. Each organization is unique and may have legitimate reasons for exceptions.