WGNA Accreditation Overview
The Web-learning Global Networking Alliance is a specialized accreditor for K-12 schools. WGNA supports schools that educate students in web-learning environments throughout the United States and internationally. WGNA's accreditation process includes a thorough peer review of the school’s self-review and evaluation process.
Background for K-12 Accreditation
In 1985, a conglomerate of K-12 private school accreditation agencies requested federal recognition of their programs from the U.S. Department of Education. The Department’s General Counsel ruled that it had no statutory to recognize any elementary or secondary accrediting agency. As a result of this 1985 ruling, efforts to obtain recognition from the Department of Education for K-12 accreditation programs ceased. Although the U.S. Department of Education does maintain a listing of approved accreditation agencies, its scope is limited to agencies that accredit higher education institutions.
“The U.S. Department of Education does not have the authority to accredit private or public elementary or secondary schools, and the Department does not recognize accrediting bodies for the accreditation of private or public elementary and secondary schools. However, the U.S. Department of Education does recognize accrediting bodies for the accreditation of institutions of higher (postsecondary) education. If an accrediting body which is recognized by the Department for higher education also accredits elementary and secondary schools, the Department's recognition applies only to the agency's accreditation of postsecondary institutions."
–Source: U.S. Department of Education
Purpose of WGNA Accreditation
The emergence and growth of web-learning programs has mandated the need for schools to discover new evaluation models to benchmark the quality of their programs. WGNA was formed to address this need by providing an accreditation model which empowers web-learning schools to meet high standards of excellence in K-12 education.
WGNA works with schools to validate best practices, provide training, and offer guidance to school teams implementing technology-based instruction.
WGNA’s accreditation programs are anchored in the standards published by the International Association for K-12 Learning (iNACOL). These standards set the threshold and ascribe to quality guidelines for online course content, instructional design, technology, student assessment, and course management. The WGNA accreditation process includes a comparative schoolwide self-review of programs to the iNACOL standards for online programs, WGNA’s school site team visit, and the development of three-year action plan for student achievement.
The primary purpose of WGNA accreditation is to encourage and recognize the attainment of goals and standards for schools offering web-learning programs. WGNA accreditation provides these schools with a model of continuous quality improvement through a voluntary and comprehensive self-review process of evaluation.