Why is VCPE recognized private school accreditation critical in Virginia?
The Virginia Council for Private Education (VCPE), a private umbrella organization of associations whose membership is comprised of VCPE approved accrediting associations, responsible for accrediting Virginia private schools. VCPE’s authority to establish this process is authorized by the Code of Virginia in section 22.1-19 and further in the Virginia Administrative Code of Regulations (Section A).
For a Virginia private school to be recognized as an accredited private school by the Commonwealth of Virginia, the private school must have its accreditation recognized by VCPE through the school’s accreditation with a VCPE approved accrediting association.
Why is VCPE recognized private school accreditation important for STUDENTS?
VCPE’s recognized private school accreditation affords STUDENTS the ability to:
• Transfer to a public school on grade-level. Virginia public schools are not required to accept students wishing to transfer from a non-VCPE recognized private school to a local public school on grade-level. Students wishing to transfer from a non-VCPE recognized private school to a Virginia public school may be required to repeat the grade level they have most recently completed or pass a placement test(s).
• Transfer high school credits. Virginia public schools are not required to transfer high school credits from a non-VCPE recognized private school to a Virginia public school. Virginia public schools may require students transferring from a non-VCPE recognized private school to re-take courses already completed in the non-VCPE recognized private school to satisfy state graduation requirements.
• Apply for certain government (federal and state) jobs. There are many jobs in the public sector which require job applicants to demonstrate proof of graduation from a state recognized accredited high school to be considered for employment.
• Enroll in institutions of higher education. In many cases, students who have graduated from non-VCPE recognized private schools have been required to complete extensive placement testing or attend and complete a GED program to enroll in institutions of higher education.
Why is VCPE recognized private school accreditation important for TEACHERS?
VCPE’s recognized private school accreditation affords TEACHERS the ability to:
• Apply for a Virginia teaching license. One year of successful, full-time teaching experience in the appropriate teaching area in a VCPE recognized private school must be completed before the teacher may begin the licensure application process with the Virginia Department of Education.
• VCPE recognition of accreditation is the ONLY way for a private school to be recognized by the state of Virginia as an accredited private school.
• VCPE’s state recognized accreditation process for Virginia private schools as authorized by the Code of Virginia is unique to Virginia.
• VCPE is a private, non-profit organization designed to provide a function of the state at no cost to the state.
• With a long history of collaboration with state agencies, VCPE is the premiere voice of private education in Virginia and is the primary liaison to the Virginia General Assembly, the Virginia Board of Education, state agencies and governmental offices, media sources, and the public at large.
• VCPE regularly reviews VCPE approved associations that accredit private school and shares professional development opportunities through individual associations, peer partnerships, and state-sponsored training.