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Tribal Accreditation

Cosa Culture 1

To further tribal sovereignty of education, COSA provides a process for Tribal Education Departments to offer school accreditation and other education-related services that promote quality culturally based learning, continuous improvement and student success.

During the winter of 2016/17 the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) recognized COSA as an approved tribal accreditation system as long as an individual tribe adopts said accreditation. This action makes COSA compliant with federal law requiring all BIE funded schools to be tribal, regional, or state accredited.

On April 19, 2017 the Commission for Oceti Sakowin Accreditation (COSA) approved Tiospa Zina Tribal School as the first school to be accredited by COSA. The accreditation took effect July 1, 2017, and is concurrent with COGNIA accreditation through the 2017-18 school year. Enemy Swim Day School was also approved in the spring of 2017.

Dual Accreditation

For schools and providers that wish to earn accreditation from more than one accreditor, COSA provides opportunities for dual accreditation using established cooperative agreements where one process meets the requirements of more than one accreditor. After earning COSA accreditation, schools may apply for regional accreditation with a COSA Commission. The Commission may have additional requirements for dual accreditation.


  • Provide an accreditation that promotes quality learning, continuous improvement and student success
  • Support educational programs relevant to Indian culture, including history, the arts, language, and tradition to be used in educational systems
  • Further the educational alternatives available to parents of Indian children
  • Advocate, sponsor and support the availability and utilization of resources and personnel to aid in the advancement of educational opportunities of Indian children
  • Formulate and enhance educational curricula relevant to the needs of Indian people and communities
  • Advance Tribal sovereignty and Indian self-determination.