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Tribal Accreditation:How it Works

An overview of the COSA accreditation process

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COSA accreditation is granted to an educational institution upon successful completion of a rigorous evaluation process. Institutions begin the process by conducting a self-study to evaluate compliance with COSA’s Accreditation Standards. Following the self-study, a review team of experienced educators verifies that the school meets the COSA Accreditation Standards.

To maintain accreditation, the school must continuously demonstrate that it meets COSA standards and engages in an improvement process that enhances student achievement. Accreditation is awarded in five-year terms.

To be accredited, a school must

  1. Meet the COSA Accreditation Standards.
  2. Follow a protocol of evaluation through self-study and on-site review
  3. Engage in continuous improvement. The accreditation process includes an application phase, a candidacy phase, and an accreditation phase.

The three step accreditation process:

1 ) Application

  • School applies to become a candidate for accreditation. Click here to view application.
  • COSA Executive Office acknowledges application and assigns a commissioner to assist school with accreditation.

2) Candidacy

  • School conducts the self-study and moves to be approved for accreditation
  • Based on study results, school develops improvement plan
  • COSA accreditation review team assess the self-study and evaluates school to determine if all COSA Accreditation Standards are met.
  • Board of Directors approves or denies accreditation and sends report, notification and certificate.

3) Accreditation

  • School receives an accreditation certificate and permission to use our seal on documents. School may use, “This school is accredited by the Commission for Oceti Sakowin Accreditation,” on documents, brochures and in advertisements.
  • School responds to the recommendations in the accreditation report.
  • School continues to meet all COSA Accreditation Standards and to follow protocol.
  • School implements and documents the results of the improvement plan.
  • School submits an annual report confirming the COSA Accreditation Standards are continuously being met.
  • Major changes in administration, ownership, facilities, educational program, or a trend of several written complaints may necessitate a review visit to evaluate whether the school still meets the COSA Accreditation Standards.
  • COSA’s Board of Directors annually reviews schools and grants accreditation on a one-year term.
  • During the 4th and 5th years of each 5-year evaluation cycle, the school conducts a self-study, documents progress of the improvement plan, develops the next improvement plan, and hosts a review team visit. When COSA’s Board of Directors is presented validated evidence that the school does not meet the COSA Accreditation Standards, it decides whether to warn the school or to remove accreditation.

Cost associated with accreditation:

Schools are required to pay a reasonable fee for evaluations visits and an annual fee. For complete fee structure place contact us here.