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Middle States

MSA-CESS accredits preK-12 public, private, parochial, charter, non-degree granting career and technical post-secondary institutions, systems of schools, and learning services providers. Historically, MSA-CESS accredited schools only in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia) however, over time membership has grown to include schools in 39 U.S. States and 112 countries around the world. MSA-CESS is headquartered in Philadelphia, PA and works with volunteers across the country and around the world to support school improvement through accreditation.


The Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools, building on the rich history of the Middle States Association, aspire to improve the quality of education in the United States and around the world by assisting schools to achieve excellence through the process of accreditation, by affirming to the public a member school’s trustworthiness and commitment to continuous improvement, by providing the network and resources for the promotion of proven practices.


  • Education is important to the quality of life in our global society.
  • All children deserve access to a quality education.
  • All schools can achieve excellence in both teaching and learning through innovation.
  • The process of self assessment, external validation, and accountability is essential to school improvement.
  • Achieving excellence through accreditation promotes a commitment to a shared vision of continuous improvement, diverse stakeholder support, and sustained effort over an extended period of time.
  • Accreditation is a collaborative partnership grounded in professionally recognized and accepted research-based standards.

Accreditation is the educational community’s means of self-regulation through quality assurance and continuous improvement. The accreditation process is intended to strengthen and sustain the quality and integrity of education, making it worthy of public confidence and minimizing the scope of external control. In order to be deserving of this public trust, accredited institutions must affirm their accreditation in the following ways:

  • Adheres to the Middle States Standards for Accreditation;
  • Uses its mission, beliefs, and goals as the basis for daily decision-making;
  • Operates in the public interest and in accordance with ethical practice;
  • Accepts responsibility for the level of performance of its students;
  • Remains committed to continuous improvement in student learning and to its capacity to produce the levels of learning desired and expected by its community;
  • Operates in a collegial and collaborative way with all its stakeholders; and,
  • Sustains its focus on implementing recommendations, addressing monitoring issues and correcting stipulations that may be part of its notification of accreditation and fulfills its maintenance requirements to the Commission.