Jody C. Isernhagen
Date of this Version
Gibbons, D. (2017). Factors That Influence Accreditation in Nebraska Public Schools and Districts. Ed.D. dissertation, University of Nebraska.
Public schools and districts in Nebraska are required to be accredited. The Nebraska Department of Education allows two methods to reach accreditation, the Nebraska Frameworks model and AdvancED Accreditation model. This study examined the factors that drive accreditation activities in Nebraska public schools and districts. It sought to answer questions regarding the importance of the two models’ policies and procedures, the actions that schools took in response to external visits and what factors went into choosing an accreditation model.
The purpose of this quantitative descriptive study was to determine the critical factors that influenced accredited public schools in Nebraska and to identify what factors played the strongest roles in determining which accreditation method schools or districts chose. In an electronic survey, teachers and administrators were asked to provide their perceptions regarding accreditation procedures in their schools.
It was found that there were many similarities between schools that follow AdvancED Accreditation and schools that follow Nebraska Frameworks. For example, AdvancED schools need to meet published standards while Nebraska Frameworks schools need to meet criteria on a rubric. Participants from both sets of schools rated the standards or rubric as being moderately important to their accreditation procedure. Both sets of schools expressed similar responses to their external visits as well. The majority of schools met to discuss their visit, engaged in professional development and created formal action plans, but very few did any formal follow-up of their visit.
The results of this study demonstrated the need for further study. An in-depth qualitative analysis of a small number of schools to determine why these schools chose the accreditation model could add to the body of knowledge of accreditation in Nebraska. During this study, it came to light that at least one school has changed their accreditation method from AdvancED to Frameworks. A study to determine why schools would change could also be significant.
Advisors: Brent Cejda and Jody C. Isernhagen