Accreditation Report (Education)

100+ page report for the 2007 WASC and AAA accreditation of Monterey Bay Academy (MBA)

March, 2007
The Vice Principal for Academic Affairs (registrar) for Monterey Bay Academy (MBA) desired to submit a professionally designed report for the school's 2007 full accreditation. The following is a glimpse of the materials created and submitted, which received high praise by both agencies providing the school's accreditation—the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commision for Schools (ACS WASC) and the Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools, Colleges, and Universities, Inc. (AAA).
The accreditation process for a school, if done correctly, is a grueling process—involving all stakeholders (school staff, students, parents, board of trustees members, alumni, and conference personnel). The process provides the opportunity for the school to not only resolve issues from previous accreditation reviews, but to also do strategic planning for the school's, and more importantly, the students' future. A full accreditation is typically done every six (6) years, with a mid-term review after three (3) years—if the school is in good standing, which this report reflects.

Report Cover — In consulting with the VP for Academic Affairs and the commercial printer, it was decided that to truly provide a professional report, the binding should be spiral (or wire-o) in order to provide the Visiting Committee reviewers the ability to open the report and have it lay flat. During the consultation process, it was also decided that the report would be digitally printed to reduce costs.

Report Title Page — The title page outlines the reporting criteria required by each agency involved, to which agencies the report was submitted, and the accreditation time period.

Report Table of Contents — As previously mentioned, the accreditation reporting process is very involved. While the goal was to provide clear designation throughout the report, it was also necessary to provide an outline for the Visiting Committee reviewers to be able to quickly find materials to assist in their review process.

Report Charting — Part of the review process is detailing a significant amount of details. Previous accreditation reports for the school would list such data within regular text, making it difficult for the Visiting Committee reviewers to be able to absorb the data and provide actionable suggestions for improvement. It was decided that a majority of that type of data would be broken out into tables and charts (not shown) so the reviewers could be better visualize the material.

The report was laid out in a four (4) column grid, with the body of text using three of the four columns. The fourth, and outer, column of each page was lined along the same baseline as the main body of text. This was designed to provide a writing/commenting area for the visiting committee to use as they read through the school's report.

Report Action Plans — Part of the reporting process is taking the visiting committee's previous recommendations for improvement and providing a clear outline of how the improvement would be achieved. This includes detailing the specific strategies to accomplish the improvements, as well as the personnel responsible and a timeline of expected completion. Although the tables follow a similar pattern to previous the previous report's action plans, a design choice was made  to use type, shading, and better spacing within the tables to increase readability.

Report Chapter Pages — During the consulting process, it was planned to provide the report in color to both improve the professionalism of the report, as well as the readability.To take advantage of printing in full color, it was decided that the chapter dividers would display photographs of MBA students involved in regular activities (academic, spiritual, athletic, and social). Another benefit of the photographs was to breakup the significant amount of test within the report. 

Report Visiting Committee Responses — A section of the of the reporting is the school's response to the previous (mid-term) review. Typographic and color markers were used to differentiate between sections, previous review comments, and the school's responses.

Report Appendix — The accreditation report contained a large amount of reference material to demonstrate methods the school used for tracking and reporting student progress. Shown above is a Course of Study Agreement, also designed by Benjamin Designs, that outlines the courses necessary for a student to graduate with a selected Diploma Track (basic high school diploma, college preparatory diploma, or advanced honors diploma), which includes course credits required, area to outline each year's classes, and signature areas for each year of the student's attendance.

Visiting Committee Report — At the end of the visiting committee's three-day visit at the school, the committee compiles a report of their findings to present to the school. The visiting committee was so impressed with the school's report design, the committee requested that their report also be designed. Using the same layout, the committee's report only varies in that the writing/commenting lines are not provided, and the report is in a single color (black) for duplicating on the school's copy machine.

2010 Mid-term Accreditation Report — The reporting process for the mid-term review is not as involved, and does not require the same professional design requirements the school sought for the 2007 full report. However, the Vice Principal for Academic Affairs requested an Exit Survey be designed for graduating and non-graduating students that would provide additional information for both the mid-term and future accreditation reporting. The surveys are identical, except for the initial area under the Student Program Information section.

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