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Accreditations

TEPSAC

Texas Private School Accreditation Commission

Address:
Box 12073
Longview, Texas 75607
Phone/Fax:
903.643.8770 / 903.233.3851
Email:
tanstepsac@letu.edu
Website:
www.tepsac.org

The Texas Private School Accreditation Commission (TEPSAC) helps ensure quality in private schools by monitoring and approving organizations that accredit the various non-public elementary and secondary educational institutions in Texas.

TEPSAC, which began operating in 1986, is NOT an accrediting organization. It is instead, a confederation of accrediting associations whose primary purpose is to maintain standards of accreditation among its membership. Individual schools may seek accreditation from a TEPSAC associate member. Accrediting organizations monitor the quality of the accredited schools through on-site visits at least once every five years.

The relationship of TEPSAC with the Commissioner allows for the following activities related to accredited non-public schools:

  • Transferability of student credits earned in accredited non-public schools to Texas public schools.
  • Recognition of teacher service in accredited non-public schools for salary increment purposes in Texas public schools.
  • TEPSAC meetings held biannually with Agency liaisons to ensure the ongoing integrity and quality of the process. The listing of all accredited elementary and secondary non-public schools in the Texas School Directory.

Q&A about Private Schools in Texas:

What state requirements apply to private schools in Texas?
The only requirement placed on private schools in Texas is found in the states compulsory attendance law, which says that a child may be exempt from attending public schools if he or she attends a private or parochial school that teaches good citizenship.
How can I be sure that a private school will meet my child's educational needs?
One way of gauging the quality of a private school is through the school’s accreditation. It is important to learn something about the school itself.
How can I tell if a school's accreditation is from a reputable organization?
For many year, the state of Texas accredited private schools as well as public schools. Limited resources, however, forced the Texas Education Agency to stop performing this service for private schools. The Texas Association of Non-Public Schools -TANS-, wishing to maintain the benefits of state accreditation, worked out an agreement with the State Commissioner of Education to form a private accreditation commission that would recognize appropriate accrediting organizations. This new commission is TEPSAC which began operating in 1986.
What is TEPSAC?
TEPSAC is first not of itself an accrediting organization. It is instead a confederation of accrediting associations whose primary purpose is to maintain standards of accreditation among its membership. These standards of accreditation are comparable to Texas Education Agency (TEA) standards and preserve the integrity of the member organizations and the schools they accredit. Individual schools may seek accreditation from a TEPSAC association member.
What criteria does TEPSAC use to determine whether an accrediting organization should be recognized?
An accrediting organization that requires its schools to uphold standards comparable to state standards may apply for recognition. These standards include, but are not limited to, consideration of the schools goals and objectives; compliance with applicable state and federal statutes; effective administration and governance; the teaching of a balanced curriculum; implementation of personnel practices which ensure hiring qualified instructional leaders with college degrees; student achievement; and indicator-based quality of learning.
How do the recognized accrediting organizations monitor the quality of accredited schools?
The agreement between TEPSAC and the Commissioner of Education requires every recognized accrediting organization to conduct an onsite visit to each of its accredited schools at least once every five years.
What is the benefit of enrolling my child in an accredited private school as opposed to a non-accredited private school?
Accredited schools usually have a higher quality curriculum and more qualified teachers. Grades and courses completed at accredited private schools are accepted in public schools if you ever wish to transfer your child. In addition, if your child intends to seek admission to a college or university a diploma from a non-accredited high school may not be recognized for meeting admission requirements. A valedictorian from an accredited private school receives the monetary stipend given by the state to those attending public schools.

The following organizations have been recognized by TEPSAC and the Commissioner of Education:

Accreditation Commission of the Texas Association of Baptist Schools (ACTABS)
Contact
Dr. Randy Wood, Treasurer
Address
P.O. Box 97215
Waco, TX 76798
Phone/Fax
254.710.2410 / 254.710.3734
Email
Randy_Wood@baylor.edu
Website
www3.baylor.edu/ACTABS/index.html
Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS)
Contact
Patch Blakey
Address
PO Box 9741
Moscow, ID 83843
Phone/Fax
208.882.6101 / 208.882.9097
Email
info@accsedu.org
Website
www.accsedu.org
Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI)
South-Central Region
Contact
John Craig
Address
2001 West Plano Pkwy, Ste 3600
Plano, Texas 75075-8632
Phone/Fax
972.941.4404 / 972.941.4405
Email
john_craig@acsi.org
Website
www.acsi.org
International Christian Accrediting Association (ICAA)
Contact
Dr. Donnie Peal, Interim Executive Director
Address
2448 E. 81st Street
Tulsa, OK 74137
Phone/Fax
918.495.6163 / 918.495.6175
Email
icaa@oru.edu
Website
http://icaa.us/
Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS)
Contact
Rhonda Durham
Address
505 North Big Spring Street, Suite 406
Midland, Texas 79701
Phone/Fax
432-684-9550 / 432-684-9401
Email
rdurham@isasw.org
Website
www.isasw.org
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
Contact
Headquarters
Address
P.O. Box 97156
Washington, DC 20090-7156
Phone/Fax
202.232.8777 / 800.424.2460
Email
naeyc@naeyc.org
Website
www.naeyc.org
National Christian School Association (NCSA)
Contact
Marquita Moss
Address
PO Box 11000
Oklahoma City, OK 73136
Phone/Fax
405.425.5520 / 405.425.5614
Email
mmoss@brentwoodchristian.org
Website
www.nationalchristian.org
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
Contact
Saundra Sherman
Regional Headquarters Address
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, GA 30033
Phone/Fax
404.479.4500 / 404.679.4556
Email
ssherman@sacscasi.org
Website
www.sacs.org
Southern Association of Episcopal Schools (SAES)
Contact
Connie Wootton, Executive Director
Address
1420 4th Avenue, Suite 29
Canyon, TX 79015
Phone/Fax
806.655.2400 / 806.655.2426
Toll Free: 866.655.7237
Email
CWootton@swaes.org
Website
www.swaes.org
Texas Alliance of Accredited Private Schools (TAAPS)
Contact
Dr. Gay Brock
Address
2202 Half League Road
Port Lavaca, TX 77979
Phone/Fax
361.552.1900 / 361.552.1951
Email
taaps@tisd.net
Website
www.taaps.org
Texas Catholic Conference Education Department Diocese of Dallas (TCCED)
Contact
Margaret McGettrick
Address
Headquarters
3725 Blackburn Street
Dallas, TX 75219
Phone/Fax
214.528.2240 / 214.526.1743 512.926.1006
Email
info@cathdal.org
Website
www.cathdal.org
Texas District of The Lutheran Church -Missouri Synod (LSAC/LCMS)
Contact
Dr. William V. Hinz, Director of School Ministry
Address
7900 East Highway 290
Austin, TX 78724-2499
Phone/Fax
512.926.4272 ext. 262/512.926.1006
Email
whinz@aol.com
Website
www.txdistlcms.org
Texas Seventh -Day Adventists School System (TSDA)
Contact
Dr. Bonnie Eder, Vice Chairperson
Address
1211 US Hwy 67 West
P.O. Box 800
Alvarado, TX 76009
Phone/Fax
817.783.2223 ext. 145/817.783.2697
Email
beder@txsda.org
Website
www.txsda.com