Supporting an avenue of independence in educational choices for homeschooling families in Alabama. Rosewood Academy & High School A Church School Cover.
Supporting an avenue of independence in educational choices for homeschooling families in Alabama.Rosewood Academy & High SchoolA Church School Cover.

What about Accreditation?

Thomas Jefferson

“I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

These Americans were all homeschooled.  Their parents were not "accredited".  Students should remember that any accreditation does not guarantee their success. It is up to the individual student to make the most out of the education he or she is receiving and to pursue the inspirations of their heart.  


People who were home-educated, either for some of their childhood or without attending school at all, include:

Alabama public schools are required to use an accredited curriculum which is approved by the  Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI). 


A school is not acredited but rather the curriculum that a parent/guardian or school chooses to use is "accredited".   Public school officials do not have the legal right to require which church school cover a family must use; no matter if it is  local or not.  They can require which accreditation they will accept if you are wanting to return to that partucular school.  It is not the church that needs to be accredited it is only the curriculum which can be required to re-enter a certain public school and you can find and use any curriculum they may require for re-enrollment to that public school.  Ask yourself how can a public school official restrict your choices of religious affiliation down to a certain group of churches on a list that they approve of in your local area, state or country?? ….I would contact HSLDA if they insist on doing this….


You can use an accredited curriculum or an accredited online course while enrolled with a church school and therefore meet the latest requirements given to you by a school official if you intend to or need to return to public school.   A Church school cover is a ministry of the church.  You can enroll in a church school and legally homeschool in the State of Alabama.


Rosewood Academy and High School does not require nor approve an accredited curriculum because you have the right to choose.  There are simply too many "accredited" curriculums available.  Each curriculum available varies in costs and can be found on-line.   Every family has different needs, and we feel it is best to research through forums, groups, and such related sites to gather advice by way of fellow homeschoolers.  Find what fits your family's needs. 


Accreditation is helpful in one case: Returning to public school.  Some school officials in certain cases will not allow a student to advance in grade from homeschool to public school unless the course work that was done is accredited. (They can pick which ever accreditation they want and usually require SACS or Common Core.)


Therefore it is very important to communicate with the public school in which you are wanting to return your child and find out the school's requirements. Public schools differ and each creates its own policy.


Only one county in Alabama actually states its policy, Mobile:


Mobile County states: "A student transferring from a non-accredited school in grades K-8 can be accepted by the school if all records are up-to-date and intact. If records are unclear or questionable, the principal can administer a placement test prior to grade-level assignment.

A high school student transferring from a non-accredited school MUST VALIDATE (pass an exam) FOR ALL CORE COURSES from that institution prior to grade and course placements. See pages 61-62 of the 'Education Planning Guide, 13th Edition'."


This policy is an intelligent approach to assist those who decide to home school. 



Some public schools will give students an entrance exam.
Some public schools will accept scores from a California Achievement Test or IOWA Test (the IOWA test requires the test administrator to have a degree). Both can be administered at home. Please note, standardized test are not required by statute.

What to ask the public school:


Returning to Pulic School Checklist


1. Do they require the curriculum to be accredited?

2. Will they require a placement test to advance to the next grade level?


 "Accreditation is a voluntary method of quality assurance developed more than 100 years ago by American universities and secondary schools, and designed primarily to distinguish schools adhering to a set of educational standards. The accreditation process is also known in terms of its ability to effectively drive student performance." The Alabama State Department of Education sates that accredited public schools in Alabama are those that are accredited by SACS.  


Accreditation For Colleges. 


Breaking the Accreditation Monopoly

Reforming higher education starts with ending the accreditation monopoly

Who Accredits the Accreditors?


In the United States, accreditation organizations are private and not affiliated with the government, though the government uses accreditation organizations to maintain the standards of the nation's colleges and universities (not churches or church schools). Accreditation organizations exist to review colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher education for standards of quality and improvement efforts. In most countries other than the Unites States, the government is responsible for accreditation.  


What is the role of the accrediting agency?


The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality. Accrediting agencies, which are private educational associations of regional or national scope, develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met. Institutions and/or programs that request an agency's evaluation and that meet an agency's criteria are then "accredited" by that agency.



The First Amendment

In the United States, the religious civil liberties are guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.



     SECTION 1.


All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


There are RARE times an accredited high school diploma is helpful; almost never is it required. Situations where you might remotely need, or benefit from, an accredited high school diploma:



- students applying to attend university in some European countries (esp. Germany) where homeschooling is prohibited or frowned on sometimes have an easier time with admissions with an accredited diploma (however, homeschooling has become legal in a number of nations in recent years, so this is changing in a positive direction; also, going through IB (International Baccalaureate courses/testing), often makes this unnecessary; high SAT scores and your homeschool letterhead also tends to bypass potential problems)


- some U.S. cosmetology schools require either a GED or an accredited high school diploma for entry (presumably to prevent high level of drop-outs??)


- in ONE thread, ONE time, a parent shared that her son was denied an interview with a particular company because of having a homeschool high school diploma -- IN SPITE OF having a high quality college degree in the field (the son dropped the company from his job list and was snapped up by a better company for more pay -- no further issues...


- accreditation MAY make the path for playing college sports more smooth, as you MUST follow NCAA regulations throughout high school in order to be eligible to play and earn sports scholarships in college -- but NCAA regulations for homeschoolers recently changed, so accreditation may no longer be a concern



"The vast majority of the time, accreditation is NOT needed... there is NO standardized national policy -- or even state-wide policy in many instances.


The best thing to do is to find out for yourself:

1. What your State's laws are re: accreditation and homeschool? (if any)
2. What post-high school institutions would your DC likely attend? (find out requirements                   accreditation)
3. Talk with local homeschoolers to find out what they did (re: accreditation or no) in graduating         their DC: Have the DC been accepted to colleges? Jobs? etc?
4. Read through your state homeschooling organization's material; ask questions about                     accreditation.


If your state does not have requirements about accreditation, here are some additional situations in which you may need to consider accreditation:

- Moving from a low regulation state to a highly regulated state during the high school years.
- Switching from home school to a local public or private school (in order to have homeschool           credits accepted) -- [usually accreditation is NOT what the school demands, but instead, requires     testing for every single course in order to grant credit].
- Applying to the rare, picky college or post-high school institution [i.e., cosmetology school]"

  And yes, there are downsides to accreditation and cover schools:
- can be expensive
- may limit your curriculum choices
- the cover school or accrediting company may lose or discontinue accreditation services while          you're in-process
- MORE than once, people have posted on this Board that their accrediting cover school messed up    tracking their student's credits (NOT Kolbe or Seton)
- still may not be accepted by a high school if your student switches from homeschooling partway      through high school


Finally, many people -- homeschoolers, university admission officers, and your average parent of a high schooler -- do not realize that not all high schools are accredited, and so the diplomas awarded by non-accredited high schools are NOT accredited diplomas. (You can do a search on whether high schools are accredited or not through the US Dept. of Education database. To check accreditation of post-high school institutions, see the CHEA website.)


You may find the discussions in past threads on accreditation to be helpful. Here are a few specifically on accreditation, from one of the pinned threads at the top of the high school board:

Accredited diploma: is it worth the $$$?
Advantage to getting a diploma from an accredited school?
Questions (accreditation, accredited diploma, college admission)
Do you really not need an accredited diploma? (accreditation process, pros/cons)
Important question about accreditation -- How important is this to getting into college (lengthy thread on accreditation process, pros and cons)
High school diploma (do homeschoolers need accredited diplomas; pros and cons) -- posts #19 and #20 address NY homeschoolers and SUNY admission/graduation
Accreditation question (links to outside resources on accreditation process)n accredited program...
Accredited high school home school programs
Are there accredited high school programs that allow you to choose curriculums?

Hope something here is of help as you research and decide whether accreditation is needed or worth it for your family! Warmest regards, Lori D.


P.S. -- SIDE NOTE: As you move through the high school years of homeschooling, you may find many of the linked past threads in those 2 pinned threads helpful:
- Outsourcing, Online Classes, Tutors, Dual Enrollment, AP, SATII, CLEP -- past threads linked here!
- Transcripts, Credits, GPA/Grading, Accreditation, College Prep/Applications, Scholarships/Financial Aid, Career Exploration -- past threads linked here!


Click here for this Thread 

Rosewood Academy & High School

A church school cover for families homeschooling in Alabama

updated 06/2023

 “What does compulsory education often do? It makes a straight-cut ditch of a free, meandering brook.”  -Henry David Thoreau

Contact Info

Rosewood Academy and High School
1301 Rosewood Drive
Maytown, AL 35118

Ralph: 205 586-4842

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