San Antonio Tamil School is proud to announce that we are accredited for 5 years from January 30th 2018.
What is Accreditation?
Tamil language education in India has been there for a long time but there was no standardized recognized instructional curriculum until the emrgence of California Tamil Academy and the American Tamil Academy. American Tamil Academy (ATA), a Not-for Profit tax-exempt organization was founded 6 years ago for the main objective of developing, facilitating and sharing of Tamil language instructional materials and effective teaching curricula throughout US from a central location. ATA published standardized textbooks and homework books for 6 levels. These books are updated and upgraded every year in the light of the feedback received from participating teachers and parents. Common semester question papers and online evaluation process are also made available. An important aspect of the standardization process currently being addressed by ATA is to create effective online resources using Moodle and other Learning Management Systems to make all students/teachers use it interactively and use the online system to electronically store all the data, lessons, exercises, audio/video support lessons and practical success stories. All these initiatives are needed to address the process of “ Accreditation “.
Accreditation examines the whole institution- the programs, the cultural context, the community of stakeholders-to determine how well the parts work together to meet the needs of students. Accreditation is inextricably linked to institutional and educational system improvement. The process of earning and maintaining accreditation provides institutions and educational systems with clear and compelling direction for implementing changes to move toward excellence.
American Tamil Academy
- Objective to make every School district in USA to accept the Tamil language and award the applicable K12 Language credits for learning Tamil at any level.
- Equip and enable all the willing students to earn the University Language credits via UPenn Tamil Language Center & other possible university language programs.
- Make available the entire ATA curriculum as interactive learning content using any available PC/Tablets without the need for printed books.
ATA Process and Standardization: Tamil is the oldest classical language with unbroken grammar still relevant after 3000+ years. But to teach oldest classical langauge ATA adopt World class education standards using the state of the art technology which is repeatable across the globe. Standards for educational institutions were not set by individuals or group of committed people. It should be proven standards and processes mandated/audited by a world premier institution like AdvancEd. ATA adopted many standards from its inception like commitment to continuous improvement and continue to structure the various processes to the world standards. Standards with structured syllabus, 25 lessons of class room and HW for each Nilai with set number of basic instructional hours per Nilai, standard school/student information/management system and standardized grade book to evaluate through out the academic year across all schools. Simply following the syllabus, process and standards, every Tamil School will meet 90% of the requirements for an Accredited institution and rest assured.ATA’s Commitment to Continuous Improvement.
How are students benefited by accreditation?
Tamil Schools and education in the US is totally different from the formal Tamil Language teaching process in Tamil Nadu, Singapore, Malaysia, Eelam etc. where the language is taught as a subject every day for 12 years. But in US, students learn Tamil only as a second language. US school system (K-12) requires every high school student (Grade 9 to 12) to learn a language other than English for 4 years. Students earn minimum 4 language credits for this and it helps them to accrue the valuable credits to join any college/university degree, which in turn help them to save tuition fee.
Keeping this in mind, Tamil schools were pursuing to be accredited to encourage students to learn Tamil as a second language and earn the language credits. After all, the greatest classical language from Asia with unbroken grammar for over 2000 years is a treasure for every Tamilian. It is time for the world to recognize and appreciate, that this unique pride started at the world super power United States of America, the land of immigrants where every language/culture is equally respected and recognized.
Students from Tamil decent (either from Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia) usually learn other languages like Spanish, German, French, in few instances Japanese or Chinese to earn the four language credits. Learning Tamil via accredited Institutions help the students to earn required or additional credits. With the accreditation of Tamil schools, students learning Tamil will dramatically increase, which may also lead Tamil being taught in regular US school at districts where Tamil population is dense.
AdvanceD is a US based non-profit organization catering to the educational standards for over 100 years. 30,000 + institutions all over the world (- covering 17 million students) got accredited via AdvanceD. This is the only accreditation body that caters to all 50 states of US. AdvanceD works in collaboration with various regional accreditation councils such as NCA CASI (The North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement), NWAC (Northwest Accreditation Commission), and SACS CASI (South Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement). AdvanceD accreditation is valid for 5 years and require reevaluation and audit every 5 years.
Accreditation follows a well-documented and structured process with following steps.
- Submit application including fees.
- Readiness Review: (Within 3 months) upon receipt of application the appropriate AdvancED office reviews readiness.
- Capacity and integrity to adhere to the AdvancED standards and policies.
- School’s has the capacity to support continuous school improvement.
- Determination if the school should become a candidate for accreditation.
- Internal Assessment: Upon achievement of candidate status, the school completes the Self-Assessment and prepares for the External Review.
- External Review (Within 2 years of receiving candidacy status) the candidate school hosts an External Review. Audits, Reviews and grants the final accreditation status.
Accredited, Accredited on Advisement, Accredited Warned, Accredited Probation are 4 accreditation statuses. Accreditation is for five year term as long as the school:
- Adheres to the AdvancED accreditation standards and policies.
- Engages in the AdvancED process and procedures for continuous improvement.
- Submits the Self-Assessment report 6 to 4 weeks prior to the External Review.
- Hosts an External Review at least once every five years.
- Shares a progress report on the required actions 2 years following the External Review.
- Shares more frequent progress reports if schools placed on Advisement, Warned, or Probation as instructed.
- Pays accreditation fees as required.