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Understanding the Importance of Accreditations and Affiliations

Importance of accreditations and affiliations

The world of education – especially with regards to international schools – is vast, with different curriculum, languages, learning environments, accreditations, and affiliations.

We find parents often confused about the differences and advantages that come along with external organizations and partnerships, with many questioning, “What are the benefits of accreditation and affiliations? How will these strengthen my children’s education?”

In this blog, we answer these questions, explore the importance of accreditations and affiliations, outline the organizations Nagoya International School (NIS) is affiliated with, and showcase exactly how we’ve earned the most important partnerships.

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NIS Accreditations and Affiliations


NIS is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Council of International Schools (CIS). We are also authorized to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP), and Diploma Programme (DP) making NIS  an ”IB World School.” 

Our school is also involved with Special Education Needs in Asia (SENIA); we’re a member of the Japan Council of International School (JCIS), and the IB Association of Japan.

Our Accreditations


1. CIS and WASC

According to the CIS website, it’s “a membership community committed to high-quality international education” and a “desire to provide students with knowledge, skills and abilities to pursue their lives as global citizens”.

The WASC, according to its website, “fosters excellence in elementary, secondary, adult, and post-secondary institutions, and supplementary education programs”. 

Schools accredited by WASC only receive full accreditation when they meet an “acceptable level of quality in accordance with the established criteria”. 

So what exactly is this level? With both the CIS and the WASC, the Standards for Accreditation require schools to meet the “Driving Ideals” of international education, including:

  1. Mission-driven and Vision-led
  2. Heavily focused on student learning and well-being
  3. Committed to internationalism/interculturalism to foster global citizenship

2. International Baccalaureate (IB) 

The IB “is a global leader in international education – developing inquiring, knowledgeable, confident, and caring young people,” writes the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) website

The program helps students thrive in our ever-changing world with optimism, self-motivation, resiliency and an open mind. 

As an IB World School, NIS is part of an active global community of teachers, students, and schools that’s constantly evolving and developing.


Our affiliations within the community


To further support our students and respond to the diverse educational needs of our community, we have strong connections with the surrounding community.

SENIA is a network for teachers and other professionals dedicated to supporting students with special learning needs.

JCIS is an association of international schools in Japan that “exists for the betterment of international schools in Japan to the benefit of the parents who choose them and the children who attend them”, according to its website

As the name indicates, the IB Association of Japan, includes schools in Japan authorized to offer one or more of the IB. The purpose of this organization – and how it benefits NIS – is to provide “a network of professional support, information and service” to schools to help improve how the IB is delivered in the country. 


NIS and its accreditation process


So how did NIS earn these accreditations and how do we maintain them? For both CIS and WASC, the school must participate in an ongoing 10-year cycle of quality where we demonstrate our capacity, commitment and competence to support the attainment of the three driving ideals listed above. 

And that cycle is quite rigorous, with visiting teams supplementing an in-depth school-conducted self-study and informing a comprehensive action-planning component

For the IB, the authorization process is also quite extensive, with only schools ready to provide the challenging and unique programs receiving IB World School status. 

For parents, as a result of this process, you can rest assured knowing that an IB World School, is held to the same standards, no matter where it’s located 

As for our memberships, schools must meet specific requirements. For example, with the JCIS, “the school must be accredited with full accreditation/inspection status from an acceptable accreditation (or inspection) agency”, serve a multinational student body, teach the curriculum in English, as well as 11 other strict criteria. 


Why are Accreditations and Affiliations Important?


Given the high standards set out by the CIS and WASC, coupled with the rigorous evaluations to maintain accreditation, NIS is able to attract – and retain – excellent teachers. This also means NIS graduates are given serious consideration when applying to universities worldwide. 

To discover where NIS students have attended college, click here.  

Essentially, the accreditations and affiliations we have at NIS strengthen the integrity of the education we offer our students, helping them not only transition seamlessly into post-secondary pathways but also into the career of their choosing. 

A decision as important as where to send your children is one that requires the utmost thought and care – and sometimes one of the best things you can do is speak to someone who’s been in your shoes. At NIS, we have a Parent Partner program where families considering a move to NIS are connected with a volunteer (who speaks the same language, has similarly aged children, backgrounds, etc.)

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When it comes to choosing the right international school for your children, there are many things to consider. Start your NIS journey & schedule a Tour Today! 

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