CISNA is the largest member organization of accredited Islamic schools in the world.
CISNA Accreditation provides a means to review and evaluate all aspects of a school’s program with an Islamic lens. The accreditation process is based on rigorous standards and measures a school’s progress towards continuous improvement. CISNA began providing accreditation services in 2012.
CISNA has partnered with Cognia and Middle States Association (MSA), international agencies accrediting schools in more than 110 countries! CISNA schools can now apply for accreditation with CISNA and receive dual accreditation with COGNIA or MSA. CISNA is also recognized by the New York State Department of Education (the largest in the US) as an accrediting agency.
Accreditation is essential for any private institution that seeks to remain competitive and maintain a legitimate reputation. School accreditation provides a protocol for schools committed to systemic, systematic, and sustainable continuous improvement. The process requires schools to collaborate in reviewing the quality of its program and supports, enhances, and stimulates growth and improvement throughout the school. Standards of accreditation recognize the distinctive mission of a school and respect its institutional diversity while maintaining high standards in every area of program and practice.
Accreditation requires that a school focus on continual improvement of programs, services, and teacher quality through regular evaluation, data analysis, professional development, and strategic planning. The accreditation process examines the whole institution—the program, the cultural context, and the community of stakeholders—to determine how well the parts work together to meet the needs of learners. While the accreditation standards of a state or regional agency address general areas of institutional quality, the Council of Islamic Schools in North America (CISNA) standards address all areas through an Islamic lens and the process focuses on the spiritual life of the school.
The CISNA standards were first established in 2012, regularly reviewed, and last revised in 2022 after consultation with experts in the field of education. These standards are categorized under four domains: Governance, School Leadership, Teaching & Learning, and School Culture & Environment. These domains provide a systematic framework for self-evaluation and the improvement of programming and services.
The CISNA accreditation process includes a readiness visit (virtual or in-person), a thorough self-study conducted by the school based on the CISNA Standards, an Islamic Identity Survey administered by the school, the development of a school improvement plan, and a review visit by the CISNA team. The CISNA review team consists of a combination of the executive director, CISNA board members and/or qualified Islamic school educators trained in the CISNA accreditation process. The number of team members is determined by the size of the school. The review visit serves to ascertain how the components of the school’s mission statement are integrated into the entire academic program and the culture of the school. The review visit also verifies the school’s self-study to determine if it accurately reflects the school’s programs, brings objective expertise to assess the school’s complete operation, and culminates in a written report of the school’s strengths and areas of growth.
To successfully complete the CISNA school accreditation requirements all schools must do the following:
Step 1: if not already a member, become a CISNA member – Create a school account and submit the $200.00 CISNA Annual General Membership fee.
Please contact Ms. Sufia Azmat, CISNA Executive Director at email@example.com with any questions.
Fill out the Accreditation Application below and submit the fee online. The one-time, nonrefundable Accreditation application fee is $250.
NOTE: To apply for accreditation, a school must first become a member and then submit the accreditation application