Union Catholic Regional High School

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MSA Accreditation

Union Catholic High School has been an accredited Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA) member school since 1969. Accreditation is not only a status; it is also an ongoing process that ensures a school's continued growth and excellence. According to the MSA, accreditation is the result of an "external, objective validation of school quality and achievement-the Gold Standard."

For two years, Union Catholic engaged in a comprehensive self-study, using the MSA protocol "Excellence by Design." The self-study process was facilitated by two Internal Coordinators: Noreen Andrews, Assistant Principal, and Barbara Dellanno, Dean of Academics & Faith-Formation.

The Planning Team, whose members represented a cross-section of UC stakeholders and included faculty member Catarina Abrantes, Director of School Counseling Jennifer Dixon, faculty member Timothy Breza, faculty member and alum Edward Sagendorf '07, Associate Principal and alum Karen Piasecki '88, faculty member and Media Specialist Kathy Webber, Student Support Services Director and alum Meg Nuwer '98, faculty member and alum Ed Thornton '04, and Director of Parent Relations and UC parent Allison Lestarchick, worked closely with the Internal Coordinators. This team developed a Mission Statement, reflecting UC's vision for the school and its students; a Belief Statement, identifying UC's core values and the beliefs that guide the school's mission; and The Profile of a Graduate, specifying what UC students have to know, be able to do, and to demonstrate for the school to achieve its mission. These three foundation documents are available on the UC website under "About Us."

The Planning Team also collected the information and data from stakeholders that was used to create its report on the Context of the School and its Profiles of Student Performance and Organizational Capacity. All of this led to the team's development of a Plan for Growth and Improvement in student performance and the school's capacity to achieve the desired outcomes. Three measurable objectives were identified by the team. The objectives were formally approved by MSA in July 2015. The first two objectives focus on student performance: improving critical reading proficiency and increasing knowledge of the principles of Catholic social teaching. The third objective focuses on curriculum design in light of the Profile of the Graduate.

In October 2015, a Visiting Team appointed by MSA spent four days evaluating the school using the self-study as its guide. The purpose of the visit was to affirm what UC is doing and planning on doing in the next seven years to move the school forward in realizing its mission and vision. The visit concluded with the Team Chair informing the school's stakeholders that the team would be recommending to the Middle States Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools that Union Catholic be re-accredited.

On May 2016, Union Catholic received "Official Notice of Middle States Accreditation" for the period May 1, 2016 to May 1, 2023. In his letter to the school the MSA President, Henry G. Cram Ed. D, commended UC for continuing "to be among the schools throughout the world that meet the internationally recognized standards of quality of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools"-the Gold Standard.

June 1, 2016