Unleash Your Potential

AdvancED STEM Certification Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

AdvancED STEM Certification Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the AdvancED STEM certification?
AdvancED STEM Certification is a mark of distinction and excellence that provides institutions and programs within institutions a research-based framework and criteria for awareness, continuous improvement and assessment of the quality, rigor and substance of their STEM educational program.

What is the process for earning AdvancED STEM Certification?

  • Use the AdvancED STEM Placement Guide to determine the current status of your school’s STEM program.
  • Review the AdvancED STEM Standard and Indicators for program alignment.
  • Complete the AdvancED Services Application Request form, adding STEM Certification.
  • Enroll in the STEM Resource for Schools online course through a link that will be provided to your primary contact.
  • Schedule the STEM Certification Review with AdvancED.
  • Evaluate your STEM institution or program by completing the STEM Self Assessment.
  • Provide the evidence gathered to substantiate the Self Assessment rating for each Indicator.
  • Complete and submit the required diagnostics:

    • STEM Self Assessment and presentation of evidence
    • Two Executive Summary Questions
    • Standard Narrative Question

Are there any pre-requisite requirements for schools interested in AdvancED STEM Certification?

  • Schools must be members of the AdvancED Improvement Network (AIN) in order to apply for STEM Certification and;
  • Schools must have been implementing STEM school-wide or a STEM program within a school for at least two years prior to application for STEM Certification.

How long does the certification process last?

  • Total length of time for certification process varies based on the school’s level of readiness and the availability of qualified reviewers;
  • Plan on three to nine months to prepare for the on-site Certification Review and submit the diagnostics and electronic presentation of evidence and;
  • AdvancED schedules the Certification Review to occur a minimum of three months after the school’s application is submitted.

How is the STEM Certification Review different from an Accreditation Engagement Review?
STEM Certification Reviews differ in a few important ways:

  • The process does not involve the eProve™ platform;
  • Evidence is submitted through an electronic/online format (e.g. Wix) two weeks prior to the on-site review;
  • The STEM Certification Review’s outcome has no impact on a school’s AdvancED Index of Education Quality® (IEQ®) score;
  • If awarded, AdvancED STEM Certification goes into effect immediately. It does not require approval by the Accreditation Commission and;
  • There are no Improvement Priorities assigned to the institution.

Does the STEM certification process occur separately from the Engagement Review for accreditation?
The STEM certification process can occur in conjunction with the Engagement Review for accreditation or at another scheduled time.

Will the STEM Indicator ratings impact the school’s Index of Education Quality (IEQ) score or accreditation status?
The STEM Indicator ratings do not affect an institution’s IEQ score or its accreditation status. 

How long is the STEM certification valid?
AdvancED STEM Certification is valid for five years. After five years, the school must schedule its next STEM Certification Review visit.

What are the costs associated with STEM Certification?
Specific STEM Certification costs will vary for institutions depending on several factors. For AdvancED Improvement Network (AIN) members, STEM Certification:

  • Does not have an application fee to apply for the certification;
  • Does not have a fee to maintain certification over the five-year period;
  • Does have a fee once the certification review is schedule and;
  • Does require schools to pay for the Certification Review Team members’ expenses.