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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 Course for schools 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

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 onsite review
  • STEM reviews have no impact on an institution’s IEQ score
  • If awarded, AdvancED STEM Certification goes into effect immediately. It does not require approval of a council.
  • No Improvement Priorities assigned

Does the STEM certification process occur separately from the Engagement Review for accreditation?
The STEM certification process can occur in conjunction with the Accreditation Engagement Review 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.  However, fees for AdvancED Improvement Network (AIN) members will be administered as follows:

  • No cost to apply
  • No cost to maintain certification
  • Review fee (only in year of STEM Certification Review)
  • Travel and expenses for review team members