Cognia Accreditation and Candidacy
Accreditation is a continuous improvement process that leverages standards to improve educational
quality in benefit to its learners and the school community. Using a set of rigorous research-based
standards, 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. During the Cognia Candidacy Review, highly skilled and trained representatives gather first-
hand evidence and information pertinent to determining the institution’s capacity to meet the accreditation
requirements including the Cognia Performance Standards.
The Candidacy Review for Pathways Early College Academy took place at their offices in Pasadena, California, on December 4, 2023. The evaluator met with the school principal, Dr. Randall Hoggard, and executive director, Ella Baker. The team is transparent, and most Assurances were met. The institution has practices, processes, and systems in place that support meeting the Cognia Performance Standards.
Culture of Learning
The standards in the Key Characteristic: Culture of Learning are reflected in the practices and processes of Pathways Early College Academy. Leadership is committed to sustaining a diverse culture and to supporting the mission of the school, which is to provide students the opportunity to earn a college degree by the time they finish high school. Parents, teachers, and students interviewed report that school leaders build positive, supportive relationships that promote the social, emotional,
and academic development of students. Students especially feel supported by their teachers who provide small group or one-to-one instruction during live online lessons. Handbooks contain policy and verbiage in support of equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students. Pathways Early College Academy demonstrates the capacity to meet all standards for the Culture of Learning.
Engagement of Learning
The institution reflects the standards in the Key Characteristic: Engagement of Learning in many ways. Classroom observations indicated an active learning environment where students had opportunities for digital learning. Students have access to a variety of technology that supports active and personalized engagement of learning, such as the Google Suite, IXL, and a learning management system. A student information system is currently being implemented which will also further engage students. Students report that classes are engaging with opportunities for live discussion and tutoring, projects, and support. Learners are provided a curriculum that is aligned with California state learning standards, and when it is a good fit, students are also able to take courses for college credit. Parents and students interviewed communicated that students felt prepared academically to take on academic challenges and that the institution offers a high-quality curriculum. Students are provided some additional help during scheduled Zoom hours, where they receive live support from the teacher or teaching assistant. The institution uses a variety of assessments to analyze student learning. The institution demonstrates the capacity to meet the standards for Engagement of Learning.
Growth in Learning
The standards in the Key Characteristic: Growth in Learning are evident in several aspects within the institution. Student performance is assessed through class performance, which includes tests, projects, group discussions, and participation in class discussions, and students who need accommodations or modifications are supported. Current assessment data indicates a positive trend in student performance. Benchmark assessments, IXL software, and pre-testing are used to assess
grade-level readiness. The curriculum is purchased through Edmentum, which continually evaluates and improves it. The institution will further develop a continuous improvement plan that is aligned with identified priorities. The institution demonstrates the capacity to meet the standards for Growth in Learning.
Overall, the institution shows a capacity to meet the Cognia Performance Standards.