Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

The Delaware Center for Distance Adult Learning in a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1997. DCDAL operates Diploma-At-A-Distance (DAAD), the online center of the Delaware Dept. of Education's James H. Groves Adult High School. The school has been fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools since 1983. The following information is directly from the Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools. For more information please visit their website at http://www.css-msa.org.


The Commission on Secondary Schools is one of three Commissions that function within Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. The others are the Commission on Higher Education and the Commission on Elementary Schools. The Commission on Secondary Schools serves both public and non-public schools in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. In addition, it accredits schools in the Caribbean as well as various locations around the world.

The Commission on Secondary Schools (CSS) was established in November 1920 to promote the improvement of secondary education and to secure better coordination and understanding between secondary schools and institutions of higher education. It serves public and non-public middle, intermediate, and/or secondary schools, non-degree granting vocational technical and postsecondary institutions, special purpose schools, supplementary education centers, and distance education institutions. These institutions may be ungraded or have designated grade levels, including a post-graduate level.

Institutions that serve students in a larger continuum (such as a K-12 school or district) can join the PK-12 department of the Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools.

CSS members must be accredited institutions or candidates for accreditation. For more information on this process, please visit our accreditation section of this web site. A permanent staff housed primarily in the Middle States offices in Philadelphia, PA, coordinates the work of the Commission and its volunteers. Feel free to contact the staff with further questions about the work of CSS.

A fact sheet of current statistical data is available in PDF form for viewing and printing.


The Middle States Commission on Secondary Schools (MSCSS), the premier American regional accreditation agency, is the leader in ensuring that all students in its region receive the highest quality of education and achieve at levels expected by society. Through its accreditation and school improvement services, MSCSS recognizes excellence in educational quality, planning, and growth in student performance and provides the means to meet rigorous standards of educational quality.


MSCSS will demonstrate that it is accomplishing its mission and that it is the premier American regional accreditation agency when:

  • All eligible institutions in its region are accredited or are seeking accreditation by MSCSS.
  • Every student in an MSCSS accredited school is achieving at the highest levels of student performance.
  • MSCSS's Standards for Accreditation are acknowledged as the most respected standards of educational quality in the world.
  • MSCSS's accreditation materials and school improvement services are recognized as the most respected and effective motivators for institutions to attain the highest levels of student and organizational performance.
  • The value of membership in MSCSS, as an "organization of educators for educators" is known throughout the world of education. MSCSS promotes networking and professional development and provides unique opportunities for educators to work with and for each other.
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Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide a personalized program with quality instruction and support to enable adult learners to become more effective employees, family members, and community participants.