Milestones

Looking at Cognia now, it’s hard to imagine that our organization has existed in three centuries—beginning in the late 19th, growing strong through the 20th, and building even more ways to serve education in the 21st. Our vitality comes not from our years, but from embracing change. Partnerships with education organizations large and small around the world open our eyes to what’s really happening in teaching and learning—and to new areas in which we can help.

See how Cognia has come to be an international nonprofit reaching educators and students in 85 countries, from its beginnings with two regional accrediting organizations.

History of Cognia

1895

An enduring foundation

Two accrediting organizations are founded: North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI)

1933

Research at the core

National Study of School Evaluation (NSSE, then called Cooperative Study of Secondary School Standards) founded.

1983

A new vision for assessment

Drs. Richard Hill and Stuart Kahl incorporate Advanced Systems in Measurement and Evaluation, and win statewide assessment contracts in Connecticut and Maine.

1985

Partnership from the start

Advanced Systems is awarded an assessment contract by the Massachusetts Department of Education, beginning a partnership that continues uninterrupted.

1998

A conviction that every student can learn

We begin providing alternate assessments for students with the most severe cognitive disabilities across Colorado.

2000

Restating our commitment

Advanced Systems changes to nonprofit status and becomes Measured Progress®, in a move to acknowledge the company’s mission and values and better align with its clients.

2001

Early adopters

Measured Progress develops online tests delivered in Georgia.

2004

Making collaboration work

Measured Progress responds to three states’ common and individual requirements with innovative design and wins contract to create the New England Common Assessment Program—the first multi-state assessment consortium in the U.S.

2006

Unifying an approach to school quality

NCA CASI, SACS CASI, and NSSE come together as AdvancED®, creating a single, comprehensive organization dedicated to advancing the quality of education for students worldwide. Dr. Mark Elgart is CEO.

2008

Leadership transition

Martin Borg joins Measured Progress as president, additionally becomes CEO in 2011.

2008

Extending a global reach

AdvancED acquires the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA), expanding its reach to 50 states and 65 countries and eventually accrediting over 70 countries.

2009

Increasing impact

The number of accredited school systems exceeds that of individual schools. More than 12,000 institutions participate in the AdvancED School System Accreditation model, which leverages improvement across an entire school system.

2011

Technology for educators

AdvancED releases the Adaptive System of School Improvement Support Tools (ASSIST™), merging process, content, and technology into a dynamic web-based platform that supports end-to-end management of school improvement and accreditation processes.

2012

A new direction

Measured Progress introduces its first formative assessment offerings for districts with an item bank, testlets, and benchmark assessments.

2012

Widening our circle

The Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) joins AdvancED as the third accreditation division providing services to institutions across seven states. AdvancED becomes the largest accrediting body in the world.

2013

Next-generation assessments

Measured Progress wins several of the contracts for the newly funded assessment consortia: PARCC (Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) and Smarter Balanced.

2014

STEM pioneers

AdvancED launches a pilot program for STEM Certification to test the content validity of the Standards and Indicators and the effectiveness, pliability and reliability of the certification process. Today, Cognia offers STEM certification worldwide.

2015

A new approach

Measured Progress releases a new interim and summative assessment program for districts and states. Maine adopts it as its statewide summative assessment, continuing a partnership begun in 1983. We introduce Assessment Services for district assessments and offer STEM Gauge® formative resources.

2015

Focus on improvement

AdvancED launches the Effective Learning Environments Observation Tool® (eleot®), a student-focused framework to gather objective information about what happens in classrooms. Our next-generation school improvement platform, eProve™ becomes available to members to centralize and align their improvement efforts.

2016

Momentum and growth

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education awards its highly anticipated new program, “Next Generation MCAS,” to Measured Progress, continuing a partnership of more than 30 years.

2016

Strengthening our hallmark

AdvancED launches new Accreditation Performance Standards and the Continuous Improvement System (CIS), a data-informed school improvement and effectiveness framework, building on accreditation services to support education institutions’ efforts to create a culture of continuous improvement.

2019

A new beginning

From the 2018 merger of AdvancED, the leader in continuous improvement and the world’s largest accrediting body, and Measured Progress, an innovator in standards-based assessment, the new organization Cognia™ is born. It offers unique and far-reaching services to educators and institutions, focused on data-driven tools for school improvement. Dr. Mark Elgart leads the unified nonprofit organization.

2020

Legacy and change

Cognia marks 125 years recognizing excellence through accreditation. We respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with ongoing free webinars and other resources, and share members’ stories in our new network newsletter, the Insider. Trusted Partner solutions LINCspring® and MyVoice™ expand our offerings to members. We launch Cognia Assessments, draft new Performance Standards, and launch a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion task force.