The adoption strategies and implementation initiatives, programs and methods shared in Applications showcase the wide-ranging and impactful ways that practitioners at all levels have adopted and implemented the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools (NSBECS) to promote and improve PK-12 Catholic schools. These efforts include such things as principal evaluation protocols, school recognition programs, innovative professional development aimed at school turn-around, Catholic principal preparation and coaching, statewide Catholic school accreditation, diocesan-wide strategic planning, and more.

The current links to field-based NSBECS implementation programs and practices are just the beginning. They represent the tip of the proverbial iceberg. (NOTE: Most links to what is now listed will reference articles in the forthcoming issue of the Journal of Catholic Education. May 2019.) Additional links are invited and will be sought out. Further information is forthcoming from NCEA NSBECS Council (NNC) to share your successful implementation program or initiative.


As shown in the CSS Study, accreditation and school improvement planning represent two of the most cited purposes for using the NSBECS.

  • Using the NSBECS for Catholic school accreditation by the Michigan Non-public School Accrediting Association, highlighting the successful work of the Diocese of Kalamazoo, MI.
  • Impact that using the NSBECS surveys has had over time in the Diocese of Grand Rapids, MI.
  • Decision-making processes by which the Diocese of Orlando and the Florida Catholic Conference chose to revise their approaches to planning and accreditation by aligning with the NSBECS.
  • Using the NSBECS for elementary school accreditation in Milwaukee and WCSA PDF.


The NSBECS provides schools and dioceses with a unified framework and shared language to assess and report progress and success.

  • SETON CATHOLIC SCHOOLS, Mission and Catholic Identity School Self-Assessment
  • Archdiocese of Milwaukee 2015-2016 Catholic Schools Annual Report
  • Archdiocese of Milwaukee 2016-2017 Catholic Schools Annual Report

Leadership Programs

The NSBECS provide a powerful framework for developing Catholic school leadership which requires not only instructional leadership but also additional skill sets, such as monitoring religious education and formation, promoting Catholic identity, serving as the faith leader, leading under unique governance models, and ensuring operational vitality.

  • Greeley Center Loyola University Chicago Catholic Principal Preparation Program aligned to both the NSBECS and the Professional Standards for Educational leaders (PSEL)
  • Leadership Formation Program using the NSBECS in South Carolina


As shown in the CSS Study, accreditation and school improvement planning represent two of the most cited purposes for using the NSBECS.

  • Strategic planning organized around the NSBECS Domains in South Carolina

Principal Evaluation

The NSBECS offer grounded criteria for school leadership that are unique to Catholic schools and aligned with research-based best practices.

  • Principal Evaluation Protocol, formative and summative.
  • The Institute for Catholic Leadership at Marquette University has created a Principals Evaluation Protocol based upon the National Standards and Benchmarks for Effective Catholic Schools (NSBECS) in collaboration with the NCEA and the NNC. This protocol is available for use by (arch)dioceses and schools. Contact the ICL to tailor the protocol to your needs. (Recent Developments 2019 at

Professional Development

Professional development that uses the NSBECS to articulate an effective Catholic school helps participants to both customize processes to fit local school improvement and to align their approaches with other Catholic educators dealing with the same changes.

  • Roche Center Boston College Emmaus Series executive-level training on Catholic school improvement framed around the NSBECS
  • Roche Center Boston College Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools (TWIN-CS) infusing the NSBECS

School Recognition

Using the NSBECS as the basis of regular recognition for schools promotes continuous improvement and shared vision.

  • Exemplary School Recognition framed by the NSBECS in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee