Western Association of Schools and Colleges

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges, or WASC, is a group of accrediting bodies that accredit colleges in Hawaii, California, and even areas of the Asian Pacific. Each accrediting group focuses on a specific level of educational institute that allows very practical and highly structured standards to be developed that reflect a school’s environment and student learning outcome. The three different accrediting organizations within WASC include:

  • Accrediting Commission for Schools: The largest of the three accrediting organizations under WASC which grants accreditation to public, private, and church schools from the elementary through college levels
  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges: Focuses on those private or public schools at the post-secondary level that grants associate’s degrees and certifications in two-year programs
  • Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities: Grants senior-level, post-secondary education

All levels of WASC follow the same general procedures. While vying for WASC accreditation, schools must complete an intensive evaluation of their educational, administrative, and student outcome, while planning their future goals for improvement. After these steps are complete, the institution must self-review and get reviewed by peers. This information is then sent to the appropriate commission that then determines if the educational facility meets the standards to become accredited.

WACS staff guides accredited educational units through the ongoing evaluation and improvement process, ensuring that graduates and students have the most up to date teaching and research-based and student-focused education.

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