About Us


The WASC Senior College and University Commission (”the Commission”) is a regional accrediting agency serving a diverse membership of public and private higher education institutions throughout California, Hawaii, and the Pacific as well as a limited number of institutions outside the U.S. Through its work of peer review, based on standards agreed to by the membership, the Commission encourages continuous institutional improvement and assures the membership and its constituencies, including the public, that accredited institutions are fulfilling their missions in service to their students and the public good.

The WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as certifying institutional eligibility for federal funding in a number of programs, including student access to federal financial aid.


2017-19 Strategic Priorities:

Strategic Priority 1: Cultivate and steward stakeholder partnerships for research and learning in support of institutional improvement

Goal 1: Support the measurement and evaluation of student success

Project 1.1 Continue the development of and embed the Graduation Rate Dashboard in a comprehensive student achievement initiative
Project 1.2 Secure Lumina grant to advance assessment Communities of Practice among member institutions (In-kind investment)

Goal 2: Provide structures and resources for ALO development and support

Project 2.1 Create and implement an ALO orientation/training process

Goal 3: Strengthen evaluator and committee member selection and preparation

Project 3.1 Update content, revise approach, and deploy technology for all evaluator selection and training
Project 3.2 Update content, revise approach, and deploy technology for all committee member selection and training


Strategic Priority 2: Improve effectiveness and efficiency of WSCUC policies and processes in support of quality assurance and institutional improvement

Goal 1: Clarify, organize, and streamline the use of data

Project 1.1 Support the Commission's Data Workgroup
Project 1.2 Audit the data elements collected by the agency

Goal 2: Improve the management of agency documents

Project 2.1 Determine a standard template and modify all documents to conform, to include logo, font, orientation on page, etc.
Project 2.2 Create and implement a standard format for document naming
Project 2.3 Develop a system to curate agency documents to assure that template, naming, and revisions are implemented consistently and regularly

Goal 3: Create a systematic approach to policy revision and development

Project 3.1 Develop and propose policy revision process to Commission AP&P Committee
Project 3.2 Develop and propose policy creation process to Commission AP&P Committee
Project 3.3 Revise Degree Level policy
Project 3.4 Revise Independent Governing Board policy
Project 3.5 Revise Substantive Change Manual
Project 3.6 Audit Handbook for internal consistency

Goal 4 Implement new information management system

Project 4.1 Deploy Salesforce


Strategic Priority 3: Strengthen accreditation and its perception by stakeholders in support of quality assurance

Goal 1: Strengthen WSCUC agency effectiveness

Project 1.1 Conduct an evaluation of the 2013 Handbook reaffirmation process
Project 1.2 Design and implement a program review process of WSCUC service areas (e.g., staff liaison model, Interim Report and Eligibility Committees, Educational Programming)
Project 1.3 Assess the Commission panel review process

Goal 2: Communicate the WSCUC members' "Story"

Project 2.1 Contract to highlight our institutions' successes, on a regular and periodic basis, consistent with SP1:Goal 1
Project 2.2 Educate publically elected and appointed officials about the accreditation process

Goal 3: Respond to national, state, and local requirements and initiatives

Project 3.1 Prepare and submit USDE reauthorization application
Project 3.2 Prepare and submit CHEA Interim Report
Project 3.3 Develop the Focused Accreditation Pathway
Project 3.4 Create and implement an institutional finance risk-assessment process
Project 3.5 Create and implement comprehensive certificate/credential tracking system
Project 3.6 Participate in national non-traditional certificate initiative(s)


WSCUC is reviewed periodically for renewal of recognition by the US Department of Education and by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).


The Western Association of Schools and Colleges, (WASC), was formed in 1962 to promote the development of higher education in the Western region when it took over and further formalized the work of its predecessor organization, the Western College Association. WASC was previously incorporated as a single 501c3 entity that encompassed the three commissions (WASC Senior College and University Commission, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges and the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges).

In 2012-2013 the three Commissions re-incorporated as separate entities that share the same ‘WASC’ acronym but are otherwise separate organizations with independent scopes and governance structures. For more information about the two other agencies share the WASC acronym see Types of Accreditation and Links to Other Accrediting Agencies.