• About WSCUC

Excellence. Equity. Engagement.

With equity at its core—success for all students—WSCUC pursues excellence through rigorous accreditation standards applied flexibly, empowering all its member institutions to achieve their missions.


Equity & inclusion, evidence and improvement, and national and global reach are the centerpieces of WSCUC’s Strategic Goals and Objectives to advance quality and student success. These three enduring goals, adopted June 25, 2021, will be accomplished through a set of objectives and specific activities organized around standards development, education, advocacy and communication, accreditation policy and process, governance, and organization fundamentals.

Strategic Goals & Objectives

Evidence & Improvement

Lead nationally in development and use of meaningful, contextualized evidence of equitable student success, institutional performance, and financial sustainability, under the “Better Conversations, Better Data” banner.

Equity & Inclusion

Promote strong equity and inclusion goals and real progress for students, institutions and higher education, as well as throughout WSCUC itself.

National & Global Reach

Accredit and support institutions within our historic region, across the country, and around the world that share and advance WSCUC’s equity, evidence-based, and innovation priorities.

WSCUC’s Approach to Accreditation

WSCUC accreditation aids institutions in developing and sustaining effective educational programs and assures the educational community and the general public that an accredited institution has met high standards of quality and effectiveness.

The Commission accredits institutions rather than individual programs. Therefore, in addition to assessing the academic quality and educational effectiveness of institutions, the Commission emphasizes institutional structures, processes, and resources. The accreditation process is aimed at:

Assuring the Community of Quality

Assuring the educational community and the general public that an accredited institution has demonstrated it meets the Commission’s Core Commitments to Institutional Capacity and Educational Effectiveness, and has been successfully reviewed under Commission Standards.

Developing and Applying Standards

Developing and applying Standards to review and improve educational quality and institutional performance, and validating these Standards and revising them through ongoing research and feedback.

Promoting a Culture of Evidence

Promoting within institutions a culture of evidence where indicators of performance are regularly developed and evidence collected to inform institutional decision making, planning, and improvement.

Promoting Engagement

Promoting deep institutional engagement with issues of educational effectiveness and student learning, and developing and sharing good practices in assessing and improving the teaching and learning process.

Developing Adaptive Systems

Developing systems of institutional review and evaluation that are adaptive to institutional context and purposes, that build on institutional evidence and support rigorous reviews, and reduce the burden and cost of accreditation.

Promoting the Exchange of Ideas

Promoting the active interchange of ideas among public and independent institutions that furthers the principles of improved institutional performance, educational effectiveness, and the process of peer review.

To learn more about accreditation in general, please see the Introduction to Accreditation page.

Institutions WSCUC Accredits

WSCUC is proud of the diverse missions and characteristics of the public and private higher education institutions it accredits in the United States and around the world.

WSCUC Authority

WSCUC is recognized as an institutional accrediting agency, and reviewed periodically for renewal, by the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).


WSCUC’s staff of experienced higher education professionals includes respected Vice Presidents who serve as institutional liaisons and policy and project leaders, outstanding educational programming and information technology teams, and effective administrative staff who support Commission decision-making and operations. WSCUC is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive leadership organization within the higher education community.



WASC Senior College & University Commission (WSCUC) was formally created in 2012-13 when three education commissions under the umbrella of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) – Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (ACSCU), Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), and the Accrediting Commission for Schools (ACS) — reincorporated as separate entities. They now use the same ‘WASC’ acronym but are three separate 501(c)(3) organizations with independent scopes and governance structures.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges was formed in 1962 to promote the development and accreditation of higher education in the western region of the United States. It had taken over and further formalized the work of its predecessor organization, the Western College Association. WCA in turn had its roots in the creation in 1924 of the Southern California Conference of College and Universities, restructured in 1931 and named the Association of Colleges and Universities of the Pacific Southwest.

Francis H. Herrick, History of the Western College Association 1924-1974 (1974)



Past Newsletters