QUESTIONS REGARDING WSCUC OPERATIONS AND UPCOMING INSTITUTION VISITS AND REVIEWS [updated 5/26/20]

 

[NEW] ARE FALL 2020 INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW VISITS STILL OCCURRING?

The short answer is “yes”. As President Studley announced to CEOs and ALOs in her May 26, 2020 letter, our WSCUC staff are working with institutions and review teams to transition to all virtual visits for fall 2020. We will be building on the experience gained from the eight successful virtual site visits we conducted this spring. The feedback we received indicated the virtual visits went smoothly and enabled effective and complete reviews. We will continue to work closely with institutions and review teams to ensure that the virtual meetings are well designed and organized to serve institutions and teams well. In addition to the virtual visits, the US Department of Education accreditation rules require an in-person visit at some point to confirm the findings of a virtual visit. The arrangements for those on-site visits are very flexible and need not be conducted at the same time as the virtual visit. Your WSCUC VP liaison will work out the scope, timing, and nature of the in-person visit with institutions. WSCUC remains committed to making all reasonable accommodations to assist institutions and to ensure fair and effective processes. Institutions should work with their WSCUC VP liaison to address scheduling and arrangements specific to their institution.
 

WILL THE WSCUC COMMISSION MEET IN JUNE 2020 TO ACT ON SPRING 2020 VISITS?

Yes, the Commission will be meeting in June to conduct business, as scheduled, although the meeting will be virtual.

 

[REVISED] HOW WILL NEW ALOs BE ORIENTED, ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING THAT THE ARC WAS CANCELLED?

A new ALO orientation webinar was held on May 14, 2020. ALOs who are new to WSCUC since the last ARC were invited to this session. The webinar was recorded and will be available on the web soon. There will also be an ALO Forum on May 28 to which new ALOs will be invited. Information on these sessions will be sent directly to ALOs; should you have any questions or want more information, please contact your WSCUC VP liaison. 

 

WILL THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AFFECT WSCUC’S OPENNESS TO CONSIDERING INSTITUTIONS FROM OUTSIDE THE TRADITIONAL REGION FOR ACCREDITATION?

No, the pandemic does not affect the decision of WSCUC Commissioners to broaden our reach as an accreditor. WSCUC will consider requests for information and applications from institutions outside of our traditional western region having a relationship (or affiliation) with WSCUC-accredited institutions.  For more information, read the letter to the community.

 

HOW WILL COVID-19 AFFECT ELIGIBILITY, CANDIDACY AND INITIAL ACCREDITATION?

While WSCUC is well aware that all institutions have needed to divert time and energy away from accreditation efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, institutions seeking WSCUC Eligibility and Candidacy and Initial Accreditation are continuing with their applications.

Eligibility:  In general, the eligibility process is continuing with little revision. Institutions beginning the eligibility process have a required training workshop (historically offered face-to-face, now offered virtually) that was previously followed by a visit to the institutions. Currently, the follow-up visit to institutions is being waived.

Seeking Initial Accreditation:  Institutions seeking WSCUC accreditation are continuing to make progress. WSCUC held some Seeking Accreditation Visits (SAVs) virtually this spring while others were moved to the fall.

 

HOW WILL COVID-19 AFFECT INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS SEEKING WSCUC ACCREDITATION?

The first cohort of international institutions seeking WSCUC accreditation submitted their required Expression of Interest (EOI) proposals on December 2, 2019, i.e., before the pandemic.  The WSCUC Commission was able to complete the EOI process in April and plans to announce results soon. 

 

[REVISED] ARE ANNUAL REPORTS STILL GOING TO BE DUE MAY 31?

In order to accommodate current challenges, the Annual Report portal will open as usual on May 1, but will stay open for an extra month (through June 30, 2020) to allow institutions more time in meeting this deadline.

More information on the Annual Report is available here.

 

[REVISED] ARE SPRING 2020 SCHEDULED WSCUC EVENTS, LIKE WORKSHOPS AND TRAININGS, STILL GOING TO OCCUR?

As announced on March 13, 2020 (https://www.wscuc.org/news/wscuc-cancels-arc2020-april-21-24-community-interest), the Academic Resource Conference (ARC2020) was cancelled.  Over the next weeks and months, we are planning to provide varied programs via electronic means to serve the many purposes of ARC. Some of these events have already occurred; all events are being recorded and will be available on our website.

For more information on workshops and webinars that have been held and/or are scheduled go to the WSCUC Educational Programming web page.

Training sessions for teams and institutions on institutional review processes will be handled on a case-by-case basis.  Please contact your WSCUC VP for further information.