• Accreditation Leadership Academy (ALA)

    Outline of Curriculum


  • Develop Competency in Accreditation: Participants will deepen their understanding of the purpose and processes of accreditation while exploring significant issues in higher education.
  • Foster Leadership and Collaborative Skills: The ALA enhances leadership capabilities and encourages the integration of collaborative skills into personal and professional contexts, preparing participants to tackle challenges within their institutions.
  • Apply Critical Analysis and Inquiry: Attendees will improve skills in research, inquiry, writing, and critical thinking by conducting a project that explores a specific challenge or opportunity at their institution, applying learned concepts to real-world contexts.
  • Expand Professional Networks: The ALA brings together cohorts, mentors, speakers, and staff, fostering networks to enhance collaborative opportunities and career growth.
  • Community Contribution and Scholarship: ALA Alumni will join WSCUC’s Educational Programs community, contributing to ongoing work and scholarship surrounding accreditation in higher education.


The ALA will employ a Learning Management System to serve as the hub of activity between in-person meetings. It will:

  • Support collaboration (ability to share documents, folders, videos, and resources).
  • Manage training materials.
  • Support webinar/zoom recordings.
  • Allow for teamwork and file sharing.
  • Allow for feedback from teachers/faculty/mentors on projects.


ALA staff consists of WSCUC staff, ALA Scholars, and ALA Mentor Faculty. Senior Scholars are typically experienced and nationally recognized higher education professionals who give keynote presentations or facilitate workshops at in-person meetings. Mentor Faculty are drawn from the community of WSCUC Fellows and ALA and Community of Practice alumni, and will mentor ALA participants on their individual projects.

Process and Assignments

Individual Project

The ALA individual project explores a challenge or opportunity at the participant’s institution. These projects typically take one of two forms:

  • Implementation-centered projects use the ALA to further support the participant as they undertake an initiative or project on campus. In some cases, these projects can be finished within the ALA timeframe, while in others the ALA will coincide with a specific stage of a more extended project or initiative. While the typical final deliverable may be more tailored to institutional needs, many projects of this type result in a deliverable for external audiences (such as a conference presentation or write-up of generalizable practices or insights).
  • Inquiry-based projects are grounded in theoretical approaches and use academic literature to delve into a topic of significance to the participant and their context. The typical final deliverable is a research paper, conference presentation, or similar. Note that while some inquiry-based projects do engage in research using evidence gathered from a participant’s campus, subject to relevant HSR considerations, this is not required.

The ALA individual projects are supported by a mentor and involve a series of milestones and deliverables, including:

  • July/August – Initial concept
  • September – Literature review & draft project plan
  • October – Project update & feedback integration
  • January – Preliminary results / cohort presentations
  • March 31st – Final Deliverable

Group Projects

The ALA group projects explore current topics in higher education in a collaborative environment. Participants will work with their cohort peers in teams of 4-5 on a topic of interest. Final deliverables are highly flexible (framework, podcast, white paper, opinion piece, action plan etc.), with support for teams interested in creating a short presentation suitable for an academic conference such as ARC 2025.

The ALA group projects involve a series of milestones and deliverables, including:

  • August – Topic selection and initial co-working
  • October – Project update and co-working
  • November – Feedback integration
  • January – Project presentations

Sample In-Person Meeting Schedule

Day 1

ALA Orientation
Introduction to WSCUC and Accreditation

Topics in Leadership
Individual / group projects

Dinner and networking

Day 2

Topics in Higher Education
Conversation and Contextualization

Topics in Higher Education
Conversation and Contextualization

Dinner and networking

Day 3

Topics in Higher Education

Early Afternoon
Individual / group projects
Wrap-up and next steps