• Accreditation Handbooks

    2013 & 2023

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.

In June 2023, the Commission adopted a new Handbook of Accreditation with revised Standards and decided that the 2023 Handbook will be effective for all accreditation reviews that begin after September 1, 2024. Thus, for a period of time the Commission and member institutions will need to work with two Handbooks, depending on when a review takes place and which Handbook (and its Standards) applies. Member institutions should consult with their vice president/staff liaison if they are unclear about which Handbook should be used for an institutional review.

This webpage will be updated quarterly as the Commission gains experience working with dual Handbooks.

2013 Handbook

The 2013 Handbook was revised in 2015, edited in 2018, and updated in November 2021.

2023 Handbook

The 2023 Handbook was approved by the Commission in June of 2023 and contains the new standards adopted by the Commission the prior year. The new handbook documents the new standards and provides addition information on the Institutional Reaffirmation Process and the forms of actions taken by the Commission.

Handbook FAQs

Can I use the new Handbook and its Standards before fall 2024?

Yes. However, institutions should consult with their staff liaison/vice president to assure that this is the appropriate option.

Are there major differences between the 2013 and 2023 Handbooks?

The Standards have been modified but have also preserved their organization and focus. Please see Understanding the Standards for further explanation. The institutional reaffirmation process has been significantly altered; the 2023 Handbook explains the new process in detail.

Will reviews that take place after the 2023 Handbook is effective, but scheduled under the 2013 Handbook, use the 2023 or 2013 Standards?

To the extent possible, they will use the 2023 Standards. It is important to note that the issues to be addressed in a review do not change. The context/requirements of the Standard governing the issue may have changed.

Where can I get training on the new Handbook?

If you are preparing for a scheduled review, consult with your staff liaison/vice president. Use the links on this webpage to find documents that further explain the 2023 Handbook.

Will there be workshops for institutions on the 2023 Handbook?

The primary means of training is provided by the institution’s staff liaison/vice president. In addition, the Commission will offer workshops beginning in spring 2024 on such topics as how to write an institutional narrative most effectively. Institutions are always encouraged to attend the annual WSCUC Accreditation Resource Conference (ARC) in April, where timely and topical presentations and workshops occur.



Past Newsletters