Commission Code of Good Practice and Ethical Conduct

In carrying out its functions, the WASC Senior College and University Commission has established a code of good practice and ethical conduct that guides its relations with the institutions it serves and with its internal organization and procedures. The Commission maintains a commitment to:

  1. Apply with good faith effort its procedures and standards as fairly and consistently as possible.
  2. Provide means by which institutions and others can comment on the effectiveness of the accreditation review process, standards, and policies, and to conduct ongoing and regular reviews to make necessary changes.
  3. Provide institutions and the general public with access to non-confidential information regarding Commission actions and opportunities to make informed comment in the development of commission policies (see Public Access to the Commission Policy).
  4. Encourage continuing communication between the Commission and institutions through the accreditation liaison officer position at each institution.
  5. Maintain and implement a conflict of interest policy for members of review teams, members of the Commission, and Commission staff to ensure fairness and avoid bias.
  6. Value the wide diversity of institutions within its region and consider an institution’s purpose and character when applying the Standards.
  7. Assist and stimulate improvement in its institutions’ educational effectiveness.
  8. Provide institutions a reasonable period of time to comply with Commission requests for information and documents.
  9. Endeavor to protect the confidentiality of an institution’s proprietary information.
  10. With respect to the accreditation review process:
    1. Emphasize the value and importance of institutional self-evaluation and the development of appropriate evidence to support the accreditation review process.
    2. Conduct reviews using qualified peers under conditions that promote impartial and objective judgment and avoid conflicts of interest.
    3. Provide institutions an opportunity to object, for cause, to the assignment of a person to the institution’s review team.
    4. Arrange for interviews with administration, faculty, students, and governing board members during the accreditation review process.
  11. With respect to Commission decisions on an institution’s accreditation, provide opportunity for the institution to:
    1. Respond in writing to draft team reports in order to correct errors of fact and propose redaction of proprietary information.
    2. Respond in writing to final team reports on issues of substance.
    3. Appear before the Commission when reports are considered.
    4. Receive written notice from Commission staff as soon as reasonably possible after Commission decisions are made.
    5. Appeal Commission actions according to published procedures.
  12. Request a written response from an institution or refer a matter to the next review team when the Commission finds that an institution may be in violation of the Standards or policies. If the Commission requests the institution to respond and the Commission deems such response inadequate, Commission staff may request supplemental information or schedule a fact-finding visit to the institution. The institution will bear the expense of such a visit. 
  13. Permit withdrawal of a request for initial accreditation at any time prior to final action by the Commission.
  14. Withdraw accreditation or candidacy as provided in the Accreditation Handbook.