The Purposes of WSCUC Accreditation

The overriding purpose of WSCUC accreditation is to assure stakeholders that a WSCUC-accredited institution has been rigorously evaluated and that it meets or exceeds the criteria required to maintain accreditation. In addition, the accreditation process is designed to build a culture of evidence, promote a commitment to institutional improvement, validate institutional integrity, and provide feedback that improves the accreditation process itself.

WSCUC is one of seven regional accrediting agencies. Regional accreditation serves to assure the educational community, parents, students, employers, policymakers, and the public that an accredited institution has met high standards of quality and effectiveness. Students attending accredited institutions may be eligible to apply for U.S. federal financial aid. Accreditation also helps ensure that credits and degrees are generally recognized for purposes of transfer, admission to other institutions, and employment. 

In many countries, the maintenance of educational standards is a governmental function; in the U.S., by contrast, accreditation is peer-driven and accrediting associations are funded by the dues of member institutions. Review teams comprising experts and representatives from similar institutions evaluate an institution for initial or reaffirmation of accreditation. No institution in the U.S. is required to seek accreditation, but because of the recognized benefits of the process, most eligible institutions have sought to become accredited.