The Institutional Review Process

This section is designed to assist institutions as they address WSCUC’s 2013 Standards of Accreditation for reaffirmation of accreditation. It provides a description of the steps involved in an institution’s reaffirmation process, the components that need to be included in the institutional report, interactions with the evaluation team, and other details. 

Student success includes not only strong retention and degree completion rates, but also high-quality learning. It means that students are prepared for success in their personal, civic, and professional lives, and that they embody the values and behaviors that make their institution distinctive.

The Institutional Review Process (IRP) described below applies to institutions that are seeking reaffirmation of accreditation. Other models apply for institutions seeking Eligibility, Candidacy, or Initial Accreditation. At the Commission’s discretion, institutions may be directed to follow a process that differs from the one described in the pages that follow, and those institutions will be guided by other documents describing those reviews.

All institutions need to demonstrate that they are in substantial compliance with the 2013 Standards of Accreditation and with those federal regulations that the Commission is required to oversee the implementation of. Within this context, the goal of the process is the improvement of student learning, student success, and institutional effectiveness. 

Institutions can typically expect to spend two to three years pursuing reaffirmation of WSCUC accreditation. Briefly stated, the IRP involves an Offsite Review by the evaluation team; and an Accreditation Visit to the institution by the same evaluation team. These steps are followed by a Commission decision on an institution’s reaffirmation of accreditation. A description of the review process follows.