About the Mid-Cycle Review

MID-CYCLE REVIEW TRANSITIONS TO ANNUAL INTEGRATED MONITORING (AIM)

WSCUC’s Mid-Cycle Review, implemented in 2014 and conducted for each institution at the mid-point between accreditation reviews, satisfied the  federal requirement that accrediting agencies "identify problems with an institution's …continued compliance with agency standards" while "tak[ing] into account institutional … strengths and stability" (34 CFR §602.19(b)). This review proved to be useful, both to the Commission in monitoring institutions’ progress, and to institutional leadership in the form of feedback to support continuous improvement and preparation for the next accreditation review.

As a result of this success, the Commission decided in November, 2020 to move to an annual review that also complies with federal requirements while allowing a fresher look. WSCUC has implemented an Annual Integrated Monitoring (AIM) process, conducted by staff and focusing on monitoring institutions for indications of current risks or trends that deserve further attention or may prove to be problematic in the future. There are no bright lines for the factors; they are used in context to identify trends, questions, and areas for follow up. AIM will consider the following information:

  • Enrollment trends
  • Finance [financial indicators reported in the Annual Report; HCM; Composite Score]
  • Governance [e.g., significant board and leadership changes]
  • Graduation rates
    • IPEDS [4-year and 6-year] disaggregated
    • IPEDS 8-year outcome measures
    • Licensure pass rates (at this time bar exam performance only)
    • Retention Rates
    • Completions
    • Cohort Default Rate
    • Median Student Debt
    • Percent receiving federal loans
    • Percent Pell
    • Postgraduate earnings:  % above high school graduate earnings
    • Substantive change activity [programs and structural changes]
    • Actions by other accreditors
    • Public media reports relevant to accreditation issues
    • Student, graduate or staff complaints
    • Litigation relevant to accreditation issues
    • Federal program review determinations

 

As with the Mid-Cycle Review, data for AIM will be drawn by WSCUC from IPEDS and other federal data sources and from the institution's Annual Report to WSCUC.