What is WASC?
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is one of six regional associations that accredit public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the United States. Through its review processes, WASC confirms that an institution has substantially met the Commission's Core Commitments and Standards of Accreditation and associated Criteria for Review and, thus, possesses the resources, policies, and practices to achieve its educational goals and has provided evidence of the quality of its educational programs. Accredited institutions are also subject to the conditions established by the Commission, including its policies.
Institutions elect to undergo accreditation review for several reasons besides assurance of quality and adherence to academic standards. Accreditation determines a school's eligibility for participation in federal (Title IV) and state financial aid programs. Accreditation also is important for the acceptance and transfer of college credit, and is a prerequisite for many graduate programs. Generally, college credits or degrees received at a regionally accredited institution are accepted by other regionally accredited colleges or universities.
Accreditation is periodically reaffirmed through a comprehensive review process that includes an institutional self study, external review, and site visit at least once every ten years. As a matter of Commission policy, Initial Accreditation requires institutional self review and peer evaluation no more than seven years after the date of the Commission action granting such status. UC Merced's next comprehensive review site visit is scheduled for spring 2018.
Key WASC Publications
- WASC Handbook of Accreditation (pdf)
- WASC Substantive Change Manual (pdf)
- WASC Policies Manual (pdf)
- WASC Educational Effectiveness Framework (pdf)
WASC Executive Director: Ralph Wolff
WASC Liaison to UC Merced: Barbara Gross Davis
Learn More About WASC
The accrediting activities of WASC are conducted by three Commissions, each working with a different segment of education. UC Merced is reviewed by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities.
WASC Contact information:
985 Atlantic Ave., Suite 100
Alameda, CA 94501
Phone: (510) 748-9001
Last Updated January 22, 2013