What is WASC?
If you’ve been browsing MBA programs on the west coast, you may have noticed that some of the schools are “WASC accredited.” But what does WASC accredited mean, and why does it matter? WASC stands for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and it was formed in 1962 to promote the development of higher education in the Western region.
The WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC or “the Commission”) is one of six regional accrediting agencies that serve a diverse membership of public and private higher education institutions.
What is the WASC accreditation process like?
The WASC accreditation process is voluntary, non-governmental, institutional accreditation. Through its review process, WSCUC looks for confirmation that an institution has extensively met the Commissions Core Commitments and Standards of Accreditation as well as the associated Criteria for Review. Schools must show evidence of the high quality of their educational programs by demonstrating that they possess the resources, policies, and practices in place to achieve their education goals. WASC accredited institutions are also subject to the conditions established by the Commission, including its policies.1
Accreditation is regularly reaffirmed through a thorough review process that includes an institutional self-study, external review, and a site visit at least once every ten years. WSCUC’s policy for Initial Accreditation requires institutions to perform a self-review and peer evaluation no more than seven years after the date of the Commission action granting accreditation.
Why does WASC accreditation matter?
While other countries have government-mandated educational standards, the U.S. does not require any educational institution to seek accreditation. However, there are recognized benefits to earning accreditation, which is why most eligible institutions seek this academic designation.
Institutions choose to submit themselves for accreditation review to assure students of the quality education and to demonstrate that they adhere to high academic standards. But institutions must also be accredited in order to participate in federal (Title IV) and state financial aid programs. Accreditation is significant for the acceptance and transfer of college credit, and earning an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution is a prerequisite for many graduate programs. College credits or degrees earned at a regionally accredited institution are generally accepted by other regionally accredited colleges or universities.
As you check out different MBA programs and contemplate the types of roles you’d like to hold upon graduation, consider how an Online MBA program from a WASC accredited university like CSUMB can help you enter the business world as an impactful and responsible business leader.
1. Retrieved on November 5, 2019, from wscuc.org/about/purposeofaccreditation