Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Sunny California and the beautiful islands of the Pacific Ocean are home to many schools which specialize in all areas of education from liberal arts to nanoscience. The Regional Commission that looks after them, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, has three divisions depending on the type of institution. The three divisions are called The Accrediting Commission for Schools, The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, and The Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities. They have a common constitution and all fall under the Western Association of Schools and Colleges' umbrella.

The WASC Accrediting Commission for Schools is responsible for accrediting the largest amount of schools throughout the three bodies. This commission is charged with the task of lending credibility to elementary, junior high, middle, high and adult schools, whether they are public, private, or parochially-oriented. The other two are the WASC Accrediting Commission for Community & Junior Colleges and the WASC Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges & Universities, which handle accreditation for community colleges and four-year schools respectively.

The process of accreditation that the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities goes through involves two main components which are institutional self-study and peer evaluation. The college must take an inventory of their own institution with various members of the staff such as the faculty, administrators, students, board members, and alumni reporting on a number of issues that are important as per the WASC. After this, the WASC sends a team of evaluators to the school which observe classes and the general administration to determine if the school is fit for accreditation.

Region:                 California, Hawaii, the United States territories of Guam and American                                             Samoa,the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the                                             Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Republic of the                                         Marshall Islands

Website:              www.wascweb.org