WASC Institutional Review Process

The Institutional Review Process (IRP) applies to institutions that are seeking reaffirmation of accreditation. All institutions need to demonstrate that they are in substantial compliance with the WSCUC 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 as practiced by WASC and other regional accrediting associations, a voluntary, non-governmental, peer-based form of quality assurance at the institutional level. To receive or reaffirm accredited status, institutions demonstrate that they are in compliance with state and federal law and meet the accrediting association’s standards. Accrediting associations must be recognized by the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) in order for their accredited institutions to qualify for federal grants and loans to students.

Briefly stated, the IRP involves a submission of a comprehensive Institutional Report (self-study), 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.