WESTERN ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES
The four Accreditation Standards described below constitute the basic standards against which the university is measured in evaluating its acceptance of the two core commitments. Each of the standards will be expanded by a number of Criteria for Review (CFRs).
The CFRs will be listed on linked pages and evidentiary links will be provided with those CFR. Those links will connect both to the Preparatory Review Essay and, when prepared, the Educational Effectiveness Review Essay. For the Preparatory Review, CFRs which relate solely or in part to the Educational Effectiveness Review will not have a link but an appropriate indicator.
Defining Institutional Purposes and Ensuring Educational Objectives
- Institutional Purposes
The institution defines its purposes and establishes educational objectives aligned with its purposes and character. It has a clear and conscious sense of its essential values and character, its distinctive elements, its place in the higher education community, and its relationship to society at large. Through its purposes and educational objectives, the institution dedicates itself to higher learning, the search for truth, and the dissemination of knowledge. The institution functions with integrity and autonomy.
Achieving Educational Objectives Through Core Functions
- Teaching and Learning
- Scholarship and Creative Activity
- Support for Student Learning
The institution achieves its institutional purposes and attains its educational objectives through the core functions of teaching and learning, scholarship and creative activity, and support for student learning. It demonstrates that these core functions are performed effectively and that they support one another in the institution's efforts to attain educational effectiveness.
Developing and Applying Resources and Organizational Structures to Ensure Sustainability
- Faculty and Staff
- Fiscal, Physical and Information Resources
- Organizational Structures and Decision-making Processes
The institution sustains its operations and supports the achievement of its educational objectives through its investment in human, physical, fiscal, and information resources and through an appropriate and effective set of organizational and decision-making structures. These key resources and organizational structures promote the achievement of institutional purposes and educational objectives and create a high quality environment for learning.
Creating an Organization Committed to Learning and Improvement
- Strategic Thinking and Planning
- Commitment to Learning and Improvement
The institution conducts sustained, evidence-based, and participatory discussions about how effectively it is accomplishing its purposes and achieving its educational objectives. These activities inform both institutional planning and systematic evaluations of educational effectiveness. The results of institutional inquiry, research, and data collection are used to establish priorities at different levels of the institution, and to revise institutional purposes, structures, and approaches to teaching, learning, and scholarly work.