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About WASC

Formed in 1962, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) aims "to promote the welfare, interests, and development of education in the Western Region". This accreditation body is now officially known as the WASC Senior Commission on Universities and Colleges or WSCUC. The central purpose of WSCUC Accreditation is "to assure its stakeholders that a WASC-accredited institution has been rigorously evaluated and that it meets or exceeds the criteria required to maintain accreditation". There are three main accrediting commissions:

  • Accrediting Commission for Schools
  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
  • Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities

The Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities accredits institutions in California, Hawaii, and U.S. territories in the Pacific Basin.


From the 2013 Handbook of Accreditation

"The Standards of Accreditation consist of four broad, holistic statements that reflect widely accepted good practices in higher education. The four standards are:

  • Standard 1: Defining Institutional Purposes and Ensuring Educational Outcomes
  • Standard 2: Achieving Educational Outcomes Through Core Functions
  • Standard 3: Developing and Applying Resources and Organizational Structures to Ensure Quality and Sustainability
  • Standard 4: Creating an Organization Committed to Quality Assurance, Institutional Learning, and Improvement"

Core Competencies

From the 2013 Handbook of Accreditation

The five core competencies include

  • Critical Thinking
  • Information Literacy
  • Oral Communication
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Written Communication


WASC Documents

Current WASC Policies Manual

WASC Handbook of Accreditation 2013 (updated in December 2012)

QDOG Report

Campus Documents

Credit Hour "Dear Colleague Letter" 

Fresno State Institutional Learning Outcomes

Glossary of WASC Terms for Fresno State's reaccreditation

Strategic Plan for Excellence IV 2011-2015


WASC Links

  • Institutional Mission - WASC Standard 1.1 requires accredited institutions to have a published mission statement. Fresno State's mission can be viewed by clicking on the link (Link to Mission Statement)
  • Credit Hour Policy - WASC mandates that the institution's credit hour policy be easily accessible. Fresno State's policy on credit hours can be accessed on this link (Link to Credit Hour Policy)
  • Transfer Credit Policy, Criteria, and Articulation Agreements - In accordance with the U.S. Department of Education Regulation 668.43(a)(11), transfer policy needs to be publicly disclosed. The policy must include criteria regarding transfer of credits, and a list of institutions with which it has established an articulation agreement. Fresno State's policy can be accessed on this link (Link to Transfer Credit Policy)
  • Student Complaints and Grievance Policy - According to the WSCUC Compliance with Federal Requirements Checklist, the institution's policy needs to be easily accessible. Fresno State's policy and procedures for student complaints and grievances can be accessed on this link (Link to Student Complaints Policy)
  • Retention and Graduation Rates - WASC Standard 1.2 requires that the institution regularly generates, evaluates, and makes public data about student achievement, including measures of retention and graduation. Fresno State's retention and graduation rates can be accessed on this link (Link to Retention and Graduation Rates)
  • Evidence of Student Learning Outcomes - WASC Standard 1.2 also requires that the institution regularly generates, evaluates and makes public data about student learning outcomes. Fresno State's student learning outcomes can be found on this link (Link to Evidence of Student Learning Outcomes)
  • Net Price Calculator - The Higher Education Opportunity Act Section 111 requires that schools that receive Title IV funds publicly share a net price calculator to help current and prospective students estimate their individual net price at that school as well as other financial aid information. Fresno State's net price calculator is available on this link (Link to Net Price Calculator)