WASC is the acronym for Western Association of Schools and Colleges – the official academic body responsible for the accreditation of educational institutions in California, Hawaii, and the Pacific. One Commission under WASC is the Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) which accredits institutions granting bachelors, masters, and/or doctorate degrees.
As an accrediting body, its purpose is to promote institutional engagement on issues of educational effectiveness and student learning, to develop and apply standards to review and improve education quality and institutional performance, and to promote a culture of evidence through which an institution can make informed decision-making, planning, and improvement.
Accreditation assures our students, their families, and the entire community that a university is rigorously evaluated and meets or exceeds the accreditation standards. Accreditation is also required for our students to qualify for participation in federal financial aid programs. The accreditation process is more than an administrative obstacle; it is an opportunity for others to learn what is important to Cal Maritime and how we as an institution may improve through the recommendations of our peers.
There are four primary Standards, which are informed by WSCUC's core commitments and which are explicated from a series of Criteria for Review (CFRs). These standards are:
More information on the Standards, the CFRs, and how these fit together can be found in the 2013 Handbook of Accreditation
At a time when there is a widespread concern about the quality of graduates' learning, the Commission is asking for documentation of actual achievement in the development of competencies in written and oral communication, quantitative reasoning, information literacy, and critical thinking.
Of course there are other competencies as determined by each institution (See "Institutional Learning Outcomes" below), but these five are considered to be fundamental to every student's success.
Cal Maritime's Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
Cal Maritime's General Education Outcomes (GLOs)
Cal Maritime's Program Review Learning Outcomes are on the individual program webpages.
Course Learning Outcomes are on individual syllabi for every course.
There are a few steps for re-accreditation First, about every eight to ten years the institution submits an "Institutional Report" which is read by the WASC accreditation team who then draw up "Lines of Inquiry." The Report and the Lines of Inquiry are used to frame the Accreditation Visit, wherein the visiting team will meet with many different campus constituents.
Cal Maritime's Accreditation Visit is scheduled for March 20 – 22, 2019. There will be opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to meet the WASC Team, even if you are not specifically invited for an interview.
All WASC Resources and Documents, including our most recent Institutional Report, can be found here: https://www.csum.edu/web/accreditation/wasc
Dr. Graham Benton, Associate Provost and Accreditation Liaison Officer