The Western Association of Schools and Colleges is a private organization that works collaboratively with state governments and divisions of the federal government such as the Department of Education. The mission of the Commission is to foster excellence in elementary, secondary, adult, and postsecondary education by encouraging school improvement through a process of continuing evaluation and to recognize, by accreditation, schools that meet an acceptable level of quality, in accordance with established criteria. Accreditation is a voluntary dual-purpose process that schools (1) must be worthy of the trust placed in them to provide high-quality learning opportunities and (2) clearly demonstrate continual self-improvement.
An accredited school is focused on a mission and goals for students; it is student-oriented and examines its students' performance continuously; it accepts objective evaluation from a team of outside peer professionals trained by WASC; it maintains a qualified faculty within an effectively organized school; it collaboratively assesses the quality of its educational programs on a regular basis; and it plans for the future.
- Certification to the public that the school is a trustworthy institution of learning
- Validates the integrity of a school’s program and student transcripts
- Fosters improvement of the school’s programs and operations to support student learning
- Assures a school community that the school’s purposes are appropriate and being accomplished through a viable educational program
- A way to manage change through regular assessment, planning, implementing, monitoring and reassessment
- Assists a school/district in establishing its priority areas for improvement as a result of the perpetual accreditation cycle that includes
- School self-assessment of the current educational program for students
- Insight and perspective from the visiting committee
- Regular school staff assessment of progress through the intervening years between full self-studies.