SF State’s most recent accreditation was received in 2013 for ten year (maximum allowed). Our next review is in 2023.
The WASC accreditation process aids institutions in developing and sustaining effective educational programs and assures the educational community, the general public, and other organizations that an accredited institution has met high standards of quality and effectiveness. In addition to assessing the academic quality and educational effectiveness of institutions, the Commission emphasizes institutional structures, processes, and resources.
Role of Steering Committee:
- Identify evidence for self-study and institutional report
- Compose the writing groups
- Serve in a consultative role about the process to write, review, and revise institutional report
- Provide review of institutional report (along with other groups across campus)
The accreditation process is aimed at:
- Assuring the educational community, the general public, and other organizations and agencies that an accredited institution has demonstrated it meets the Commission's Core Commitments to Institutional Capacity and Educational Effectiveness, and has been successfully reviewed under Commission Standards;
- Promoting deep institutional engagement with issues of educational effectiveness and student learning, and developing and sharing good practices in assessing and improving the teaching and learning process;
- Developing and applying Standards to review and improve educational quality and institutional performance, and validating these Standards and revising them through ongoing research and feedback;
- Promoting within institutions a culture of evidence where indicators of performance are regularly developed and evidence collected to inform institutional decision making, planning, and improvement;
- Developing systems of institutional review and evaluation that are adaptive to institutional context and purposes, that build on institutional evidence and support rigorous reviews, and reduce the burden and cost of accreditation; and
- Promoting the active interchange of ideas among public and independent institutions that furthers the principles of improved institutional performance, educational effectiveness, and the process of peer review From the WSCUC Handbook of Accreditation
- Conduct a self-study under the standards, gathering data and reflecting on the current functioning and effectiveness of the Institution under the standards, identifying strengths and areas of challenge.
- Write an Institutional Report that arises from the review of and reflection about the data and evidence gathered during the self-study process.
2020-21: Convene WASC Steering Committee (fall), recruit writing groups (spring), gather and review evidence associated with the criteria for review (self-study, ongoing), plan and begin drafting each section of the report (spring and summer).
2021-22: Continue self-study, draft each section of the report and identify supporting documentation (fall), gather feedback for the report (fall and spring), revise and finalize (spring and summer).
2022-23: WASC review takes place with an offsite visit in the fall semester and an onsite visit in the spring semester.
The institutional report (50 – 75 pages) is at the core of the WASC review process. The purpose of the institutional report is to document how SF State:
- “creates learning environments that continuously strive for educational excellence and operational effectiveness in order to serve both students and the public good.” (2013 WASC Handbook of Accreditation)
- demonstrates our commitment to student learning and success, to quality and improvement, and to institutional integrity, sustainability and accountability.
Faculty (inclusive of lecturers), staff and students from across campus will be asked to nominate themselves to join a writing group for five different sections of the institutional report. Each writing group will review and reflect on data and evidence associated with the criteria for review associated with each section of the Institutional Report, as well as identify any needed additional information.
The writing groups will have the primary responsibility for drafting their section of the report, identifying supporting documents to include with the report. Drafts of each section and of the report as a whole will be shared widely with the campus community to gather feedback for revisions.
Academic planning will provide administrative support to the writing groups.
One writing group will be associated with each section of the institutional report.
- Each writing group will have a maximum of six participants, including two co-chairs. Faculty, staff and students are welcome to join a writing group.
- Approximately 1 to 3 hours per week of work is expected beginning in March 2021 and concluding in May 2021.
- Writing groups will review the WASC prompts and standards associated with each section, review evidence gathered by the steering committee and begin drafting the narrative of the section.
- Members of the writing group can write in the summer, with compensation provided to faculty on an academic year appointment.
- Writing, feedback and revisions will continue into the next academic year, but signing up for a group this spring does not obligate you to continue next year.
Administrative and organizational support will be provided/coordinated by Academic Planning.
Writing groups will be associated with Sections 3 through 7. Sections 1 and 2 will be written by Academic Planning staff in collaboration with others. Section 9 will be written in collaboration with all writing groups. The entire report will be subject to review and feedback with the campus community. The report is to be 50 to 75 pages long exclusive of supporting documents.
Section 1: Introduction: Institutional Context; Response to Previous Commission Actions
Section 2: Compliance: Review under the WSCUC Standards and Compliance with Federal Requirements; Inventory of Educational Effectiveness Indicators
Section 3: Degree Programs: Meaning, Quality, and Integrity of Degrees
- Curriculum and courses, co-curricular experiences, overall student experiences, institutional values and goals for graduates, articulating the meaning of a degree
Section 4: Educational Quality: Student Learning, Core Competencies, and Standards of Performance at Graduation
- Articulation of learning outcomes, assessment of student learning, identification of and response to achievement gaps, centering student learning
Section 5: Student Success: Student Learning, Retention, and Graduation
- Definition of student success, institutional goals for success, how student success is promoted and supported, approaches used to understand and improve retention and graduation
Section 6: Quality Assurance and Improvement: Program Review; Assessment; Use of Data and Evidence
- The use of data, program review and assessment to inform decision making and institutional improvements
Section 7: Sustainability: Financial Viability; Preparing for the Changing Higher Education Environment
- Alignment of financial allocations with institutional priorities, identification of and response to changes in higher education, sustainability of educational effectiveness over time
Section 8: Institution-specific Theme(s): Optional
Section 9. Conclusion: Reflection and Plans for Improvement