WASC Senior College and University Commission
Academy of Art University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), one of the seven regional associations that accredit public and private colleges and schools in the United States. WSCUC is located at 985 Atlantic Avenue #100, Alameda, CA, 94501. Tel. 510.748.9001.
WSCUC Accreditation for Online Programs
Both onsite and online degree programs at Academy of Art University are accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). The following degree programs are not currently offered online: AA, BFA and MFA in Acting, MA in Advanced Architectural Design, BS in Game Programming, and AA in Automotive Restoration.
Academy of Art University received reaffirmation of accreditation in 2014 for a term of 7 years from the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). At that time, WSCUC indicated particular concern that Academy of Art University engage with the recommendations of the Commission on five “areas for continuing action and development”: Leadership and Organizational Structure and Effectiveness (efficiency of decision-making and planning); The Faculty Role (engaging with the greater life of the institution); Student Success (improving graduation rates); Student Life (integrating the co-curriculum and maturing offerings); and Strategic Planning (centralized plans drawing on multiple perspectives, especially faculty). A Special Visit was held in September 2016, and at their meeting February 15-17, 2017, the Commission acknowledged the great progress made in each of the areas but in order to determine the level of sustainability and impact, the Commission voted to continue the Formal Notice of Concern through spring 2018.
The Commission scheduled a special visit in spring 2018 that focused on the university’s progress in addressing the Commission recommendations. (1. Institutional decision making and transparency; management roles and communication 2. Formalized faculty governance structures 3. Codified faculty roles and responsibilities; faculty culture 4. Expanded Institutional Research function in relation to student persistence and graduation rates 5. Bottom up approach to Strategic Planning decision making and communication). Since 2016, widespread engagement by faculty, staff and the board of directors and the continued work of dedicated committees sought to address the Commission’s recommendations, recognizing the ongoing benefits for continuous improvement to the institution as a whole.
The WSCUC Special Visit team conducted the Special Visit on March 15-16, 2018. Academy of Art University expresses our sincere gratitude to the team for their hard work and dedication to peer review, the accreditation process and improving higher education.
Academy of Art University would like to thank the visiting team for its commendations of the university:
1. Embracing the spirit and intent of the WSCUC standards and processes that has led to improved transparency, communication, collaboration, and evidence-based planning and decision making
2. Discovering the importance and value of institutional data to drive decision making and empowering stakeholders to engage in evidenced-based planning and decision making
3. Engaging with all faculty in a participatory manner to develop further and formalize structures and processes for genuine shared governance, unique to the institutional mission and type
4. Progressing impressively with operationalizing decision-making processes that are clear and distributed to key stakeholders across the organization, most notably in the ASC’s planning, deliberations, and decision making
5. Defining, codifying, and communicating the faculty roles, levels, and responsibilities (including directors, level leaders, and coordinators, etc.) that is fostering an emerging and vital institutional faculty culture
The Academy will engage with the team’s recommendation that AAU continue positive momentum in the areas of:
• Collaborative and institute-wide efforts with data-informed and evidenced-based decision making
• Supporting and encouraging the growth of AAU’s emerging faculty governance structure in which decision-making authority is clearly defined and academic leadership is exercised
• Promoting transparency and collaboration within the university around decision-making processes
The visiting team report can be found here.
At its meeting on June 28, 2018 the WSCUC Commission voted to remove the formal Notice of Concern. As a result, the Academy returns to the regular accreditation cycle (reaffirmation of accreditation 2021). The Commission Action Letter can be found here.
Upcoming WSCUC visits include the Mid-Cycle Review in summer 2018, reaffirmation of accreditation offsite review in fall 2020 and reaffirmation of accreditation onsite visit in spring 2021.
If you have any questions about WSCUC, please contact Cathy Corcoran (firstname.lastname@example.org), Academy of Art University’s WSCUC Accreditation Liaison Officer.