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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Accreditation

If any questions or comments arise regarding our accreditation, please send an email to Ed Ryan (, who is SCU's accreditation liaison. If you prefer, you may also send comments to

What's the difference between WASC and WSCUC?

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) encompasses three accrediting commissions (WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, and the Accrediting Commission for Schools (K-12, non-degree programs). The standards and criteria for review established for senior colleges and universities (WSCUC) apply to SCU. Within the university community, the acronyms are often used interchangeably.

What are the WSCUC Core Competencies?

WSCUC requires every undergraduate-serving institution to demonstrate that its graduating seniors have met levels of performance in five core competencies common to any degree. The five core competencies include written and oral communication, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and information literacy. Each institution sets expected levels of performance and methods of assessment. SCU has articulated additional learning outcomes for undergraduates in addition to the WSCUC five competencies that reflect the distinctive character of an SCU Jesuit education: social justice, diversity, and ethical and vocational discernment.

Are assessment and program review important in the reaffirmation process?

Assessment of student learning, periodic program review, and other quality assurance processes represent the foundation of many of WASC's standards and guidelines. WSCUC is committed to institutional quality and improvement, and the reaffirmation process requires institutions to provide evidence to support their claims. Assessment and program review reports demonstrate SCU's commitment to student learning and institutional improvement.

What does WSCUC mean by "Meaning, Quality, and Integrity of the Degree"?

This phrase refers to the goals, coherence, sequencing, alignment, resourcing, and overall quality of the educational experience leading to the conferral of an institution’s degree. WSCUC asks institutions to provide a holistic explanation of our educational learning outcomes for students and what we do to support the attainment of those outcomes for all students. 

What standards will WSCUC use to evaluate SCU?

WSCUC has established 39 "Criteria for Review" (CFR) that are linked to the four Standards but are more specific than the Standards. WSCUC reviewers expect all institutions to address each of these standards and to provide evidence of how they are meeting each of these criteria for review. Substantial compliance with both the Standards and the Criteria for Review is required by state and federal laws for accreditation. SCU will provide evidence in the text of the Institutional Report, but also through links and appendices. Brief explanations of the CFRs can be found in the WSCUC (2013) Standards at a Glance. 

Who will review SCU's accreditation? 

WSCUC selects a team of peer reviewers for each accreditation, along with a WSCUC staff and visit liaison. 

Tamela Hawley, Vice President, WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC Staff Liaison)
Christopher Oberg, Vice President/COO, WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC Visit Liaison)
Timothy Snyder, President, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA (WSCUC Team Chair) 
Harold Stanislaw, Professor of Psychology, California State University, Stanislaus, Turlock, CA (Team Assistant Chair) 
Erin Gore, Executive Vice President-National Manager, Wells Fargo (Team Member)
Tatiana Nazarenko, Dean of Curriculum and Educational Effectiveness, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA (Team Member)
Eric Klein, Dean, Honors College, Ashford University, San Diego, CA (Team Member)