I recently received a letter from the Temecula, CA WASC office that informed us that the Council on Occupational Education (COE) is changing some of the format for the accreditation visits to schools seeking Title IV and WASC dual accreditations. This dual accreditation process just began around the first of this calendar year and those of us involved in the accreditation process were made aware that there would be adjustments made as the two organizations (WASC and COE) had the opportunity to actually perform accreditations.

The first change is; COE has determined that they have been in violation of their own accreditation policy by allowing WASC representatives from California schools to serve as members of the COE accreditation visiting committee. So, for future COE accreditations (which includes BAS’s accreditation this coming November) only COE representatives from outside of California will review the CTE Title IV programs undergoing accreditation. WASC will send representatives that will will review only non-CTE academic programs for schools desiring the dual accreditation.

The letter further went on to provide more definitive information on the preparation of a WASC “Supplemental Self-study Report” for their portion of the accreditation. The basic template of how this supplemental self-study report is to be organized follows;

WASC Supplement to the Self-Study Report for the Postsecondary Joint COE/WASC Process Participants in the joint COE/WASC accreditation process must complete the following questions with concise narrative paragraphs that summarize to what extent the school meets or exceeds the “Ten WASC Criteria” for postsecondary schools. 

Section 1

School Profile

1.      School Name:

2.      School Address (of all branches or sites):

3.      Non-CTE programs or courses, ROP courses, and any other high school level programs/courses: 

 4.      Enrollment in each program/course at this time:

5.      Provide summary of analysis of learning data for the past three years (if possible).  List what different formative and summative assessments are used to determine the learning levels of all students.  Identify any trends or conclusions identified as a result of data analysis (charts and graphs are welcomed). 

  Section 2

Response to WASC Ten Criteria

Please respond to the following Ten WASC Criteria by providing two or more paragraphs narrative answers for each question. 

Criterion 1 – Institutional Mission and Schoolwide Learner Outcomes

 1.      Provide the Mission Statement of School.

2.      Identify the Schoolwide Learner Outcomes (SLOs), or Expected Schoolwide Learning Outcomes (ESLRs).

3.      To what extent are SLOs used to impact curriculum development, professional growth activities, resource allocations, or other school improvement activities?

4.      Describe the purpose of your non-CTE program, your ROP program, or any other high school level programs/courses that you offer.

 5.      Describe the demographic make-up of your student body. 

Criterion 2 – Organizational Infrastructure and School Leadership

1.      Describe the school leadership structure and the lines of authority established by the governing body.

 2.      Describe how the governing body interacts with the school leadership throughout the school year.

3.      To what extent has the school developed written policies and procedures that govern the operations of the school? 

Criterion 3 – Faculty and Staff

1.      List the teaching faculty and provide information regarding their degrees and experience to verify their qualifications.

2.      To what extent does the school leadership annually evaluate all teachers?

3.      To what extent does the school provide professional development opportunities for the teaching staff? 

Criterion 4 – Curriculum

1.      To what extent does the school have a written curricular map that describes courses and outlines student learning outcomes for each course?

2.      Describe to what degree and how often the school reviews curriculum.

3.      To what extent are curricular resources available to all students so that they can successfully complete course requirements? 

Criterion 5 – Instructional Program

1.      To what extent does the school provide a rigorous educational experience for all students?

2.      Describe what different instructional methods/strategies are used to provide successful learning opportunities for students.

 3.      To what extent does the school integrate technology into the instructional program? 

Criterion 6 – Use of Assessment

1.      Describe what formative and summative assessments are used to measure student learning progress.

2.      To what extent does the administration and faculty gather learning data from multiple sources, disaggregate the data, and analyze the results to create clear conclusions?

3.      To what extent does the administration and faculty take the conclusions drawn from the analysis of learning data and create recommendations to address areas of needed improvement?

4.      Describe how the analysis of learning data is used to improve the instructional program of the school. 

Criterion 7 – Student Support Services

1.      Describe what support services are provided to students, including academic counseling, personal counseling, and health services.

2.      Describe how the school guides students through the admissions process all the way to the completion of a course or program.

3.      To what extent does the school maintain student records in a permanent, secure, and fireproof manner?

4.      To what extent does the school communicate with students and make information available as requested. 

Criterion  8 – Resource Management

1.      To what extent does the school have sufficient resources to offer its current educational courses/programs?

2.      Describe how the school maintains integrity in financial practices, audits, and reporting to all stakeholders.

3.      To what extent does the school provide clean, safe, and well-maintained facilities that are sufficient for the courses/programs offered? 

Criterion 9 – Community Connection

1.      Describe school efforts to connect to community leaders, local businesses, and vocational partners to enhance the school’s academic program.

2.      To what extent does the school provide for student service projects that impact the community in a positive manner? 

Criterion 10 – Action Plan for Continuing Improvement

1.      Describe how the school’s Action Plan is created, maintained, and used to guide the school in ongoing improvement efforts.

2.      To what extent does the non-CTE, ROP, or high school level courses/programs have critical areas of needed improvement that are part of the school’s Action Plan. 

Section 3

Schoolwide Strengths and Critical Areas of Needed Improvement

After reviewing the results of the answers provided in the preceding pages, please identify what you believe your school does very well in regard to the non-CTE, ROP, or other high school courses/programs that are offered. Schoolwide Strengths: 1.2.3.Etc.  Next, please indentify 3-5 schoolwide critical areas of needed improvement.  Also, prioritize them in order of importance to the school. Schoolwide Critical Areas of Needed Improvement: 1.2.3.Etc.  In addition, please attach a copy of the most recent school Action Plan to this Addendum.  This Addendum will be used by the WASC representative(s) during the COE/WASC site visit to evaluate the non-CTE, ROP, and any other high school programs/courses that are offered.  The WASC personnel will write an Addendum Report for the WASC Commission to consider at the conclusion of the joint COE/WASC visit.  Once you have completed this Addendum, please mail it to: Western Association of Schools and Colleges43517 Ridge Park Dr., Suite 100Temecula, CA  92590.

I am posting this now as it will be the criteria we use in preparing for the scheduled accreditation in Novemebr.