About WASC Senior




The Western Association of Schools and Colleges, (WASC), was formed in 1962 to promote the development of higher education in the Western region when it took over and further formalized the work of its predecessor organization, the Western College Association.


WASC Senior College and University Commission is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. It is a membership organization that, through peer evaluation, is responsible for ensuring and improving the quality and effectiveness of some 170 colleges and universities offering the baccalaureate degree and above in California, Hawaii, Guam, the Pacific Basin, and several international locations. As described in the WASC Constitution, the work of the agency is overseen by the Senior Commission.


WASC is reviewed periodically for renewal of recognition by the US Department of Education (USDOE).This recognition verifies WASC to be a reliable determiner of institutional quality and integrity and thus permits accredited institutions to apply for various forms of federal student aid. In addition, WASC is reviewed periodically and recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).


Two other agencies share the WASC acronym. For more information see  Types of Accreditation and Links to Other Accrediting Agencies