WASC, The Western Association of Schools and Colleges, was formed in 1962 to promote the welfare, interests, and development of education in the Western Region. Upon the formation of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Commission voted unanimously to accredit institutions that were previously accredited by the Association of American Universities, North Central Association.
WASC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, encompassing three accrediting commissions:
4000+ K-12 and occupational schools in California, Hawaii, the Pacific Islands, and East Asia, with offices in Burlingame, CA and Temecula, CA
150 institutions in California, Hawaii, and the Pacific Basin, with offices in Novato, CA
161 institutions in California, Hawaii, and the Pacific Basin, with offices in Alameda, CA
All three Commissions share the name "WASC" and function under a single Constitution. Each Commission has standards, policies, personnel procedures, and staff that are specific to that Commission and certified by the WASC Board of Directors. In order to comply with Federal law, the accredited institutions of the Senior College Commission formed an Association of Senior Colleges and Universities which has adopted bylaws, in accordance with the WASC Constitution, that define operational procedures for such things as the selection of Commission members and the structure and frequency of Commission meetings.
As described in the WASC Constitution, the WASC Corporate Board oversees the work of all three Commissions. It is comprised of nine members, three from each Commission, including the chairs from each. The WASC Board meets annually to certify the accrediting actions of the three Commissions, receive audits, and take action on business as necessary.
Each of the three Commissions is reviewed periodically for renewal of recognition by the US Department of Education (USDOE). In addition, the Community and Senior College Commissions are reviewed periodically and are recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
For more information see Types of Accreditation and Links to Other Accrediting Agencies
The Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities is responsible for the evaluation of the quality and effectiveness of colleges and universities offering the baccalaureate degree and above in California, Hawaii, Guam and the Pacific Basin.