The Institutional report is a 75-page narrative, plus appendices. It comprises eight components, or chapters. Within the eight components, SJSU seeks to demonstrate that it meets four WASC Standards. To describe the performance expectations that comprise those Standards, WASC provides 39 Criteria for Review (CFR). It is the job of the Steering Committee to assist with gathering the data from the University community to demonstrate that SJSU meets those CFRs.
WASC focuses on the University’s commitment to student learning. Therefore, many of the narrative components ask the University to demonstrate how we are defining student learning, how we are assessing student learning, and how we are making policy, resource, and program decisions in which student learning and achievement are primary considerations. For this reason, much of the data that are included in the WASC report concern assessment.
We use data collected in the Program Assessment process to demonstrate our educational effectiveness at several different levels. First, we must demonstrate that our University has learning goals for our students and that we have come to a consensus regarding what it means to be a graduate of San Jose State University. WASC outlines five core competencies (written and oral communication, quantitative reasoning, information literacy, and critical thinking) that reflect the national consensus on fundamental knowledge, skills and abilities of an educated person. Therefore, in concert with our University Learning Goals (ULGs), we must demonstrate that our graduates have developed these core competencies at a level of achievement appropriate to their degree.
Second, we must demonstrate that our programs are effective at achieving these learning goals, as well as meeting specific goals relevant to different disciplines. This means that programs must be active in the program review and program planning processes and can demonstrate that they are on par with national comparison groups and that their students are gaining the necessary knowledge for success in that discipline. We must also make this information available publicly and show how assessment results guide program planning. Third, we must demonstrate that our co-curricular programs are contributing to the overall education of our students. Finally, we must demonstrate that our institutional process and structures are focused on and guided by student learning goals.
Below are some videos explaining the process, as well as links to some of the resources available to us as we develop the Institutional report:
Intro to WASC
Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities
WASC Accreditation Handbook [pdf]
Extensive documentation of the accreditation process.
WASC Evidence Guide [pdf]
A Guide to Using Evidence in the Accreditation Process: A Resource to Support Institutions and Evaluation Teams is the first of a series of resource materials designed to support institutions and teams in the implementation of the new accreditation process developed over the past several years.