AP Logo
alo Professional Development Professional Development Professional Development Professional Development Professional Development Professional Development Professional Development

    Accreditation Process

    WASC Accreditation Cycle:

    For most schools, WASC accreditation is based on a six-year accreditation cycle, with a full Self-Study visit occurring every six years.

    All WASC accreditation terms begin on July 1 and expire on June 30. Most schools operate on a fiscal calendar that begins on July 1 and ends June 30. Because of the need for schools to be accredited for full academic years (which normally parallel fiscal years), the Commission grants terms of accreditation that coincide with the fiscal and academic calendars. WASC accreditation is retroactive to cover the entire school year for the first year a school is accredited.

    For additional information regarding the WASC accreditation cycle, see About WASC Accreditation: WASC Accreditation Cycle.

    Also see:

The self-study process, leading to accreditation, requires school stakeholders (administrators, teachers, counselors, classified staff, parents, students, community members, and others) to be involved in the preparation of the self-study, which is accomplished over a period of approximately 18 months. WASC provides special self-study coordinator workshops to assist schools in conducting the self-study.
The school’s self-study and the WASC Visiting Committee report provides compelling evidence that:
  • The school is substantially accomplishing its stated purposes and functions as appropriate for an institution of its type
  • The school is meeting an acceptable level of quality in accordance with the WASC criteria adopted by the Accrediting Commission


The visiting committee is usually composed of three to eight non-District educators, one of whom is the chairperson. They will read the report prior to visiting the school site, analyze what the school site’s self-study reports, and come to visit the school site for three and a half days to validate the report.

The visit is a chance for the team to get their questions answered and see if they can verify the evidence stated in the school’s self-study. The visiting team members review student performance data, confer separately with each school committee, observe the school in operation, visit classes, and dialogue with individual administrators, teachers, students and other stakeholders.

Then the visiting committee prepares a report for the school outlining its findings. After the visiting committee report is discussed with the school steering committee and shared with the entire staff, it is formally submitted to the school and the WASC Commission. The visiting committee also recommends a status of accreditation based upon the school’s philosophy, the WASC criteria, the self-study, and its findings during the visit. The self-study then requires that the school determine how the areas of need will be addressed in an action plan.