The following standards have been extracted for purposes of inquiry into university infrastructures, which often affect campus climates and achievement of diversity-related accreditation criteria. The information extracted was carefully considered in terms of meeting accountability, resource allocation and impact on community behaviors and perceptions of campus success.

Viewfinder™ Campus Climate Surveys capture the essence of these standards through strategic inquiry to students, faculty, staff and administrators. Use of our surveys will help provide a more accurate snapshot of current campus climate conditions, and will illuminate and link infrastructures to policy and practice underpinnings that affect an institution’s ability to warm its climate from its present state.

You are encouraged to browse the information below as well as view our Viewfinder™ survey sample questions to experience how these standards are presented via our survey inquiry.

Institutional Purposes (Mission)

Criteria for Review
1.2 Educational objectives are widely recognized throughout the institution, are consistent with stated purposes, and are demonstrably achieved. The institution regularly generates, evaluates, and makes public data about student achievement, including measures of retention and graduation, and evidence of student learning.

See also CFR 2.4, 2.6, 2.10, 4.2

Integrity and Transparency

Criteria for Review
1.3 The institution publicly states its commitment to academic freedom for faculty, staff, and students, and acts accordingly. This commitment affirms that those in the academy are free to share their convictions and responsible conclusions with their colleagues and students in their teaching and writing.

GUIDELINE: The institution has published or has readily available policies on academic freedom. For those institutions that strive to instill specific beliefs and world views, policies clearly state how these views are implemented and ensure that these conditions are consistent with generally recognized principles of academic freedom. Due-process procedures are disseminated, demonstrating that faculty and students are protected in their quest for truth.

See also CFR 3.2, 3.10.

1.4 Consistent with its purposes and character, the institution demonstrates an appropriate response to the increasing diversity in society through its policies, its educational and co-curricular programs, its hiring and admissions criteria, and its administrative and organizational practices.

Diversity Policy – Effectiveness

GUIDELINE: The institution has demonstrated institutional commitment to the principles enunciated in the WSCUC Diversity Policy.

See also CFR 2.2a, 3.1.

1.6 The institution truthfully represents its academic goals, programs, services, and costs to students and to the larger public. The institution demonstrates that its academic programs can be completed in a timely fashion. The institution treats students fairly and equitably through established policies and procedures addressing student conduct, grievances, human subjects in research, disability, and financial matters, including refunds and financial aid.

GUIDELINE: The institution has published or has readily available policies on student grievances and complaints, refunds, etc. The institution does not have a history of adverse findings against it with respect to violation of these policies. Records of student complaints are maintained for a six-year period. The institution clearly defines and distinguishes between the different types of credits it offers and between degree and non-degree credit, and accurately identifies the type and meaning of the credit awarded in its transcripts. The institution’s policy on grading and student evaluation is clearly stated and provides opportunity for appeal as needed. See also CFR 2.12.

1.8 The institution is committed to honest and open communication with the Accrediting Commission; to undertaking the accreditation review process with seriousness and candor; to informing the Commission promptly of any matter that could materially affect the accreditation status of the institution; and to abiding by Commission policies and procedures, including all substantive change policies.

● Degree Level Approval Policy
● Public Disclosure of Accreditation Documents and Commission Actions Policy
● Honorary Degrees Policy a Legal Fees Policy a  Maintenance of Accreditation Records Policy
● Matters Under Litigation Policy
● Substantive Change Policy; Substantive Change Manual
● Unannounced Visits Policy

STANDARD 2
Achieving Educational Objectives Through Core Functions
Teaching and Learning – Scholarship and Creative Activity – Student Learning and Success
Teaching and Learning (Academic Quality)

Criteria for Review
2.2a  Undergraduate programs engage students in an integrated course of study of sufficient breadth and depth to prepare them for work, citizenship, and life-long learning. These programs ensure the development of core competencies including, but not limited to, written and oral communication, quantitative reasoning, information literacy, and critical thinking. In addition, under-graduate programs actively foster creativity, innovation, an appreciation for diversity, ethical and civic responsibility, civic engagement, and the ability to work with others. Baccalaureate programs also ensure breadth for all students in cultural and aesthetic, social and political, and scientific and technical knowledge expected of educated persons. Baccalaureate degrees include significant in-depth study in a given area of knowledge (typically described in terms of a program or major).

● Diversity Policy
GUIDELINE: The institution has a program of General Education that is integrated throughout the curriculum, including at the upper division level, together with significant in-depth study in a given area of knowledge (typically described in terms of a program or major).

Scholarship and Creative Activity (Quality)

Criteria for Review
2.8 The institution clearly defines expectations for research, scholarship, and creative activity for its students and all categories of faculty. The institution actively values and promotes scholarship, creative activity, and curricular and instructional innovation, and their dissemination appropriate to the institution’s purposes and character.

GUIDELINE: Where appropriate, the institution includes in its policies for faculty promotion and tenure the recognition of scholarship related to teaching, learning, assessment, and co-curricular learning. See also CFR 3.2.

2.9 The institution recognizes and promotes appropriate linkages among scholarship, teaching, assessment, student learning, and service. See also CFR 3.2.

DIVERSITY INFRASTRUCTURE IS THE PRECURSOR TO CLIMATE CHANGE

2.11 Consistent with its purposes, the institution offers co-curricular programs that are aligned with its academic goals, integrated with academic programs, and designed to support all students’ personal and professional development. The institution assesses the effectiveness of its co-curricular programs and uses the results for improvement.

See also CFR 4.3-4.5

Student Learning and Success

Criteria for Review
2.13 The institution provides academic and other student support services such as tutoring, services for students with disabilities, financial aid counseling, career counseling and placement, residential life, athletics, and other services and programs as appropriate, which meet the needs of the specific types of students that the institution serves and the programs it offers.

● Collegiate Athletics Policy
● International Students Policy

Organizational Structures and Decision-Making Processes (Leadership and Governance)

Criteria for Review
3.6 The institution’s leadership, at all levels, is characterized by integrity, high performance, appropriate responsibility, and accountability.

Institutional Learning and Improvement (Integrity)

Criteria for Review
4.3 Leadership at all levels, including faculty, staff, and administration, is committed to improvement based on the results of inquiry, evidence, and evaluation. Assessment of teaching, learning, and the campus environment—in support of academic and co-curricular objectives—is under-taken, used for improvement, and incorporated into institutional planning processes.

GUIDELINE: The institution has clear, well-established policies and practices—for gathering, analyzing, and interpreting information—that create a culture of evidence and improvement. See also CFR 2.2-2.6.

4.5 Appropriate stakeholders, including alumni, employers, practitioners, students, and others designated by the institution, are regularly involved in the assessment and alignment of educational programs. See also CFR 2.6, 2.7.

For more information, visit: https://www.wascsenior.org/content/2013-handbook-accreditation-quick-reference-guide