what is WASC?

“WASC” (the Western Association of Schools and Colleges) is our regional accrediting organization. To retain our accreditation WASC requires us to demonstrate that we are taking real steps to fulfill a distinct mission, are measuring the success of those steps, and are using the results of those measurements to improve what we do.

Why is accreditation important to HSU?

Failing to retain our WASC accreditation would mean losing all federal financial aid and, along with it, many of our students. The accreditation process, however, is more than a mere administrative hurdle: it’s truly an opportunity for us to discuss what’s important to HSU, and to focus on reaching those goals.

Outcomes of an HSU education:

By the time our students graduate they will have demonstrated…

  • Effective oral and written communication
  • Critical and creative thinking skills in acquiring a broad knowledge base, and applying it to complex issues
  • Competence in a major area of study
  • Appreciation for, and an understanding of, an expanded world perspective by engaging respectfully with a diverse range of individuals, communities, and viewpoints

Our graduates will be prepared to…

  • Succeed in their chosen careers
  • Take responsibility for identifying personal goals and practicing lifelong learning
  • Pursue social justice, promote environmental responsibility, and improve economic conditions in their communities.

Inclusive academic excellence:

Ensuring academic excellence for traditionally under-represented students in areas of student access, persistence, and graduation by embracing diversity as educational process central to academic success for all students.


When will we submit our case to WASC?

We’ve already begun. The accreditation process occurs in three phases over several years. In the first phase, we committed to two institutional priorities:

We've entered the third phase, having hosted a WASC Capacity and Preparatory Review team in February 2008. The team interviewed staff, faculty and students to see how well Humboldt State has developed the processes and resources we need to support our educational mission. The visiting team's report is available here.

We're currently working to implement the visiting team's recommendations and document the results.

General Timeline

The timeline below summarizes the sequence of actions involved in this interactive reaffirmation process.

  1. Institutional Proposal
  2. Preparatory Review
  3. Educational Effectiveness Review
    • Educational Effectiveness Review Report
    • WASC Visiting Team Educational Effectiveness Review - Spring 2010
    • WASC Commission Action Letter
Key Documents
Maddox Report and Related Documents
Keeling Report and Related Documents