WSCUC Reaffirms Whittier Accreditation

July 12, 2022

Whittier College has been reaffirmed for eight years of accreditation by the Western Association of Schools (WASC) and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

The work toward accreditation began in 2019 and involved the new WASC process—Thematic Pathway for Reaffirmation—whereby colleges are required to demonstrate compliance with rigorous WASC standards while advancing issues important to the College community. Whittier’s themes are Equity and Inclusion and Institutional Excellence. 

“The rigorous WSCUC review process was an opportunity for all of us at Whittier to gain valuable insight into the College’s strengths, vision, and future goals,” said Whittier College President Linda Oubre. “We are pleased with the commission’s commendations and their praise of the commitment of our Board, faculty, and staff to ensuring the success of all Whittier College students. This positive review process has been a collaborative effort by the entire College community. We all have much to be proud of.”

In its letter to the College, the WSCUC provided Whittier with commendations that recognized the institution’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); its work to find a financially sustainable model for the future; faculty and staff dedication to supporting students through the difficulties of the pandemic; collaboration between the Center for Career and Professional Development, Office of Alumni Relations, and the Center for Engagement with Communities to build a career pipeline for students; faculty work on curriculum development and program assessment; and the leadership of the Whittier College Board of Trustees.  

The next WSCUC visit is scheduled for spring 2030, with a special visit in spring 2025 to address progress on the requirements cited in the letter. 

Among its recommendations, WSCUC advised the College to invest in faculty and staff, institutional research, internal communications—especially in a post-pandemic context, and enrollment and admission efforts. The latter would aid the College in attracting new student markets and ensure institutional financial viability. In addition, the committee recommended the College continue working on DEI by establishing defined and measurable metrics.   

The WASC accreditation validates Whittier’s efforts to build financial sustainability by providing new diverse student markets with access to an excellent affordable education via the WHITTIERinnovates enterprise. At the core of WHITTIERinnovates is the College’s vision to deliver an engaging and individualized educational experience combined with high-impact experiential learning set within a framework of social justice, equity, and inclusion.

Read a copy of the full WSCUC team report and commission action letter reaffirming accreditation. 

The WSCUC accreditation process is a marker of institutional quality because accreditation is required by the U.S. Department of Education for students to be able to access federal financial assistance, including student loans.