Touro University California (TUC), together with its branch campus, Touro University Nevada (TUN), is fully accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Individual programs at TUC are also accredited by their professional agencies. TUC, along with TUN, is currently undergoing a reaffirmation of accreditation; this process is to be concluded by April 2018.
Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions to help better understand this important matter.
1. What is accreditation?
Accreditation is a process of external quality review used by higher education to scrutinize colleges, universities, and educational programs for quality assurance and quality improvement.
2. Why do institutions need accreditation?
The purpose of accreditation, and its agencies, falls under three main categories: compliance, improvement, and accountability. In addition to confirming that students are receiving a quality education as well as qualified to graduate, the accreditation process is also a requirement for students to receive federal (and in some cases state) financial aid.
Accreditation is voluntary, non-governmental, and granted at the completion of a peer review process. The benefits assure the educational community, the general public, and other organizations that an accredited institution has met high standards of educational quality, ongoing improvement, and effectiveness. More information regarding the purpose of accreditation can be found on the WSCUC website.
3. Are there different types of accreditation?
Yes, there are two:
Institutional (regional) accreditation pertains to the entire institution and is overseen by one of the six regional accrediting agencies recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Specialized (professional or programmatic) accreditation may refer to accreditation of programs, departments, or schools. In cases where a program, department, or school constitutes the entire institution, the specialized accreditor may also function as the institutional accreditor.
4. What is WASC? What is WSCUC?
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is one of the six regional accrediting agencies recognized by the USDE and CHEA. WASC accredits institutions throughout California, Hawaii, and the Pacific as well as a limited number of institutions outside the U.S.
WASC is divided into three sub-agencies: ACS WASC accredits K-12 schools and not-for-profit, non-degree granting postsecondary institutions; ACCJC accredits community colleges and other associate degree granting institutions; and The WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) accredits senior colleges and universities. WSCUC may determine eligibility, candidacy, or initial accreditation for institutions new to the process.
5. What are the steps to the reaffirmation of accreditation?
Step One: Institutions submit their Institutional Report.
Step Two: Offsite Review. The focus of the Offsite Review is to make preliminary findings based upon the institutional report and supplementary documents. These findings (often-called Lines of Inquiry), are subsequently verified by the evaluation team during a physical visit to the institution.
Step Three: Onsite Visit. The three-day campus visit usually takes place six months after the Offsite Review. During the visit, the team meets with campus representatives to follow up on outstanding issues and verify or revise its preliminary findings concerning both compliance and improvement.
6. What are the possible outcomes of a WSCUC reaffirmation of accreditation?
Reaffirmation is granted for a period of 6, 8, or 10 years and will be accompanied by a requirement for a Mid-Cycle Review to enable the Commission to discover any areas of potential non-compliance with its Standards. The Commission may also request other reports and/or Special Visits, or a formal Notice of Concern. A full description of the possible outcomes can be found on the WSCUC website.
7. What findings did WSCUC provide after the most recent TUC reaffirmation of accreditation ?
WSCUC reaffirmed TUC with an 8-year accreditation and identified five recommendations in the areas of Clinical Education, Institutional Outcomes, Program Review, Relationships with the Touro System, and Faculty Development. Full details can be found in TUC's 2010 WSCUC Approval Letter.
8. Where can I find information related to TUC's accreditation status?
Information about TUC's accreditation status can be found on the WSCUC website. As a commitment to transparency and communication, TUC will continue to update the progress and outcomes of its reaffirmation process.
Update August 2017: TUC has successfully submitted its Institutional Report to WSCUC where it is currently under review.
Update December 2017: WSCUC completed there Offsite Review of TUC's Institutional Report on November 9th. In that review, TUC received several commendations from the WSCUC team and the standard Lines of Inquiry (LOI). TUC is developing a response to the LOI, which are due February 2018.
9. What is TUC doing to prepare for the 2018 accreditation review?
TUC has formed a steering committee comprised of members representing faculty, staff, students, alumni, and administrative leadership. TUC is committed to sharing its policies, student-centered outcomes, interprofessional collaboration and research, as well as our Strategic plan to support future growth of our diverse campus with the WSCUC team.
The committee worked on the Institutional Report, which was due and submitted on August 31, 2017. The Offsite Review was successfully completed on November 8-9, 2017 and the Accreditation Onsite Visit is scheduled for April 16-19, 2018.
10. How can I participate in the process?
The University's accreditation status is of interest to the entire TUC community. The steering committee expects to engage a wide-range of University constituents throughout the reaffirmation process. Evidence and feedback from students, faculty, staff, administration, alumni, advisory board, community members and others may be solicited by the steering committee at various points in the process. In addition, many of you will have an opportunity to interact with the WSCUC visiting team during their site visit in the spring of 2018.
TUC's Office of Institutional Effectiveness is soliciting feedback for the upcoming reaffirmation of accreditation. If you would like to participate, please complete the form below and submit any comments, information, or evidence that might be relevant to the process.
Thank you for your support and participation!
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