One of the unique characteristics of American education is voluntary, non-governmental, institutional accreditation. The designation that an institution is accredited attests that it has met high standards of academic quality and educational effectiveness. This important designation also enables students to receive federal financial aid, eases the transfer of student coursework to other institutions of higher education, and compels institutions to continuously develop and sustain effective educational policies and programs.
On March 18-20, a team representing the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) will be conducting a special visit of the Mānoa campus. The WASC is the regional accrediting body for institutions of higher education in California, Hawai’i, and the Pacific Islands. During this visit, the WASC team of four out-of-state university administrators will focus on specific issues and concerns raised by the WASC Commission and the 1999 visiting team. The team will also evaluate how well Mānoa is meeting the WASC Standards of Accreditation.
As a result of the 1999 WASC visit, the Commission cited issues related to leadership and governance, communication, strategic planning, enrollment management, and assessment as areas of concern. Since then, Mānoa has demonstrated significant progress in addressing these concerns. The WASC Special Visit website (https://manoa.hawaii.edu/wasc/) has been created to present evidence of Mānoa’s progress in becoming a self-learning organization. It includes key documents, data elements, timelines, and processes involved in our accreditation effort. It, in essence, builds a culture of evidence of educational excellence. You are encouraged to examine the website and send your comments to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (email@example.com).