Top Stories
Front Page
Student Life
Science & Environment
Arts & Entertainment

People & Places
Kalamalama Archive


HPU Clubs


Cross Country

Hot Links

Update: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation readiness

by Nancy L. Hedlund, Ph.D., Assoc. Vice President of Planning and Assessment

Hawai‘i Pacific University is fully accredited and in good standing with WASC, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. WASC has newly written standards that continue to reflect the foundational principles of American higher education. These standards were written to foster vision and to encourage schools to seek achievements beyond the minimums suggested by the word “compliance.” There is also a new WASC accreditation process that involves two site visits instead of the previous model of one visit. The visits and purposes of the visits are as follows:


March, 2004 - Capacity Review - Focuses on the capacity of the University to fulfill its educational purposes, including faculty responsibility for a high-quality curriculum, administrative and fiscal integrity, sufficiency of resources, and appropriate mechanisms for assessment and evaluation.

March, 2005 - Educational Effectiveness Review - Focuses on the University’s effectiveness in achieving its educational purposes and goals. HPU will show how it meets the WASC standards through a focus on three themes: student learning, global citizenship, and institutional effectiveness.

Last year the President named a task force to work on “accreditation readiness.” This initiative has been led by Dr. John Fleckles and has involved a range of faculty, staff, and administrators. The group has been studying the new WASC standards, evaluating many aspects of the University’s capacity, and developing plans for presenting evidence at each visit to show that we more than meet the standards.

Each time a school is visited for reaccreditation, the WASC Commission provides the school with a description of the issues and improvements that need to be addressed before the next visit. So the Task Force has also been addressing the areas identified for improvement at our last WASC visit. The following are examples of needed improvements: strengthen learning assessment processes, implement strategic planning, develop a faculty hiring plan, and strengthen connections between the Five Themes and the general education curriculum.

Several months prior to each accreditation visit, the school submits a report to WASC that describes its progress and reflects on evidence concerning its strengths and weaknesses. Schools are encouraged to be self-critical in these reports and to show how improvements demonstrate a “culture of evidence.” HPU submitted its first report in December, 2003. This report will have been reviewed by the task force and various councils within the University before it is submitted and it will be available for members of the HPU community to review when it is completed.

Questions about strategic planning or WASC accreditation? Ask a member of the Educational Effectiveness Planning Committee or the WASC Task Force. If you don’t know someone on either committee, don’t hesitate to contact the office of Dr. John Fleckles, vice president of Academic Administration for more information!


2004, Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.
This site is maintained by Mark Smith
Website done by Rick Bernico