Accreditation is a process of external quality review which serves to assure students, parents, policymakers, the broader educational community, and the general public that an institution has met high standards of effectiveness. Both federal and state government consider accreditation to be a reliable authority on academic quality. The federal government relies on accreditation to assure the quality of institutions and programs for which the government provides federal funds and for which the government provides federal aid to students. Most state governments will initially license institutions and programs without accreditation. However, states will subsequently require accreditation to make state funds available to institutions and students. States often require that individuals who sit for state licensure in various professions have graduated from accredited institutions and programs. Accreditation also helps to ensure that credits and degrees are recognized for purposes of employment and transfer or admission to other institutions. No institution in the United States is required to seek accreditation, but because of the recognized benefits of the process, most eligible institutions have sought to become accredited. The WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) is one of seven regional accrediting agencies in the U.S. and is the accrediting body for Cal State LA. For more information on accreditation, see the Overview of U.S. Accreditation by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation or the Handbook of Accreditation by WSCUC.
Every six, eight, or ten years, institutions accredited by WSCUC are reviewed to reaffirm their accreditation status. The two- to three-year process of reaffirmation of accreditation usually involves the completion of an institutional self-study and institutional report, an off-site review by WSCUC, and an on-site visit from the WSCUC team. Cal State LA is currently under review for the reaffirmation of accreditation. In preparation for the institutional self-study and institutional report, Cal State LA has organized a steering committee and website to inform and engage the campus community of the reaffirmation of accreditation process.