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California State University, Long Beach
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WASC Glossary

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | XYZ

A

  • Accrediting Agency: A voluntary, non-governmental association licensed by the US Department of Education to administer accrediting procedures. The federal government considers accreditation status in the awarding of federal funds.
  • Accreditation: A voluntary process that colleges and universities undergo to encourage high educational standards. Accreditation may only be granted by an accrediting agency licensed by the Commission on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) of the US Department of Education; only students at accredited colleges and universities are eligible for federal financial aid.
  • ALO (Accrediting Liaison Officer): The individual in an institution assigned to carry on continuing relations with WASC. At CSULB, it is Dr. David Hood, Professor of History.
  • Accreditation Standards: WASC has four standards that Universities must meet to be accredited; standards are outlined in the WASC Handbook of Accreditation. Each standard is further divided into specific criteria for review (CFRs).

C

  • CFRs (Criteria for Review): the specific characteristics that a University must demonstrate to be accredited. CFRs are described in the WASC Handbook of Accreditation.
  • CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation): arm of the US Department of Education which licenses accrediting agencies.
  • Commitment to Capacity: see Institutional Capacity.
  • Commitment to Educational Effectiveness: see Educational Effectiveness
  • CQI (Continuous Quality Improvement): see Learning Organization
  • CPR (Capacity and Preparatory Review): Second step in the accreditation process; the University conducts a self-evaluation of its capacity to carry out its educational functions and provides a report to WASC.
  • CPR Visit: A team of WASC reviewers visits the University about 3-6 months after the completion of the CPR report.
  • CSU: The California State University system, comprised of 23 campuses.
  • CSULB: California State University, Long Beach; one of the 23 campuses of the CSU system.

E

  • EE (Educational Effectiveness): Third step in the accreditation process; the University conducts a self-evaluation of its ability to effectively accomplish its educational mission and provides a report to WASC. This step focuses on educational objectives and design, the collection and use of data, delivery of programs, and ultimately, learner (student) accomplishments.
  • EEIs (Educational Effectiveness Indicators): see Evidence
  • EE Visit: A team of WASC reviewers visits the University about 3-6 months after the completion of the EE report.
  • Evidence: WASC requires the University to provide evidence of its commitment to capacity and to educational effectiveness. Such evidence is “intentional and purposeful, entails interpretation and reflection, is integrated and holistic, can be both quantitative and qualitative, and can be either direct or indirect.”
  • Evidence Guide: A publication developed by WASC to establish a common understanding of the accrediting process and to assist institutions in the assembly and use of evidence in all stages of the WASC review process. The guide explains how to demonstrate, through verifiable evidence, that an institution meets core commitments to capacity and educational effectiveness.
  • Exhibit: A presentation of information or data that supports written reports.

F

  • First-time freshman: A student who has not previously attended any college or university after graduation from high school.
  • FTEF (Full Time Equivalent Faculty): A calculation of the total number of full-time faculty a program would have if all the full-time and part-time faculty appointments are added up and divided by a full-time workload (15 WTUs).
  • FTES (Full Time Equivalent Students): A calculation of the total number of full-time students a program would have if all the full-time and part-time student enrollments are added up and divided by 15 units (or by 12 units for graduate students).

G

  • GE (General Education): an educational program in addition to the major that students must complete before being eligible to graduate.
  • GPA (Grade Point Average): The total grade points earned by a student divided by the total units attempted.

H

  • Headcount: Actual number of all enrolled students.
  • Handbook of Accreditation: see WASC Handbook of Accreditation

I

  • Implementation Committee: CSULB committee that carries out the process of preparing the Institutional Proposal, CPR report, and EE report.
  • Institutional Capacity: The University is expected to demonstrate its institutional educational capacity in the CPR report, including stated purposes, institutional integrity, fiscal stability, and organizational structures.
  • Institutional Portfolio: A repository of data on the University’s characteristics, such as enrollment, physical and fiscal resources, etc.; also may be called a data portfolio.
  • Institutional Proposal: First step in the accreditation process; the University sends a proposal to WASC to specify its proposed approach for the review. The Proposal must be approved by WASC before the institution begins the accreditation process.

L

  • Learning Organization: An entity that collects information on whether it is meeting its goals and makes adjustments to improve its based on that information.
  • Learning Outcomes: see SLOs

M

  • Mission Statement: The University’s broad educational purpose and goals.

O

  • Outcomes: the anticipated or achieved results of programs or the accomplishment of institutional objectives, as demonstrated by such indicators as student attitudes, knowledge and/or performance.

P

  • Preparatory Review: see CPR

S

  • SFR (Student Faculty Ratio): The total number of full-time equivalent students divided by the total number of full-time equivalent faculty for each academic program.
  • SLOs (Student Learning Outcomes): What students are expected to know and to be able to do upon completing an academic degree program.
  • Standard: Benchmarks of quality and expectations developed by WASC which institutions must meet to become accredited.
  • Steering Committee: CSULB committee that oversees the process of preparing the Institutional Proposal, CPR report, and EE report.
  • Student Learning Goals: see SLOs

T

  • Team Visit: WASC representatives (who are colleagues from other accredited institutions) visit the campus to collect evidence of the University’s commitments to capacity and to educational effectiveness.
  • Transfer student: A student who has previously enrolled at any institution of higher education.

W

  • WTU (Weighted Teaching Units): The definition of faculty work; a full-time faculty at CSULB is expected to perform activities (e.g., teaching, advising, service, research) that add up to 15 WTUs per semester.
  • WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges): a non-profit organization licensed by the U.S. Department of Education to evaluate schools and colleges for accreditation.
  • WASC Evidence Guide: see Evidence Guide
  • WASC Handbook of Accreditation (2001): The WASC publication that describes the process through which all institutions must proceed and the standards they must meet for reaffirmation of accreditation.