WASC Coronavirus Q&A

The following are frequently asked questions and answers pertaining to WASC accreditation and the Coronavirus pandemic.

Will WASC provide support to schools during this challenging time?

The WASC staff will continue to provide support to each school as well as visiting committee chairs and members; we are able to conduct virtual meetings and trainings. This includes providing support for applicants, initial visits, self-studies, and all other accreditation visits and processes.

Many of the spring 2020 self-study visit have been postponed until the 2020-2021 school year with the expectation that the visit will occur in the fall of 2020-21 school year (first semester). What is the process to reschedule the self-study visit?

Postponed schools are expected to reschedule the accreditation visit during the fall (first semester) of the 2020-21 school year. WASC is communicating with each school about new dates. WASC asks schools to work with the visiting committee chair, if possible, to coordinate the new dates and provide them to WASC.

If a school needs to move the self-study visit to the spring (second semester) of 2020-21, the school leadership should email a formal request on school letterhead addressed to WASC President Dr. Barry Groves, in care of Executive Assistant Rosalina Abello at rabello@acswasc.org. Please direct any questions to Ms. Abello.

Since our school's spring 2020 WASC visit has been postponed, what is the due date for the completed school report and supporting evidence? Will the school need to update the school report prior to the rescheduled visit?

Normally, any school report (e.g., self-study, mid-cycle, probationary, or special progress report) is due six weeks before the scheduled visit. Some schools have already submitted the report and supporting evidence for a visit that is now postponed; those schools may update and resubmit the report six weeks prior to the newly scheduled date. The school does not have to update the report but should be able to share what has been done since the report was completed with supporting information, this could include the impact of online learning for the students and other issues as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

If the school has not yet submitted their report, they need to submit it six weeks prior to the rescheduled visit.

Contact Dr. Marilyn George at mgeorge@acswasc.org with any questions.

If a school was scheduled for a 2020-21 accreditation visit, will the timing of these visits be impacted?

WASC is aware that there may not be adequate time for schools to prepare for the upcoming accreditation visit. To request a later date, school leadership should email a formal request on school letterhead addressed to WASC President Dr. Barry Groves, in care of Executive Assistant Rosalina Abello at rabello@acswasc.org. Please direct any questions to Ms. Abello.

Will the visit postponements impact a school's UC approved A-G courses?

No, there is no impact. Schools will automatically receive an ACS WASC official letter extending their accreditation.  Contact Dr. Marilyn George at mgeorge@acswasc.org with any questions.

Does WASC have an established minimum number of student work hours for schools that are conducting online classes?

No. The emphasis is upon clear, defined learning outcomes and the assessment of the continuous growth toward meeting these outcomes.

If a school has completed their self-study visit, is it possible for the school to have an extension for submitting the revised schoolwide action plan?

Yes, the school may submit the schoolwide action plan as soon as it is able to engage the stakeholders in the update; the suggested deadline is no later than December 1, 2020. If this is not feasible, please contact Dr. Marilyn George at mgeorge@acswasc.org.

If a school needs more time to complete a progress report (i.e., mid-cycle, candidacy, or progress report) that did not involve a visit, is it possible to have an extension for submitting this report?

Yes, the school should submit the progress report as soon as possible; the suggested deadline is no later than December 1, 2020. If this is not feasible, please contact Dr. Marilyn George at mgeorge@acswasc.org.

If an international school has an International Interim Report or International Candidate Report due June 30, 2020, is it possible to have an extension?

Yes, if a school needs more time to submit their International Interim Report or their International Candidate Report, the school may have until September 15, 2020 to turn in their report. Please contact Dr. Marilyn George at mgeorge@acswasc.org with any questions.

VISITING COMMITTEES

Will a school be able to have the same visiting committee chair and members for the rescheduled visit?

Although WASC cannot guarantee the visiting committee chair and team members will remain the same, we will do our best to maintain the original team as we reschedule the visit.

Will online training be available for visiting committees serving on visits in 2020–21?

Webinar training recordings for visiting committees are currently available online under the heading “Calendar & Training” on the WASC website. Additional trainings will be added as needed.

Will WASC reimburse visiting committee chairs and/or members for cancelled flights and/or cancellation fees for flights, hotels, or rental cars?

WASC anticipates that airlines will fully refund cancelled flights that are beyond anyone’s control. WASC understands there can, and will be, cancellation fees which WASC will reimburse. Hotel and rentals car refunds have been easier to obtain. Please contact Dr. Marilyn George at mgeorge@acswasc.org with any questions.