Accrediting Commission for Schools

Initial Accreditation Status Options

Following the initial visit, the visiting team will complete an initial visit visiting committee report and will recommend one of three possible accreditation status options. The ACS WASC Commission grants a status of accreditation based on the ACS WASC criteria and accreditation status factors as noted in the visiting committee report and the accreditation status recommendation. The accreditation status recommendation is confidential and is not shared with the school. 

Accreditation Status Options

Accreditation status recommendation options are the following:

Initial Accreditation:

Initial accreditation is for schools that meet the ACS WASC criteria for full accreditation and have a history and support system indicating a high-quality program that can be sustained into the foreseeable future.


Candidacy is a status of affiliation indicating that an institution has achieved initial recognition and is progressing toward, but does not yet assume, accreditation. The candidate for accreditation classification is designed for schools that are not yet ready for the full evaluation based on the ACS WASC criteria for accreditation. The schools must provide evidence of sound planning with sufficient resources to implement these plans, and must appear to have the potential for attaining its goals within a reasonable time. Candidate schools are required to submit a written report to the Commission during the spring of the school year following the initial visit, indicating progress being made in meeting the recommendations of the initial visiting committee and noting any substantial changes in the organization or operation of the school. Schools are normally expected to apply for full accreditation by the third year of candidacy.
Candidacy Follow-up for California Schools Training WebinarRECORDING and PRESENTATION

Accreditation Status Withheld:

Accreditation may be withheld if it is determined that the school does not fully meet ACS WASC criteria for affiliation with ACS WASC. A school may wish to reapply after deficiencies have been remedied.
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