At the halfway point of a 10-year accreditation term granted in 2011, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has been praised by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) Interim Report Committee. WASC, which accredits colleges and universities in California, Hawaiʻi and the Pacific, requires institutions to submit interim reports at the halfway point between accreditation cycles.
In a June 1, 2015 letter, WASC Vice President Barbara Gross Davis wrote that panel members were “extremely impressed” by Mānoa’s Interim Report and its progress in several areas, including:
- Retention, Graduation and Completion: The panel reviewing the report praised the strategies UH Mānoa has put into place to bolster retention and completion rates, including improved articulation with UH community colleges, investments in gateway courses and strengthening the degree audit system.
- Student Learning Outcomes: The panel commended UH Mānoa for its well-crafted assessment process and faculty involvement in aligning and assessing student learning outcomes.
The accreditation process is extremely important, both as a marker of institutional quality and because accreditation is required by the U.S. Department of Education for students to be able to access the federal student loan system. It is managed at UH Mānoa by Accreditation Liaison Officer Wendy Pearson, who works in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
Commented Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Reed Dasenbrock, “This excellent report is the result of hard work by faculty, staff and administrators across campus, and shows that we continue to improve the undergraduate experience at Mānoa.”
Chancellor Robert Bley-Vroman thanked the review panel for their highly positive evaluation. “In 2011, when we received a 10-year accreditation period from WASC—the longest possible term of accreditation and the longest of any institution in Hawaiʻi—we were very proud of that achievement. This official letter at the halfway point of our decade-long accreditation affirms that we are on the right track.”
WASC, or the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, is one of six regional accrediting associations in the United States.