WASC team visits CPP to determine accreditation

A team of five reviewers with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) visited Cal Poly Pomona between Oct. 21 and 23. 

The WSCUC and five other regional associations work to accredit colleges, universities, private and public schools in the U.S.

Accreditation is the process of evaluation to determine if standards are met within an institution and is important for the transference and acceptance of college credit. 

The WSCUC validates whether an institution meets the Commission’s Core Commitments and Standards of Accreditation and only visits accredited universities every 10 years to check on the continuing standards. 

During the visit, as with other institutions, the review team gave CPP multiple opportunities for the campus community to participate and voice concerns. 

Students, staff and faculty were invited to attend respective open forums as well as a closing meeting at 10 a.m. Oct. 23 in the Bronco Student Center, Ursa Minor. 

There were also open forums held, which ran from 2:15-5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 21 inside the Student Services Building in rooms 1967-1969. This forum allowed for students, staff and faculty to answer questions provided by the WSCUC team. 

Laura Massa, associate vice president for academic programs and accreditation liaison officer, helped prepare the campus for the WSCUC visit. 

Each respective open forum was confidential to allow each session speaker to speak freely and feel comfortable in an environment that was free of recording and photography, Massa said. 

The review team asked for attendees to answer all questions about the campus honestly. 

Lucille Yu, a third-year hospitality management student, realized during the student open session that the campus needs to focus on the urgency and address weaknesses throughout the campus climate such as the campus culture. 

“The open forum was a meeting where our students were able to use their voice in whatever capacity they chose fit,” Yu said. “Students chose to show WSCUC exactly what was going on at our university whether it was good, bad or otherwise.”

For two and a half days, WSCUC allowed students, staff and faculty to participate in open forums as part of the visit.
Michelle Quintero | The Poly Post

As a student in Associated Student Inc. (ASI) student government, Yu’s goal is to work towards uniting the entire student body. 

Lauren Sinks, a fourth-year biology student, addressed her concerns during the student open forum. However, due to the confidentiality of the open forums, students’ concerns cannot be directly stated. 

“I think it was very beneficial, there was a lot of positives to begin with but also a lot of concerns to hopefully be addressed,” Sinks said. “I am very hopeful that the administration will be willing and ready to make change happen.”

Sinks recommended that the campus hold a yearly survey that goes to WSCUC or that goes straight to the administration, or even an open forum every semester for students to come and speak without any time constraints.  

The closing meeting was open to students, staff and faculty, although, it did not allow for open discussion.

The review team briefly spoke about the accommodations and recommendations for the campus, which included issues with semester conversion, having too many interim positions not turning into permanent positions, effective communication and discrimination on campus. 

Furthermore, the recommendations and accommodations stated will not be released until a final report of the review is released. 

A vote of accreditation will take place on Feb. 14, 2020 and a final report of the review will be sent to the campus in early March. 

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