Western University is currently in an accreditation cycle with WASC. Six Panels representing faculty, administrators and staff from across the institution will investigate six themes in two WASC review cycles, the Capacity and Preparatory Review and the Educational Effectiveness Review.
In the past, reaccreditation was considered an external process not necessarily perceived as meaningful to institutions’ specific and unique contexts. Some of you may recall that we surveyed the faculty and administration of the University regarding perspectives on where the University stood with respect to the various WASC standards. From this data we have identifed 6 themes that address WesternU’s specific needs and interests to be investigated by six Panels.
- One – Faculty Governance. Survey responses indicate this is an area of concern for faculty on campus. This Panel will investigate how we are doing, and where we should be going related to faculty governance structures and processes on campus.
- Two – Capacity for graduate research education in the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences. Survey responses indicated concern that faculty teaching workloads would not allow them time to be able to conduct research programs and that there may be other conflicts between the needs for the research enterprise and needs to meet the various professional program curricula. This Panel will inquire on capacity issues surrounding faculty numbers, workloads, faculty backgrounds, space and other areas for pursuing a new research program and evaluate capacity for graduate research education.
- Three – Important Assessment Information. The university has historically collected information related to assessment, such as student satisfaction surveys, licensure information, and other important assessment information. What is not clear is how well we make this information readily available to decision makers across campus. This Panel will explore what information should be included when creating an assessment database that will assist our unique programs in improvement, planning, professional accreditation, and institutional accreditation.
- Four – Evidence Based Clinical Decision Making. WesternU’s unique context means that graduate health professions have certain educational outcomes in common. One of these is the importance of using scientific and evidence based approaches to clinical decision making to improve the quality of healthcare. This Panel will inquire how well we produce graduates who put this educational outcome into practice.
- Five – Humanistic, Caring and Compassionate Practioners. Historically, WesternU was founded on principles of humanistic healthcare. Thirty years since our founding, the Panel will investigate how competently we produce caring and compassionate practitioners who put our founding philosophy of humanism into practice.
- Six – Academic Quality Assurance. Currently, we have academic programs in place that do not undergo professional accreditation, and the university has plans for increasing academic programs in the future. This Panel will investigate what academic quality assurance systems are currently in place, recommend best practices, and make recommendations for the creation of future systems of quality assurance that will assist academic programs to utilize academic and assessment information into decision making for quality improvement purposes, within both academic programs and the various departments that support these programs.
Western University of Health Sciences is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Post-secondary Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. Also,Western University of Health Sciences is approved as a degree-granting institution by the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State of California.