04 Aug WASC – A Quality Report
As schools across the country are preparing for teachers and students to report back for another school year, many other schools are also preparing for visits from a certain delegation of people from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges – WASC for short. South Hills Academy was visited by such a delegation last school year.
So you may be wondering – “What is WASC?” The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is the accrediting body for the western region of the United States. Accreditation is the process for evaluating and assuring the quality of educational institutions and programs. WASC requires that schools demonstrate that they are taking real steps to fulfill their individual missions, are measuring the effectiveness of those steps, and are using the results of those measurements to improve what schools do. In a nutshell, WASC comes to visit schools to make sure that they are doing what the schools claim they are doing.
You may also be wondering, “Why is a WASC accreditation important?” WASC accreditation means a school is focused on setting a mission and goals for its learners. The school is student-oriented and examines student performance continuously, accepting objective evaluation from a team of outside peer professionals trained by ACS WASC. The school also maintains a qualified faculty within an effectively organized school, and it collaboratively assesses the quality of its educational programs on a regular basis while making plans for the future. Colleges and Universities across the country and internationally also look to see that a prospective student has graduated from an accredited university.
WASC conducts their visits through classroom observations, interviews with teachers and administration, and reading the school report – a document put together by faculty and administration. After the committee has visited a school, they put together a report for the school of what the school’s strengths are and what the need to improve for the next visit. The best score that a school can get on a WASC report is a 6-year accreditation with a mid-way review after three years. South Hills Academy was given this prestigious 6-year accreditation last year by the visiting WASC committee last year. Considering the unprecedented challenges that descended upon the entire education system during the 2020-2021 school year, this achievement was even more impressive.
South Hills Academy is determined to carry out its goal to continuously improve its educational opportunities for our students so they continue to be well rounded citizens with a biblical worldview and will be successful leaders in their respective communities.