Los Angeles Academy of Arts and Enterprise (LAAAE) has been accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Schools Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACS WASC) since 2010. In January 2021, LAAAE had its most recent WASC visit. The Visiting Committee gave LAAAE great feedback at the closing meeting; LAAAE awaits the official recommendation. Prior to then, LAAAE had a visit in April 2018 in which the Visiting Committee reaffirmed LAAAE’s accreditation until June 30, 2021. In addition to LAAAE’s commitment to continuous school improvement, LAAAE faculty and leadership annually participate in ACS WASC Visiting Committees for other accreditation candidate schools.
ACS WASC Overview
The ACS WASC is a world-renowned accrediting association and one of the six regional accrediting agencies in the United States. They work closely with the Office of Overseas Schools under the U.S. Department of State and provide assistance to schools worldwide, primarily in California, Hawaii, Guam, Asia, the Pacific Region, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.
ACS WASC extends its services to over 5,000 public, independent, church-related, and proprietary pre-K–12 and adult schools, works with 18 associations in joint accreditation processes, and collaborates with other organizations such as the California Department of Education (CDE). The CDE has collaborated with ACS WASC in order to align the accreditation process with the planning process for California public schools required by state and federal statues in the Single Plan for Student Achievement (SPSA) and the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). The ACS WASC/CDE Focus on Learning (FOL) Joint Process Guide is the collaborative process that helps schools identify and implement school improvement needs and supports accountability. Another example is the partnership with the University of California regarding the a-g course requirements.
ACS WASC Philosophy
The philosophy of ACS WASC centers upon three beliefs: (1) a school’s goal is successful student learning; (2) each school has a clear purpose and schoolwide student goals; and (3) a school engages in external and internal evaluations as part of continued school improvement to support student learning.
Accreditation is integral to a school’s perpetual cycle of assessment, planning, implementation, monitoring, and reassessment based upon student achievement. It fosters excellence in elementary, secondary, adult, and postsecondary education by encouraging school improvement through a process of continuing evaluation and to recognize, by accreditation, schools that meet an acceptable level of quality in accordance with established criteria. In addition to its official title, WASC also means We Are Student-Centered.
- Assures a school community that the school’s purposes are appropriate and being accomplished through a viable education program — a trustworthy institution for student learning
- Validates the integrity of the school’s program and transcripts
- Facilitates transfer of credits to other English-speaking schools — critical for college/university acceptance worldwide
- Fosters the ongoing improvement of the school’s programs and operations to support student learning
- Provides valuable insight from fellow educators visiting the school
- Benefits schools that choose joint accreditation or other collaborative processes, e.g., ACS WASC/CDE.
More information on ACS WASC is available on their website.