The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation process fosters excellence in elementary, secondary, and adult education by encouraging school improvement. WASC accreditation recognizes schools that meet an acceptable level of quality, in accordance with established, research-based WASC criteria. (For more information about WASC, go to http://www.acswasc.org/)
What is accreditation? Accreditation is a voluntary dual-purpose process that schools (1) must be worthy of the trust placed in them to provide high-quality learning and (2) clearly demonstrate continual self-improvement. An accredited school is focused on a mission and goals for students; it is student-oriented and examines its students’ performance continuously; it accepts objective evaluation from a team of outside peer professionals trained by Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACS WASC); it maintains a qualified faculty within an effectively organized school; it collaboratively assesses the quality of its educational programs on a regular basis; and it plans for the future.
What are the benefits of accreditation? ACS WASC accreditation is a school improvement process and therefore is a process that serves as the foundation for quality education. An accredited school is a statement to the broader community and the stakeholders that it is a trustworthy institution for student learning and committed to ongoing improvement.
- The public is assured that accredited institutions are evaluated extensively and conform to expectations of performance and quality. Because accreditation requires continual self-evaluation and monitoring of its programs and operations in relation to the impact on student learning and periodic external review, the public can be assured that the educational quality of programs and services offered by the institution are current, reflect high standards of quality, and are offered with integrity.
- Students can be assured that the institutions in which they seek to enroll have been reviewed and the educational programs that are offered have been evaluated for quality.
- Educational institutions benefit from the stimulus for self-study and self-improvement provided by the accreditation process.
Santa Barbara Junior High School stakeholders produced an Initial Self-Study during the 2015 - 2016 school year that profiled our school's educational practices around the following areas:
- Organization, Mission and Vision
- Standards Based Student Learning and Curriculum
- Standards Based Student Learning and Instruction
- Accountability and Assessment
- School Culture and Climate with support for student personal and academic growth
. The ACS WASC visiting Committee met with SBJHS stakeholders in March of 2016.
As a result of the visit in March 2016 the Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACS WASC) announced the action taken at the Spring 2016 Commission Meeting. The ACS WASC Commissioners have determined Santa Barbara Junior High meets the ACS WASC criteria for accreditation. This accreditation status is based on all of the information provided by the school, including the initial visit report, and the satisfactory completion of the on-site initial accreditation visit. It is the decision of the Commission to grant Santa Barbara Junior High (grades 6th through 8th) Initial Accreditation Status through June 30, 2019.