Frequently Asked Questions

1) Who is WSCUC?

The WASC Senior College and University Commission is one of several regional accrediting associations covering the United States, whose purpose is continual improvement of education and cooperation among educational institutions and agencies. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges, (WASC) was formed in July 1962, to evaluate and accredit schools, colleges, and universities in California, Hawaii, Guam, and the Pacific island Trust Territories. In 2012-2013, WASC changed its name to WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) to “reflect its new separate incorporation as a California nonprofit. This change is in response to findings of noncompliance with the “separate and independent” requirement of the federal regulations affecting our recognition by the US Department of Education.” See

WSCUC is reviewed periodically for renewal of recognition by the US Department of Education and by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). 


2) What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is a voluntary process involving an association of schools and/or colleges to encourage high standards of education. Accreditation indicates that WSCUC judges that the institution, in a manner consistent with standards, offers its students on a satisfactory level the educational opportunities implied in its objectives and is likely to continue to do so.

Voluntary, nongovernmental, institutional accreditation as practiced by WSCUC and the other regional commissions is a unique characteristic of American education. In many other countries the maintenance of educational standards is a governmental function.

While WSCUC works to establish minimum standards of quality for institutions, its primary focus is to foster educational excellence. Each institution has the responsibility of defining, for itself, characteristics of quality and excellence, and presenting evidence that such quality and excellence is being achieved.


3) What does the accreditation process entail?

In 2013, WSCUC revised its Standards of Accreditation and the accreditation process. The heart of the accreditation process is the Institutional Report which includes an in-depth Self-Study. The Self-Study serves both external and internal purposes. It provides an opportunity within the AUA community for broad based deliberation on the current state of the institution, its successes in fulfilling its mission, its areas of special strength and those in need of improvement, as well as the direction for development in the years ahead. Commission standards define normative expectations and characteristics of excellence and provide a framework for self-study. Ultimately, the report of the self study provides the basis for demonstrating that AUA is in compliance the Standards of Accreditation.

The accreditation process itself assists institutions in “developing and sustaining effective educational programs and assures the educational community, the general public, and other organizations that an accredited institution has met high standards of quality and effectiveness.” (See


4) What are the Standards of Accreditation?

STANDARD 1: Defining Institutional Purposes and Ensuring Educational Objectives

STANDARD 2: Achieving Educational Objectives Through Core Functions

STANDARD 3: Developing and Applying Resources and Organizational Structures to Ensure Quality and Sustainability

STANDARD 4: Creating an Organization Committed to Quality Assurance, Institutional Learning and Improvement


5) How does AUA benefit from accreditation?

The American University of Armenia has seen tremendous benefits as a result of its U.S.-accreditation in terms of its students, faculty, and staff, as well as the community at large.  U.S.-accreditation directly benefits students by simplifying degree verification, enabling students to more easily continue their studies in universities in the United States and Europe, and acknowledging AUA as a quality institution which broadens future career and educational opportunities.  Faculty benefit by being part of an internationally-recognized community of scholars. The university benefits by ensuring evidence-based and continuous process improvement, as well as a diversity among its faculty and students. And, society benefits because AUA graduates transition into the labor market with highly employable skills such as problem solving, creativity, leadership, and critical thinking.

Please feel free to e-mail any comments and/or suggestions to the Accreditation Liaison Officer and Director of Accreditation at [email protected].


6) Where is AUA in the Accreditation Process? 

AUA is currently undergoing its second reaffirmation of accreditation.  WSCUC selected AUA to engage in a Thematic Approach to Reaffirmation.  In continuing to build upon and evaluate the University’s growth, AUA chose to explore two themes: The Integrity of the Undergraduate Degree and the Academic Program Review.  These two themes were chosen to coincide with AUA’s growth and explore educational effectiveness since the University launched undergraduate programs in 2013.  To explore these themes two working groups were established composed of faculty, staff, and students. One additional working group was established to explore diversity, equity, and inclusion. Working groups have reported their activities and findings to campus, which, in turn, has had opportunities to ask questions and provide feedback related to the findings.  The University’s self-study report will be submitted to WSCUC in August 2023.  A WSCUC Site Visit Team will visit AUA in October 2023.