Caltech seeks accreditation by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) every decade. The institutional accreditation process is voluntary, non-governmental and a unique characteristic of American education. The process supports institutions in developing and sustaining effective educational programs while assuring the educational community, general public and other organizations that an accredited institution has met high standards of quality and effectiveness. Caltech's last accreditation site visit was conducted in Fall 2020 and the Commission Action Letter was received in February 2021. Additional information about the Commission's decision can be found in the Commission Action Letter. The next Accreditation Visit will be scheduled in fall 2030.
In May 2018, Caltech was selected by the WASC to participate in a new accreditation process called the Thematic Pathway for Reaffirmation (TPR) Review. The new pathway is streamlined and allows the institution to focus on self-selected themes in addition to demonstrating compliance with the Standards. The review required one institutional report and supporting documents due in 2020 and a remote site visit in Fall 2020. The Caltech TPR proposal identified two themes for self-study: the Core Curriculum and Academic and Co-Curricular Support Structures.
The Provost served as the Academic Liaison Officer (ALO) to WSCUC. The Senior Institutional Research Analyst worked with the Provost to oversee the accreditation process, served as staff liaison between Caltech and WSCUC, and ensured timely progress. An Accreditation Steering Committee, appointed by the Provost, provided guidance regarding the accreditation process, opportunities for self-study, assessment, and preparation of our institutional report. Two working groups, appointed by the Provost, addressed the institute's self-study themes.