WCC has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1973. Accreditation by HLC requires that the college meets the following five criteria:
- Mission: The institution’s mission is clear and articulated publicly; it guides the institution’s operations.
- Integrity: Ethical and responsible Conduct: The institution acts with integrity; its conduct is ethical and responsible.
- Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support: The institution provides high quality education, wherever and however its offerings are delivered.
- Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement: The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs, learning environments, and support services, and it evaluates their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement.
- Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness: The institution’s resources, structures, and processes are sufficient to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its educational offerings, and respond to future challenges and opportunities. The institution plans for the future.
The College’s next Reaffirmation of Accreditation is in 2020. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 virus on campuses, the peer review team visit was rescheduled for April 6-7, 2020 and was conducted remotely, with all sessions held via virtual conferencing. A brief Verification Visit, required of institutions that had virtual visits due to COVID-19, was held on campus in October 2020. Reaffirmation includes:
- Completion of an Assurance Argument and evidence demonstrating how WCC meets HLC Criteria
- A Federal Compliance filing
- Completion of a Quality Initiative (a project through the HLC Assessment Academy)
- A comprehensive visit by an HLC peer review team
The College received its last full reaffirmation of accreditation by HLC in 2009, when WCC was visited by an HLC peer review team that verified items in the College’s Self-Study Report 2009, observed various areas of the College, and held conversations with a wide range of WCC students, faculty, staff, administrators, and community members.