The university is fully accredited by WSCUC (WASC Senior College and University Commission). In July 2022, Cal Poly received a 10-year reaffirmation of its WSCUC accreditation.
It is Cal Poly's policy to seek academic program accreditation from appropriate specialized accreditation agencies. The purposes of accreditation include:
- to develop and sustain effective educational programs;
- to assure the educational community, students and their families, the general public, and other organizations that an academic program has met high standards of quality and effectiveness;
- to promote program engagement with issues of educational effectiveness and student learning;
- to develop and continue good practices in assessing and improving the teaching and learning process; and
- to increase opportunities available to program graduates.
External accreditation is appropriate when the requirements of the accrediting agency will not cause the university to alter significantly its objectives or methods of instruction, and when it is consistent with university and program learning goals and educational outcomes.
On an annual basis, in conjunction with the preparation of the CSU Board of Trustees agenda item on academic planning and program review, all campuses are to send to the Chancellor's Office selected materials regarding institutional and specialized accreditation.
The timing of program review coincides with the schedule for specialized accreditation review to minimize the workload of the program faculty.
Procedural Guidelines for Accreditation
Responsibility is delegated to the department head/chair or college dean for:
- making preliminary contact with the accrediting agency;
- assessing the desirability of seeking such accreditation and probability of success;
- recommending whether or not to make formal application for accreditation;
- preparing a statement of the total costs of annual dues and forwarding the cost statement to the Office of Academic Programs and Planning;
- preparing the application and related reports;
- transmitting the application and reports only after approval by the President and Provost, or their designees;
- making arrangements for the committee visitation on campus;
- preparing an executive summary of program strengths and weakness for review by the President and the Provost prior to visitation.
The college dean, Provost, and President, or their designees approve the:
- transmittal of formal application for accreditation;
- contents of required reports and their transmittal to the accrediting agency;
- dates of committee visitation;
- plans for meeting of the visitation committee with the President and other administrative personnel.
The college dean, Provost, and President, or their designees are to be kept informed of actions taken with respect to the accreditation process.
The above procedural steps also shall be followed in developing departmental or college applications for reaccreditation or in preparing and submitting required responses or reports in cases where provisional accreditation is being reconsidered by the accrediting agency.
Academic Senate Resolution: AS-496-98/PRAIC "Resolution on External Review" (PDF). Adopted 14 April 1998.
Cal Poly Catalog: "Accreditation" (website).
Campus Administrative Manual: CAM 400-402 "Accreditation" (PDF). Revised July 1982.
California State University Coded Memorandum: AA-2003-09 "Accreditation Activity" (PDF). 24 April 2003.
Last updated: 11/15/2023