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WSCUC Re-Affirmation 2021

Dear Pepperdine Community,

Welcome to Pepperdine University's WSCUC Site for Reaffirmation.

WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) is the regional accrediting agency serving higher education institutions in California, Hawaii, and the Pacific Region. It is one of seven regional accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Accreditation. Pepperdine's last reaffirmation from WSCUC was granted in 2013. Our next onsite visit is scheduled for the fall of 2021 with preparations beginning two years prior. For this reaffirmation cycle we have been invited by WSCUC to participate in a new process, Thematic Pathways for Reaffirmation.

As stated on the WSCUC web site:

This pathway puts into place a mechanism that enables WSCUC "to screen institutions in ways that assess key performance indicators and the levels of attendant risk and to calibrate the nature and extent of the accreditation review accordingly" [ACE Task Force report]. Only those institutions with consistent evidence of a healthy fiscal condition, strong student achievement indicators, and sustained quality performance will be eligible for this process for reaffirmation.

The benefits of this process are many. While many WSCUC institutions continuously engage in a process of self-review and educational improvement, those institutions with a strong performance in all three areas noted above (fiscal, student outcomes, and quality performance) will benefit from TPR as the themes they select will emerge from what they identify as needing further improvement or study. TPR also allows these institutions to demonstrate what they are doing to enhance educational quality within the context of their own institutional goals and mission. In addition, this Thematic Pathway will allow WSCUC to better deploy its resources toward the specific needs of those institutions that most benefit from the existing IRP.

This website will serve as a resource and as a way for us to share the knowledge (theme 3) gained as we progress through the WSCUC process. On this site, you will learn more about our themes, committee work, and the WSCUC criteria and standards. We are hoping for both a transparent and transformative process. The WSCUC Steering Committee welcomes all questions, so please feel free to contact any of the committee members or one of the chairs.


Lisa Bortman, Ed.D.
Co-Chair WSCUC Steering Committee
Associate Provost, Assessment and Office of Institutional Effectiveness

April Marshall, Ph.D.
Co-Chair WSCUC Steering Committee
Professor of Hispanic Studies International Studies and Languages Division, Seaver College


The Pepperdine community began the WSCUC 2021 reaffirmation process in the fall of 2018. Why two and a half years prior to our WSCUC visit? That is because this process asks for more than just reporting, it asks for self-identified areas of improvement.

We began our process by developing a WSCUC Steering Committee with membership representation across all five Schools and Student Life. Our next step was to audit the community in an attempt to identify our strengths and areas of growth in relation to the WSCUC Standards and criteria for review. Based on this the Steering Committee and University assessment committee (ASLC) choose themes. The first two themes came directly from the WSCUC reaffirmation process.

The first theme is Meaning, Quality, and Integrity of the Degree, and the second theme is Assessment and Program Review. This was followed by a year of inquiry, data collection, and discussions in these areas. We also brought in a consultant to help us with our examination. Our investigation revealed that our educational effectiveness infrastructure (assessment) was progressing but there were final aspects of these processes we had not yet achieved but desired to. It was important for us to ensure that student excellence and student learning were at the center of this process. We also wanted to find ways to make this process part of our culture of teaching-learning and decision making.

Our third theme evolved from examining all of the criteria with the committees and stakeholders resulting in a decision for a third theme. The decision was made that we would benefit as an organization if we developed better ways to share information and knowledge. The committees would like to devote time and resources to develop effective and creative ways for us to share knowledge. We are now excited to move forward and see how this process will make us stronger. 


thematic approach venn diagram