After countless hours devoted by hundreds of people over the span of four years, APU received official notification of a nine-year reaccreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) on March 11, 2013. Responsible for evaluating the quality and effectiveness of colleges and universities, the WASC committee carefully examined policies, programs, and procedures through the lens of APU’s emphasis on four themes—transformational scholarship, faith integration, God-honoring diversity, and intentional internationalization—and deemed the significant accomplishments of each theme part of the institution’s fabric and mission.
The commission praised the clear effort made between the Capacity and Preparatory Review of March 2011 and the Educational Effectiveness Review of October 2012. In the final analysis, WASC commended APU’s commitment to its core values and identity as a Christian university, and acknowledged strides made in strategic planning as best practices, serving as a model for other faith-based institutions. The commission also pointed to APU’s growing status as a national doctoral university, citing the transformational scholarship occurring in, around, and through this university and between student and scholar as impressive. Finally, the WASC committee described faith integration as an APU distinctive that sets the standard among religiously affiliated institutions.
“We celebrate this milestone and extend deep thanks to every member of our campus community who invested time, effort, and energy in reaching this goal,” said President Jon R. Wallace, DBA. “We are grateful, once again, for a compelling mission and purpose, for a university community committed to preparing the disciples and scholars this world needs.”
In addition to the affirmation of APU’s trajectory, this intense review process also revealed opportunities for further development. WASC advised continued attention on strengthening APU’s financial position and establishing a consistent means to assess student-learning outcomes university wide. “Under President Wallace’s leadership, the APU community will work together to achieve the goal of sustained financial stabilization,” said Vicky Bowden, DNSc, RN, vice provost for undergraduate programs and accreditation liaison officer. “These efforts, combined with an ongoing emphasis on using assessment findings to improve the academic reputation of the university, will ensure that we meet the goals President Wallace set forth in APU’s Shared Vision 2022.” The next comprehensive examination begins with an off-site review in fall 2020, with an accreditation visit slated for fall 2021. APU will present an interim report in fall 2015.
“This reaccreditation marks an important step toward achieving our shared vision to be ‘a premier Christian university and a recognized leader in higher education, a city on a hill that reflects the life of Christ and shines the light of Truth,’” said Wallace.