Accreditation Process

For more information about the current reaffirmation of accreditation process for Otis College of Art and Design:

2018 WSCUC Final Letter and Report

What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is the recognition that an institution maintains standards requisite for its graduates to gain admission to other reputable institutions of higher learning or to achieve credentials for professional practice. The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality.

Why is Accreditation Important?

As Senator Tom Harkin noted in his 2013 HELP Committee Hearing on Accreditation as Quality Assurance:  Meeting the Needs of 21st Century Learning, "Accreditation’s role is to help ensure an acceptable level of quality across the wide spectrum of American higher education. Under the Higher Education Act, accreditation is required for institutions to access federal financial aid. Students are eligible for federal student aid only if they attend an institution that is accredited by an accrediting organization recognized by the Department of Education. Consequently, accrediting agencies are considered gatekeepers of federal financial aid, and are tasked with helping institutions continuously improve based on their missions, while also overseeing their quality."

What are Accrediting Agencies?

Accrediting agencies are organizations (or bodies) that establish operating standards for educational or professional institutions and programs, determine the extent to which the standards are met, and publicly announce their findings.

What are the Otis College Accreditations and Affiliations?

The WSCUC Senior College and University Commission accreditation agency is one of seven regional non-profit bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for certifying students’ federal funding including access to student aid. Through the process of peer review accreditation, WASC seeks to "assure the educational community, parents, students, employers, policymakers, and the public that an accredited institution has met high standards of quality and effectiveness." This website exists as part of this process.

WSCUC Senior College and University Commission
Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities
985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100
Alameda, CA 94501
Telephone: (510) 748-9001

Complaints:  Complaint Form or Email Complaints
WSCUC (WASC) Handbook

National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21
Reston, VA 20190-5248
Telephone: (703) 437-0700

NASAD Handbook:

Otis College is a member of:
Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD)
Partnership for Academic Leadership on Sustainability (PALS)

Otis College Leadership

The Provost’s Office provides the leadership for the Assessment Efforts.

WSCUC Accreditation Liaison Officer: Joanne Mitchell, Interim Assistant Provost, ALO

NASAD Institutional Representative: Joanne Mitchell, Interim Assistant Provost, ALO