Ashford University to Run Parallel Process of Appeal and Re-application for WASC Accreditation

Ashford University received notice on July 5, 2012 that the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) acted to deny Ashford University’s application for initial accreditation. WASC is one of six regional accrediting commissions, with jurisdiction over schools located in the states of California and Hawaii, as well as the U.S. Pacific Islands. 

Ashford University is disappointed by the Commission’s decision and has met with WASC executive staff to review. Ashford has informed WASC that it intends to initiate an appeal of the WASC decision in accordance with WASC’s established procedures and time frames, and that it also intends to undertake the parallel process afforded by WASC to re-apply for initial accreditation. This will be accomplished through the submission of a report responding to the conclusions of the Commission’s action letter, with a visit as early as Spring 2013. The re-application process does not require the University to undertake a full self study. 

Ashford University is currently accredited by, and in good standing with, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges (HLC) through 2014-2015, at which time it will participate in another comprehensive evaluation to maintain accreditation. Ashford initiated application for WASC accreditation in recognition of the migration of a substantial portion of its activities, in support of its online programs, into that accrediting body’s geographic region. Ashford University has been advised by HLC that it has until December 1, 2012 to demonstrate compliance with HLC’s “substantial presence” requirement. Ashford has assured HLC that it intends to abide by the commission’s policies and requirements.

The HLC region subsumes 19 states from Arizona to West Virginia, including Iowa where Ashford University maintains its residential campus. 

About Ashford University

Ashford University is defining the modern college experience by combining the heritage of a traditional campus with the flexibility and effectiveness of online learning. The University provides a vibrant learning community where high-quality programs and leading-edge technology create a dynamic, immersive and stimulating learning experience. Ashford University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association ( The University offers practical and progressive associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs online, as well as bachelor’s degree programs at its Clinton, Iowa, campus. Ashford University – where heritage meets innovation. For more information, please visit or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.