From national rankings to student achievements, numerous measures show that Chapman is a university on the rise. Now there’s further validation that Chapman is on a strongly positive pathway.
Because of Chapman’s demonstrated strength across all four standards of accreditation review, the university was selected to follow a streamlined Thematic Pathway for Reaffirmation of its institutional accreditation. This route is reserved for “institutions that demonstrate consistent evidence of a healthy fiscal condition, strong student achievement indicators and sustained quality performance,” as it says on the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) website.
Each step in the accreditation process has brought good news for Chapman as it has stepped through its review by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). At the end of recent site visits to the Orange and Rinker campuses, members of the WSCUC review team called Chapman’s evaluation “as good as it gets.”
“It’s a pleasure to see all of our hard work over the years in strategic planning, student success and student satisfaction, DEI, assessment and program review and strong financial planning pay off in this way that was recognized by the review team,” said Joe Slowensky, Chapman vice president for institutional effectiveness and faculty advancement.
“The WSCUC review team clearly was very impressed with the way we presented Chapman in our institutional report — with authenticity, transparency and backed up with data and evidence,” added Slowensky, Chapman’s accreditation liaison officer.
Before starting its Thematic Pathway for Reaffirmation, the university got to pick its theme for the report. Given the significant progress in research, including its reclassification as an R2 (high research activity) institution, Chapman chose to emphasize how research investments impact student experience and outcomes.
Led by Slowensky, the university began the process more than three years ago, assembling steering committees of faculty, staff and administrators. Drafts of the report were shared with faculty, deans, staff, students, trustees and administrators for feedback.
In January 2023, the university submitted its final Thematic Pathway report to WSCUC for re-accreditation, and the report was reviewed by a WSCUC team chaired by Pepperdine University President Jim Gash. The team also included representatives from the University of California, Berkeley; University of San Diego; California State University, San Marcos; and Colleges of Law, Santa Barbara. The team performed site visits to Chapman’s campuses in March.
In April, the report was presented to Chapman for correction of factual errors before going to the WSCUC Commission for acceptance and a final decision during its June 28-29 session.
The Commission can act to reaffirm Chapman’s accreditation for a period of six, eight or 10 years. Once the commission’s decision is released, its action letter and the WSCUC review team’s final report will be posted on both the Chapman and WSCUC websites.