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Focus on Learning Joint WASC/CDE Process

An evaluation process designed to be used by public high schools in California that choose to pursue accreditation requirements.


The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is a non-profit organization that fosters excellence in education through a voluntary non-governmental regional accreditation process. This accreditation process helps California schools identify and implement school improvement measures, support accountability, and facilitate student achievement. The California Department of Education (CDE) and WASC share a common purpose and commitment to facilitate student achievement and school improvement in the California public schools. While WASC accreditation is not required by law, it does provide a means for conducting peer evaluations of educational institutions and programs. CDE has collaborated with WASC in order to align the WASC accreditation process with the planning process for California schools required by state and federal statutes in the Single Plan for Student Achievement. The result of this collaboration is entitled, the “FOCUS On LEARNING- Joint WASC/CDE Process Guide”, and is accessible at WASC Accrediting Commission for Schools External link opens in new window or tab. .


The WASC short-term consultants provide training throughout the state on the FOCUS On LEARNING (FOL) – Joint WASC/CDE Process.


In 2018–19, the WASC agency completed 978 accreditation visits, including public and charter schools and 847 visits are projected for 2019–20. Annually, CDE consultants and administrators participate in one or more accreditation visits.

Students Served

The FOL self-study process is organized to support ongoing school improvement efforts in all areas. Administrators and teachers use the FOL results to improve the education programs within their districts. The process is designed to be used by all public high schools in California that are subject to accreditation requirements and choose to pursue FOL – Joint WASC/CDE Process.


The FOL – Joint WASC/CDE Process assists schools by allowing them to participate in an in-depth evaluation of their programs. Through the process, they can identify their strengths and the areas where improvement is needed. Annually, WASC administrators and CDE staff update the training documents to ensure alignment with processes and changes based on CDE corrective actions. Participating high schools that have CDE governance issues are considered for a review based on the approval of the CDE and WASC Commission.

Additional Information

For additional information, please visit WASC Accrediting Commission for Schools External link opens in new window or tab. .

Questions:   High School Innovations and Initiatives Office | 916-319-0983
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, April 04, 2023