Accreditation is the professional verification of the quality of a school’s educational program. Each Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is accredited jointly by two agencies: the Western Catholic Educational Association (WCEA) and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). WCEA and WASC accreditation is an ongoing, rigorous, data-driven process with high standards and expectations.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School is fully accredited by WCEA and WASC!
The Western Catholic Educational Association (WCEA) is a private educational accrediting agency established under the auspices of the Bishops of the Catholic (Arch)Dioceses of California. Each member diocese has an elementary school and high school WCEA commissioner. The commissioner assists the school community in the preparation of a self-study document using an approved protocol to examine specific aspects of school life and the extent at which they are met in this time in the school’s history such as the following:
- Catholic Identity (The school is measured by eight standards, including prayer life, sacramental life, service projects and the permeation of Catholic values in all aspects of school life.)
- Organization for Learning (how the school is governed and administrated)
- Curriculum and Instruction (what is learned and how it is taught)
- Support Services (academic, spiritual and personal growth)
- Resources (financial and human resources)
A visiting committee spends three days with the school community after reviewing the self-study document. During the three-day visit, the committee visits classrooms, investigates the written evidence of responses to the WCEA criteria, holds interviews with the members of the school community, and prepares a written report on its findings. The visiting committee also writes a recommendation of an accreditation status based on factors relative to the school community’s successes and growth needs. This report and recommendation is given to the WCEA commissioner. In May each year, the full WCEA commission reads the reports and recommendations and votes for an accreditation status for each school.
The Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACS WASC) is one of the six regional accrediting agencies in the United States. WASC serves more than 4,600 public, independent, church-related and proprietary pre-kindergarten through 12th and adult schools, works with 18 associations (including the WCEA) in joint accreditation processes, and collaborates with other organizations such as the California Department of Education (CDE). WASC helps schools identify and implement school improvement needs and supports accountability through a process that centers on three beliefs:
- A school’s goal is successful student learning.
- Each school has a clear purpose and schoolwide student goals.
- The school engages in external and internal evaluations as part of continued school improvement to support student learning.