Cal Poly received a passing grade today from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accreditation committee.
The committee, led by former Washington State University president Samuel Smith, visited Cal Poly throughout week before presenting its findings and recommendations at a public meeting this morning. The committee gave a glowing review of Cal Poly, and also offered several suggestions for how the school could improve.
“Your commitment to having Cal Poly remain as an outstanding academic institution is superb,” Smith said at the meeting.
Among Cal Poly’s strengths, the WASC team listed the definition of a comprehensive polytechnic education, a dedication to student involvement in issues such as the Student Success Fee and the school’s continuing capital improvements, such as the Recreation Center and new science building.
The committee, however, cited Cal Poly’s lack of diversity as a problem, and encouraged administrators to focus more on increasing diversity and enriching students’ experiences at Cal Poly.
“Actively increase the diversity of students, the diversity of staff and the diversity of faculty,” Smith said in the presentation.
The WASC team is now compiling a full and detailed report on the visit to be reviewed by the WASC board and determine Cal Poly’s future as an accredited university, but those at the meeting left confident about the school’s future.
The report was strong overall and left Cal Poly staff and faculty feeling positive, said college of science and mathematics dean Philip Bailey. Years of work were put into building up Cal Poly for the review, and Bailey was pleased to hear that the school is on the right track, he said.
“When you’re going through something like this you want to put your best foot forward, but you also have doubts about what that best foot is,” Bailey said.