WASC Accreditation

Standard 2

Achieving Educational Objectives Through Core Functions

The institution achieves its purposes and attains its educational objectives at the institutional and program level through the core functions of teaching and learning, scholarship and creative activity, and support for student learning and success. The institution demonstrates that these core functions are performed effectively by evaluating valid and reliable evidence of learning and by supporting the success of every student.


 2.1.1 The institution’s educational programs are appropriate in content, standards of performance, rigor, and nomenclature for the degree level awarded, regardless of mode of delivery.

Chico State degree programs are outlined in our University Catalog. The authority for awarding degrees is granted to departments and programs by the Academic Senate. The Office of Undergraduate Education (UED) and the Educational Policies & Programs Committee (EPPC) of the Academic Senate provide additional oversight of undergraduate programs. The Office of Graduate Studies (GRAD), our Graduate Council, and the Educational Policies & Programs Committee (EPPC) of the Academic Senate provide additional oversight of graduate programs.

2.1.2 The institution’s educational programs are staffed by sufficient numbers of faculty qualified for the type and level of curriculum offered.

Campus authentication required:

2.2.1 All degrees—undergraduate and graduate—awarded by the institution are clearly defined in terms of entry-level requirements and levels of student achievement necessary for graduation that represent more than simply an accumulation of courses or credits. 

2.2.2 The institution has both a coherent philosophy, expressive of its mission, which guides the meaning of its degrees and processes that ensure the quality and integrity of its degrees.

2.2a.1 Baccalaureate programs engage students in an integrated course of study of sufficient breadth and depth to prepare them for work, citizenship, and life-long learning.

In addition to department- and college-level curriculum oversight committees, the Office of Undergraduate Education (UED) and the Educational Policies & Programs Committee (EPPC) of the Academic Senate is charged with additional oversight of undergraduate programs. Our Curriculum Advisory Board (CAB) is charged with oversight of our General Education (GE) program.

2.2a.2 Baccalaureate programs ensure the development of core competencies including, but not limited to, written and oral communication, quantitative reasoning, information literacy, and critical thinking.

2.2a.3 In addition to development of core competencies, baccalaureate programs actively foster creativity, innovation, an appreciation for diversity, ethical and civic responsibility, civic engagement, and the ability to work with others.

2.2a.4 Baccalaureate programs also ensure breadth for all students in cultural and aesthetic, social and political, and scientific and technical knowledge expected of educated persons.

2.2a.5 Undergraduate degrees include significant in-depth study in a given area of knowledge (typically described in terms of a program or major).

2.2b.1 The institution’s graduate programs establish clearly stated objectives differentiated from and more advanced than undergraduate programs in terms of admissions, curricula, standards of performance, and student learning outcomes. Ordinarily, a baccalaureate degree is required for admission to a graduate program.

In addition to department- and college-level curriculum oversight committees, the Office of Graduate Studies (GRAD), our Council of Graduate Coordinators (CGC), and the Educational Policies & Programs Committee (EPPC) of the Academic Senate is charged with additional oversight of graduate programs.

2.2b.2 Graduate programs foster students’ active engagement with the literature of the field and create a culture that promotes the importance of scholarship and/or professional practice.

2.3.1 The institution’s student learning outcomes and standards of performance are clearly stated at the course, program, and, as appropriate, institutional level.

Policies governing admission to Chico State as an undergraduate or graduate student are available on our website. Degree requirements and the goals for all academic programs are provided in our University Catalog. These are also repeated on department and program websites.

2.3.2 The institution’s student learning outcomes and standards of performance are reflected in academic programs, policies, and curricula, and are aligned with advisement, library, and information and technology resources, and the wider learning environment. 

2.4.1 The institution’s student learning outcomes and standards of performance are developed by faculty and widely shared among faculty, students, staff, and (where appropriate) external stakeholders.

2.4.2 The institution’s faculty take collective responsibility for establishing appropriate standards of performance and demonstrating through assessment the achievement of these standards. 

2.5 The institution’s academic programs actively involve students in learning, take into account students’ prior knowledge of the subject matter, challenge students to meet high standards of performance, offer opportunities for them to practice, generalize, and apply what they have learned, and provide them with appropriate and ongoing feedback about their performance and how it can be improved.

2.6.1 The institution demonstrates that its graduates consistently achieve its stated learning outcomes and established standards of performance.

2.6.2 The institution ensures that its expectations for student learning are embedded in the standards that faculty use to evaluate student work. 

2.7.1 All programs offered by the institution are subject to systematic program review.

2.7.2 The program review process includes, but is not limited to, analyses of student achievement of the program’s learning outcomes; retention and graduation rates; and, where appropriate, results of licensing examination and placement, and evidence from external constituencies such as employers and professional organizations.

Campus authentication required:


2.8.2 The institution actively values and promotes scholarship, creative activity, and curricular and instructional innovation, and their dissemination appropriate to the institution’s purposes and character. 

2.9 The institution recognizes and promotes appropriate linkages among scholarship, teaching, assessment, student learning, and service. 

Chico State outlines its criteria for tenure and promotion among the faculty in its Faculty Personnel Policies and Procedures (FPPP) (PDF). Policies and guidelines relating specifically to tenure require that the review (FPPP 10.4.4.b) be "particularly rigorous in each of the three evaluation areas":

  1. instruction;
  2. professional growth and achievement; and
  3. other contributions to the university and community (service).

Policies and guidelines relating specifically to promotion to the ranks of Associate Professor and full Professor (FPPP 10.4.5.e) require that "candidates have demonstrated both achievement and potential for growth in each of the areas of evaluation." In addition, "candidates for promotion to Professor must also clearly demonstrate substantial professional recognition at and/or beyond the University itself." The Academic Senate recognizes outstanding faculty through the annual Outstanding Faculty Awards.

A number of opportunities are available for students to obtain funds to support their own scholarship, research, and creative activities. Among these programs are Instructionally-Related Activities (IRA), Student Research CompetitionStudent Awards for Research and Creativity, and others.


2.10.1 The institution demonstrates that students make timely progress toward the completion of their degrees and that an acceptable proportion of students complete their degrees in a timely fashion, given the institution’s mission, the nature of the students it serves, and the kinds of programs it offers.

Chico State regularly surveys its students. There are surveys given to frosh (e.g. CIRP The Freshman Survey), seniors and all enrolled students (e.g. NSSE), as well as to graduating students (e.g. Spring Graduates Survey). These surveys provide deans and administrative staff information about student needs and experiences.

2.10.2 The institution collects and analyzes student data, disaggregated by appropriate demographic categories and areas of study.

2.10.3 The institution tracks achievement, satisfaction, and the extent to which the campus climate supports student success.

2.10.4 The institution regularly identifies the characteristics of its students; assesses their preparation, needs, and experiences; and uses these data to improve student achievement.

2.11.1 Consistent with its purposes, the institution offers co-curricular programs that are aligned with its academic goals, integrated with academic programs, and designed to support all students’ personal and professional development.

Chico has a large number of student groups (see Student Organizations and Leadership Education, S.O.L.E.). Our Student Life and Leadership office and Cross-Cultural Leadership Center (CCLC) support our students' development as inclusive and respectful citizens. A number of university awards recognize outstanding students for their various accomplishments and contributions.

2.11.2 The institution assesses the effectiveness of its co-curricular programs and uses the results for improvement. 

2.12 The institution ensures that all students understand the requirements of their academic programs and receive timely, useful, and complete information and advising about relevant academic requirements. 

Degree programs are described in detail in the University Catalog and department/program websites. The Academic Advising office provides extensive advising to students. Graduate students typically receive advice through their academic departments.

2.13 The institution provides academic and other student support services such as tutoring, services for students with disabilities, financial aid counseling, career counseling and placement, residential life, athletics, and other services and programs as appropriate, which meet the needs of the specific types of students that the institution serves and the programs it offers. 

The Financial Aid and Scholarship Office provides financial aid counseling to students. Student Financial Services is responsible for the collection of student payments for tuition and fees, preparation of disbursements/refunds of financial aid credits, and distribution of student short-term loans. The Meriam Library system provides academic resources as well as flexible learning spaces for campus use. The offices of Undergraduate Education and Graduate Studies also provide a variety of academic services to students.

Counseling and health services are available through the Student Health Center. Career counseling is available through the Career Center and department/program offices.

2.14 Institutions that serve transfer students provide clear, accurate, and timely information, ensure equitable treatment under academic policies, provide such students access to student services, and ensure that they are not unduly disadvantaged by the transfer process. 

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