Accreditation Frequently Asked Questions

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Q:   What is accreditation?

A:  Accreditation is the process for evaluating and assuring the quality of education used by the higher educational community. Community colleges, like COS, go through the accreditation process every six years by Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) which operates under, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The process focuses on self-evaluation, peer review, and quality improvement.

Q:  Why is being accredited important?

A:  Accreditation allows all coursework by College of the Sequoias students to be transferable to other accredited institutions. In addition, accreditation means Financial Aid is available.

Q: What is the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges?

A:  ACCJC operates under the corporate entity the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and is one of seven regional accrediting commissions. ACCJC accredits associate degree-granting institutions in the Western region of the United States — California, Hawaii and a few other locations. The accrediting organization is authorized to operate by the U.S. Department of Education through the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. For more on the ACCJC, visit

Q: What is an accreditation sanction?

A:  Institutions are either affirmed or placed on sanction, which has four levels: warning, probation, show cause and termination of accreditation. A sanction signals that there are institutional issues that need to be addressed. While on sanction, a college’s accreditation continues as the institution works to resolve the deficiencies. 

Q: Where can I get more information?

A: The College has created an accreditation web page, which is regularly updated:

Last Updated: 6/21/2018 2:22 PM