About the Accreditation Process

Colleges are granted accreditation when they meet or surpass stated standards of educational quality. De Anza College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, 415.506.0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.

Accreditation is important because it certifies to the public, students and our employees that De Anza is fulfilling its mission and goals to maintain the best practices in higher education, recognized at local, state and national levels. It certifies that De Anza has:

  • Appropriate purposes
  • Resources to accomplish its purposes
  • Evidence to support its stated accomplishments
  • Given assurance that it will continue to accomplish its purposes

The primary purpose of an ACCJC-accredited institution is to foster learning in its students. An effective institution ensures that its resources and processes support student learning, continuously assesses that learning, and pursues institutional excellence and improvement. An effective institution maintains an ongoing, self- reflective dialogue about its quality and improvement.

During the process of accreditation, De Anza conducts a Self-Study. The last Self-Study was completed in 2011. Teams comprised of faculty, staff, administrators and students ask questions such as:

  • Are students learning?
  • How do we know students are learning?
  • Are we doing what we say we are doing?
  • How well are we doing it?
  • What evidence supports our claims?

With honesty, energy and commitment from all the self-study teams, we collect information on the changes that have occurred on our campus, document how well we have met our goals, determine where we need to improve, and prepare ourselves for the future.

The self-study is just one of the elements for accreditation. De Anza also publishes an official report on this self-evaluation, hosts onsite visits from a commission evaluation team, and receives recommendations for action.

An institution-wide dialogue must be at the heart of the self-evaluation process for the college community to gain a comprehensive perspective of the institution. Although the standards are presented in four parts, they work together to facilitate this dialogue on the institution’s effectiveness and on ways in which it may improve. The self study provides the Commission with the institution’s assessment of itself as a whole.

The institutional mission provides the impetus for achieving student learning and other goals that the institution endeavors to accomplish. The institution provides the means for students to learn, assesses how well learning is occurring, and strives to improve that learning through ongoing, systematic, and integrated planning (Standard I). Instructional programs, student support services, and library and learning support services facilitate the achievement of the institution’s stated student learning outcomes (Standard II). Human, physical, technology, and financial resources enable these programs and services to function and improve (Standard III). Ethical and effective leadership throughout the organization guides the accomplishment of the mission and supports institutional effectiveness and improvement (Standard IV).

Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Western Association of Schools and Colleges
Approved, June 2014

Accreditation Standards, downloadable PDF version
For comments, suggestions or contributions contact:

Accreditation Liaison Officer: Mallory Newell

Accreditation Liaison
Mallory Newell
Phone: 408.864.8777


Last Updated: 9/30/15