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, 428 J Street, Suite 400, Sacramento, CA 95814 at  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, the college conducts a thorough self-evaluation of its activities and compliance with ACCJC Standards, producing a comprehensive report with extensive evidence and data. The report concludes with a Quality Focus Essay that identifies plans and projects for future improvement.

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 most recent process of reaffirming De Anza's accreditation began in 2016 and continued with the production of De Anza's Institutional Self-Evaluation Report  in 2017, culminating with an evaluation visit by a team from the ACCJC in October 2017. The ACCJC reaffirmed the college's accreditation in January 2018, with five commendations, three compliance requirements and two recommendations for improving institutional effectiveness. De Anza provided ACCJC with a Follow-Up Report in March 2018 and hosted commission representatives on a subsequent visit in April. The ACCJC announced in June 2018 that it had reaffirmed De Anza's accreditation for the full seven-year cycle.

The accreditation cycle continues: In September 2021, the college submitted a midterm report on progress at the halfway point between the last accreditation and the next. The ACCJC accepted the midterm report in January 2022. Beginning in fall 2022, the college will begin the process of drafting the next Institutional Self-Evaluation Report for submission in fall 2023. 

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 (Accreditation Standard I). Instructional programs, student support services, and library and learning support services facilitate the achievement of the institution’s stated student learning outcomes (Accreditation Standard II). Human, physical, technology, and financial resources enable these programs and services to function and improve (Accreditation Standard III). Ethical and effective leadership throughout the organization guides the accomplishment of the mission and supports institutional effectiveness and improvement (Accreditation Standard IV).

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