Ashford University has been denied initial accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
The university currently holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges, which accredits institutions across 19 institutions including Iowa, where the official Ashford campus is located.
The university had also applied for the initial accreditation from the WASC as they had migrated some of the school's activities and online programs to San Diego. It is owned by Bridgepoint Education, which is based in San Diego, California and also runs online programs from their San Diego campus. As WASC accredits school's California, it is necessary for Ashford to get its school get accreditation from WASC.
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The WASC accrediting commission denied the accreditation to the university following failure to ensure educational objectives including academic support and infrastructure, and developing an organizational structure mainly for those 100,000 students who have enrolled online on various programs.
"There is a lot to be done," Quad-City Times quoted Wolff as saying. "The university will need to take a very significant and a very immediate effort in each of these areas to demonstrate more than progress, but that they've come into compliance with our standards," he said.
The university announced that they have asked the WASC executive staff for a review and also planning to re-apply for the initial accreditation. They have requested for another site visit during spring 2013.
Ashford maintains its Clinton campus in Iowa State, while their online programs are based out in San Diego. According to Quad-City Times, as many as 973 students have enrolled in the courses provided at the Clinton campus, while more than 70,000 students have enrolled online in their programs in San Diego division.
The university, which was first established in 1918, has already been warned about its recruitment process which follows telemarketing methods to recruit students.
It's accreditation from WASC will be through 2014-2015. But the university has been given deadline till December 1 to show their "substantial presence" which means that they need show they have substantial operations in the any of the states that come under the WASC accrediting process.