Each Member arch/diocese has one or two WCEA Commissioners assigned to serve the elementary and secondary schools of their arch/diocese. A list of the WCEA Commissioners can be found here: Commissioner List by Diocese or by Name. It is the responsibility of each Commissioner to assist the school communities in the preparation of a self-study document using an approved Protocol:
- Improving Student Learning (ISL 2012) for Catholic elementary schools
- Ensuring Educational Excellence (E3) for Catholic high schools.
These Protocols are criteria-based and lead the school to do a comprehensive examination of data/evidence related to the areas of:
- Catholic Identity
- Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
- Support Services
- Resources (Enrollment, Finance, Development)
Once the school has reflected on its data and determined its strengths and areas of growth related to the criteria, the most important phase of the process begins: the development of a schoolwide Action Plan. This Action Plan will serve as the guide for the school as it moves forward with the school improvement process. A guiding principle of WCEA accreditation is that schools are committed to continuous school improvement focused on high achievement for all students.
The school community then prepares for a visit by a Visiting Committee composed of educators who are trained evaluators from other schools with educational expertise.
A Visiting Committee spends two to four days with the school community after review of the Self Study document. During the visit, the Committee visits classrooms, investigates the written evidence of responses to the WCEA criteria, holds interviews with the members of the school community, and prepares a written report on its findings. The Visiting Committee also writes a recommendation of an Accreditation Status based upon factors relative to the school community’s successes and growth needs. This report and recommendation is sent to the WCEA Commission. In May of each year, the full WCEA Commission reads the reports and recommendations and votes for an Accreditation Status for each school.