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Talk the talk, and WASC the walk: how OA is going beyond their WASC accreditation

As+Orcutt+Academy+HS+Prepares+for+their+latest+WASC+accreditation%2C+the+process+provides+more+benefits+than+some++people+may+think.
As Orcutt Academy HS Prepares for their latest WASC accreditation, the process provides more benefits than some  people may think.

As Orcutt Academy HS Prepares for their latest WASC accreditation, the process provides more benefits than some people may think.

Caden McCune

Caden McCune

As Orcutt Academy HS Prepares for their latest WASC accreditation, the process provides more benefits than some people may think.

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This year, OAHS’s WASC accreditation must be renewed in order for the school to continue to be recognized by colleges. However, when looking closer, one can observe that a WASC accreditation aids the school in more ways than merely college recognition it allows schools to receive an honest look at how they are performing. We dive into the WASC visitation and the feedback OA has taken.

WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) is an organization that reviews high schools in order to see that the students are getting the education necessary to move on to colleges. To be accredited means colleges can be confident that a high school has made their students ready to move on to a post-secondary path. Attending a WASC-approved school is an important detail to be accepted by most universities.  

Most major high schools in the United States are accredited every six years. For Orcutt Academy High School, this means they must be re-approved this year.

When talking to Orcutt Union School District’s Director of Charter Programs, Joe Dana, he talked about how the benefits of a WASC review far exceed just the accreditation as it forces the school to take an honest look at how they are running themselves. According to Dana, the school has been self-evaluating since 2016 in readiness for the re-accreditation.

When talking about how he feels the school is performing, Mr. Dana stated, “I think it’s a really outstanding college prep. high school… I think it really sets students up for success.” Dana added that he believes the school has become everything the district hoped for when they launched the charter program.

However, Mr. Dana did point out that there are some spots he believes OA can improve on. Dana sees an increase in help for students with anxiety and emotional challenges as a major necessity for the school going forward. It’s a bigger issue now than it was when the school was founded, according to Dana.

“We need to get in tune with some things we as a school can do.” 

Among other changes Dana wishes to see are improvements in career-readiness programs like job shadowing and internship opportunities during high school.

WASC will be visiting on Nov. 4-7, and Dana states that a large amount of  students will be asked questions about the school. Dana jokingly noted that surveyors will not be on campus  to play a game of “gotcha”, and students should not worry about being approached.

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About the Writer
Caden McCune, Reporter

I am excited to start my first year in journalism and learn more about the world of reporting news. For this year I hope to be able to learn how to become...

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Talk the talk, and WASC the walk: how OA is going beyond their WASC accreditation