Accreditation/Quality Improvement

WCTC is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) through the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP)

WCTC has been an accredited higher education institution since 1979-80. A comprehensive evaluation was completed in 2010-2011 resulting in reaffirmation accreditation through 2017-2018. The next comprehensive evaluation is scheduled for September, 2017.

As part of that comprehensive visit, the public is invited to offer comments:

What is Accreditation?

Accreditation means that WCTC has demonstrated evidence of meeting the Criteria for Accreditation which are the standards of quality by which the Commission determines whether an institution merits accreditation or reaffirmation of accreditation. View a full description of these criteria and their core components.

They fall into the following Categories:

Criterion One. Mission:

The institution's mission is clear and articulated publicly; it guides the institution's operations.

Criterion Two. Integrity:

Ethical and Responsible Conduct: The institution acts with integrity; its conduct is ethical and responsible.

Criterion Three. Teaching and Learning:

Quality, Resources, and Support: The institution provides high quality education, wherever and however its offerings are delivered.

Criterion Four. Teaching and Learning:

Evaluation and Improvement: The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs, learning environments, and support services, and it evaluates their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement.

Criterion Five. Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness:

The institution's resources, structures, and processes are sufficient to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its educational offerings, and respond to future challenges and opportunities. The institution plans for the future.

What is the AQIP Pathway to Accreditation?

The AQIP Pathway is one of three options institutions have for maintaining accreditation with HLC. Like the other pathways, it is focused on quality assurance and institutional improvement, but with an added emphasis on helping institutions achieve continuous quality improvement. The AQIP Pathway follows an eight-year cycle. View complete information about the pathway.

In year's 3 and 7, institutions compete a systems portfolio demonstrating that the Criteria for Accreditation are met through processes, results, and improvements in six AQIP Categories: Helping Students Learn, Meeting Student and Other Stakeholder Needs, Valuing Employees, Planning and Leading, Knowledge Management and Resource Stewardship, and Quality Overview.

View the 2016 (current) system portfolio

View the 2011 System Portfolio

Does the Higher Learning Commission also provide Program Accreditation?

The HLC does not provide program accreditation. Many programs at WCTC receive independent accreditations that apply specific standards for curricula and course content for those students preparing to practice a specific profession as detailed below.

Program Accreditations

  • Culinary Management is accredited by the American Culinary Federation Accrediting Commission and assures graduates that the curriculum has been guided by the American Culinary Federation.
  • Associate Degree Nursing and Practical Nursing are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and assures graduates that WCTC meets their stringent standards and criteria for health professionals in nursing.
  • The Dental Hygienist program is accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation.
  • The Medical Assistant program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) on the recommendation of the Committee of Accreditation for Medical Assistant Education.
  • The Surgical Technical program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) on the recommendation of the Committee of Accreditation for Surgical Technology Education
  • The Physical Therapy Assistant program, a partnership program with Blackhawk Technical College, is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education.
  • The Radiography program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiology.
  • The Health Information Technology program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM).
  • The Paramedic Technician program is accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the EMS Professions (CoAEMSP).
  • The Electrical Engineering Technology program is accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission (ETAC) of ABET Inc.

In addition to specific program accreditation, several of WCTC's other occupational programs have received external approval from various governmental and non-governmental agencies as well as consistent support and recognition from the instructional program advisory committees.

  • National Institute for Automotive Service Education (ASE)
  • Dynamics is certified by the Department of Transportation (DOT) as an authorized site
  • National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF)
  • Motorcycle class graduates certified by Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • American Heart Association (AHA) approves CPR, ACLS, PALS and HeartSaver portions of all programs
  • Central Service Program approved by International Association of Hospital Central Service Management (IAHCSM)
  • Emergency Medical Technician courses/programs and Nursing Assistant approved by WI Department of Health Services (DHS)
  • The Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) approves “comprehensive programs” in the State of Wisconsin to Substance Abuse Disorder training. WCTC is a DSPS approved comprehensive program for Substance Abuse Disorder/AODA training in Wisconsin.
  • Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement Academy graduates certified by the Training and Standards Bureau (DOJ)
  • Various Firefighting courses are certified through the WTCE (which are subsequently accredited by the by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC)).
  • Fire Protection AAS program is recognized as a FESHE-approved/compliant program by the National Fire Academy’s Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education program.
  • Wisconsin Board of Nursing
  • Wisconsin Technical College System