Accreditation Reaffirmation

AUA Accreditation Reaffirmation Community Update

2 min read

YEREVAN, Armenia On December 15, members of the American University of Armenia (AUA) task force on accreditation provided a campus-wide update on the status of AUA’s reaffirmation of accreditation. 

Interim President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian opened the forum by reaffirming AUA’s strong commitment to pursue excellence through continuous improvement, the very foundation of accreditation. Dr. Der Kiureghian emphasized that AUA’s accreditation status is a sign of quality to prospective students, students, parents, industry, faculty, and staff, calling on the AUA community to actively participate in the reassessment of the University’s strengths and identifying areas requiring attention.  

AUA is currently undergoing its second reaffirmation of U.S. accreditation.  The University initiated the accreditation process in 1998 and was granted Candidate status by the WASC Senior College & University Commission (WSCUC) in 2002.  WSCUC is one of seven regional accreditation agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. AUA reached a milestone when accreditation was granted effective August 2006.  In March 2015, WSCUC reaffirmed AUA’s accreditation for nine years, through February 2024. 

Accreditation Liaison Officer and Dean of General Education Dr. Sharistan Melkonian provided an overview of the reaffirmation process. Through the efforts of several faculty-led working groups, AUA is currently engaged in a thorough self-study addressing two main areas of exploration: the integrity of AUA’s undergraduate degree and the effectiveness of AUA’s process to review its academic programs.   

Dr. Aram Hajian, dean of the College of Science & Engineering, updated the community on progress made reviewing the integrity of the undergraduate degree. He explained that a broad working group of faculty is engaged in discussions on campus and data collection to help AUA develop a working definition for “integrity” and “quality” and to measure the relevance of programs.  

Dr. Melkonian provided an update on the work of another group of faculty engaged in exploring if AUA’s processes of internal review help improve student learning. She explained the Academic Program Review process, why it was important, and the questions that the working group was trying to answer: are we collecting the right data? How are data and findings being used? How can this process be improved?  

Additionally, as part of AUA’s self-study, Assistant Vice President Anahit Ordyan gave an update on the various surveys, focus group discussions, and interviews conducted to gain a better understanding of the University’s efforts to define and measure diversity, equity, and inclusion.  

When asked about the importance of this accreditation reaffirmation process, Dr. Brent Anders, director of the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment and a member of the accreditation task force, explained: “This is vital to our University, in that the reaffirmation process helps AUA identify different issues or areas where we can improve and ensures high levels of quality. It is a helpful developmental process that requires everyone’s awareness and participation and will lead to overall improvement.”

Dr. Melkonian ended the session by announcing that the self-study is on track for completion this summer, followed by a site visit from WSCUC in the fall. She welcomed contributions from students, faculty, and staff who would like to participate in the process. She stated that there would be multiple campus-wide in-person updates and feedback sessions in the coming months. 

The reaffirmation of accreditation timeline: 

  • Self-study conducted, Summer 2022Spring 2023
  • Self-study draft report shared with AUA community, late Spring 2023
  • Finalized self-study report submitted to WSCUC, Summer 2023
  • WSCUC site visit to AUA, October 2023  
  • WSCUC site visit team report, December 2023
  • WSCUC commission action, February 2024

Additional information about AUA and its American accreditation can be found at