USC is committed to effectiveness and appropriate transparency at all levels, including graduate and undergraduate programs, student services, research centers, promotions and tenure, clinical outcomes, patient care, and administrative offices. This means establishing clear purposes and learning objectives at degree and program levels, providing evidence of student success, developing varied ways to assess student learning, and maintaining robust systems of quality assurance based on periodic peer review.
A principal means by which accountability is demonstrated in American higher education is through regional accreditation. USC has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) since March 6, 1949. WASC is one of six regional accrediting organizations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Accreditation through WASC indicates that USC meets the highest standards of academic quality, institutional capacity, and educational effectiveness.