Dharma Realm Buddhist University Takes Important Step Toward Accreditation

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Dharma Realm Buddhist University, an innovative Buddhist-grounded institution located at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Talmage, California, has recently taken a major step toward accreditation.

The University has been awarded Candidacy for accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). WSCUC is a regional accrediting agency serving public and private higher education institutions in California, Hawaii, and the Pacific.

Dharma Realm Buddhist University offers two unique programs: a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree program in Liberal Arts, and a two-year Master of Arts degree program in Buddhist Classics. Both programs combine rigorous engagement with classic philosophical texts with an emphasis on students developing self knowledge. The peaceful rural campus is a unique setting for learning, with traditional classrooms, dorms, over 200 acres of open space, and an organic garden, all flourishing alongside an engaged monastic community.

When the team from WSCUC visited the campus in March, 2016 and met with the faculty and students, they were inspired by the depth and quality of the conversations as well as by the commitment of the community, according to DRBU President Susan Rounds.

In a letter following the visit, WSCUC commended DRBU “for its development and ongoing support of a community that is remarkably engaged in old and new ideas, consistently open to fresh perspectives, and creative in advancing the University’s mission on and off campus. The University’s connection to the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association’s monastery provides a rare and inspiring learning environment as well as collaborations and opportunities that enrich both organizations.”

WSCUC will be making a return visit in November, 2017, as part of the ongoing accreditation process.

President Rounds stated, “Achieving Candidacy is a critical milestone for us and we know that our students will benefit from the new and ongoing initiatives that DRBU has implemented through this accreditation process. We are honored that WSCUC specifically recognizes that the DRBU community demonstrates and practices an ‘ethic of care’ that is grounded in the University’s mission and values. WSCUC also observed that these values were ‘visible in all aspects of the student’s experience’ (classroom, student conferences, residential life, work-study program, student activities, and so on).”

The Commission action letter and team report has been made public on the WSCUC directory: https://www.wascsenior.org/institutions/dharma-realm-buddhist-university.

As the article indicates, “Candidacy” means that DRBU “has been recognized as a Candidate for Accreditation by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA, 94501, 510.748.9001. This status is a preliminary affiliation with the Commission awarded for a maximum period of five years. Candidacy is an indication that the institution is progressing toward Accreditation. Candidacy is not Accreditation and does not assure eventual Accreditation.”