History of WaACRAO
By 1976, the term “Association” had been added to the group’s official title.
In 1992, in response to the addition of the technical colleges to the state’s community college system, the name was once again changed to the Washington Council of Registrars and Admissions Officers (WACRAO).
Perhaps as a result of the World Wide Web, and the increased ability to freely communicate, confusion developed over the WACRAO acronym. Constituents from across the nation incorrectly assumed the acronym belonged to Washington Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, a state subsidiary of AACRAO and PACRAO that most certainly included all higher education institutions within the state.
Examples of such state subsidiaries associated with PACRAO/AACRAO are:
- AzACRAO: Arizona
- BCRA: British Columbia
- CACCRAO: California
- OrACRAO: Oregon
- UACRAO: Utah
- WARUCC: Western Canada
Other admissions and registration groups that formed independently of WACRAO within Washington’s higher education system include:
- ICORA: Comprised of all Washington public baccalaureate institutions
- PROW: Comprised of Washington private baccalaureate institutions
And still other related Washington statewide groups, both formal and informal, include:
- Credentials Evaluator group
- AWISA: Association of Washington International Student Affairs
- A yearly Residency workshop group
In fall of 2002, the topic of a need to change the WACRAO acronym was introduced under the leadership of that year’s president. Discussion continued during both the winter and spring 2003 meetings. At the Spring 03 meeting, the group decided to officially vote on whether to pursue a new name and acronym. As a result, in the fall of 2003, the succeeding WACRAO president finalized the name change and bylaws amendment process.
In winter of 2004, WACRAO was officially changed to ARC, Admissions and Registration Council (ARC).
Over the next several academic years, ARC continued its discussions of partnering with its 4-year public and private constituents to create a true WACRAO organization. This possibility was presented to both constituents mentioned above and was consistently met with positive responses.
A grassroots steering committee was formed and came together on September 12, 2005 to discuss the possibility of a Washington ACRAO endeavor. Additional members were solicited to add balance and representation from each constituent group.
The suggestion for the WaACRAO acronym was to avoid confusion with Wisconsin’s version, which already bears the WACRAO acronym.This steering committee does not view WaACRAO as a policy/decision-making body, but rather as a means to share information, discuss common concerns and to collectively provide professional development opportunities that otherwise might not be available at individual institutions. It sees the following as common Washington statewide issues that would fit appropriately within a statewide association:
- Transfer Articulation (currently a legislative high priority)
- Systems (electronic transcripts, Clearinghouse, etc.)
- Professional Development
On May 3, 2006, the first official meeting of WaACRAO occurred at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, WA.