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Regional accreditation of postsecondary institutions is a voluntary, non-governmental, self-regulatory process of quality assurance and institutional improvement. It recognizes higher education institutions for performance, integrity, and quality to merit the confidence of the educational community and the public. Accreditation or preaccreditation by a postsecondary regional accrediting agency qualifies institutions and enrolled students for access to federal funds to support teaching, research, and student financial aid.
The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) is an independent, non-profit membership organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the regional authority on educational quality and institutional effectiveness of higher education institutions in the seven-state Northwest region of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. It fulfills its mission by establishing accreditation criteria and evaluation procedures by which institutions are reviewed.
The Commission oversees regional accreditation for 162 institutions. Its decision-making body consists of up to twenty-six Commissioners who represent the public and the diversity of higher education institutions within the Northwest region.


Fall 2016 Reports without visits are due September 15, 2016.


The 2016 Annual Report is now available. Please Click Here for more information.


NWCCU Updates Page now lists updates to NWCCU forms and policies, as well as website changes.
Effective September 2, 2014, fees will be assessed for processing substantive change applications. Please see Substantive Change Fee Structure here.
In February 2014 the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (CRAC) agreed to implement a common framework and usage of terms to describe key actions regarding accredited and candidate institutions. The framework and terms document was adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities in June 2014 and is now posted to NWCCU's website. The framework and application of terms regarding Commission actions are not a significant departure from present practice, with one exception. To date, NWCCU's sanction of "Warning" has been a private (that is, not publicly disclosed) action. Effective September 1, 2014, a "Warning" will be a public sanction. Probation and Show Cause have been, and will continue to be, public sanctions.



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