NWCCU Core Values
|We aspire to promote excellence in outcomes for all.
|Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
|We believe there is strength in our differences and that opportunities to succeed are afforded every individual.
|We aspire to see all people supported to achieve equal economic, political, and social rights and opportunities.
|We pay attention to and value each individual’s perspective, voice, and opinion, being aware of individual (and institutional) needs.
|We work together to support internal and external stakeholders, ensuring that individuals feel supported.
|We work to ensure that integrity is the cornerstone of everything we do.
Achieving Our Vision
NWCCU will achieve its vision through the following goals:
- Set the standard for institutional accreditation, rooted in continuous improvement,
staff development, and organizational best practices and effectiveness.
- Action :
- Provide Staff professional development
- Provide Commissioner professional development
- Provide Peer Evaluator professional development
- Provide Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO) professional development
- Deliver educational programing that is in support of NWCCU Mission and Vision
- Develop policies, Standards, and operating procedures that promote institutional
continuous improvement in pursuit of student achievement and closing equity
- Demonstrate the value of accreditation to present and future members as a
mechanism for quality improvement, advancing student success, and closing equity
- Engage with institutions, faculty, staff, and students
- Engage with federal and state leaders, including governmental and non-governmental partners and other stakeholders
- Invigorate communications strategy and tactics
- Deliver educational programming that is in support of NWCCU’s Mission and Vision
- Facilitate effective institutional review processes
- Advance strategic partnerships with professional associations and institutions of higher
education in alignment with the mission, vision, and values of NWCCU.
- Engage with Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions(C-RAC), Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), United States Department of Education (USDE)
- Staff engagement with other national organizations, including Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE), American Council on Education (ACE), Association of American Colleges & Universities (AACU), National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS), and others.
The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities was founded in 1917 as a voluntary, nongovernmental organization for the improvement of educational institutions.
Originally known as the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Colleges and Universities, the Commission on Colleges and Universities separated from the Association of Secondary Schools in 2002. On May 7, 2003, the Commission was renamed the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Since 1952, the U.S. Department of Education has listed the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and its predecessors as a nationally recognized accrediting agency for institutions offering programs at the postsecondary level of at least one academic year in length. The Commission was re-recognized by USDE and CHEA in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
What is Institutional Accreditation?
The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality. Accrediting agencies develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether the criteria are met. Institutions that meet an agency’s criteria are then accredited.
What is the purpose of Institutional Accreditation?
While accreditation criteria and procedures of accrediting agencies differ across the United States, the principles underlying eligibility and levels of expectation are similar in their intent, which is to ensure:
- Educational quality, stability, and sustainability assessed by peer evaluators against standards, eligibility requirements, and policies
- Institutions and enrolled students qualify for Title IV federal funds to support teaching, research, and student financial aid
- Institutional reputation, including student transferability and employability
Specifically, accreditation is focused on:
Student achievement, learning, and success
- Quality assurance
- Continuous improvement
When granted, accreditation is not limited or partial. It applies to the entire institution in operation at the time of the most recent comprehensive evaluation. It indicates that the institution as a whole is substantially achieving its mission and that it meets the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities’ expectations for compliance with the accreditation criteria.