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How to Become a Peer Evaluator

Peer-review by expert evaluators is the cornerstone of the regional accreditation system. Each year NWCCU trains a cohort of new evaluators offering expertise in a variety of areas.

Nominations to become a peer evaluator may be sent to the Commission office at any time of year; however, NWCCU specifically communicates with institutions once a year, often in the spring, requesting evaluator nominations from the president and accreditation liaison officer of each institution.

Nominations should include a name, title, institution name, email address, and phone number then emailed to Mellissa Thoreson (

When an Evaluator Training Workshop has been scheduled, the Commission office sends an email notification to all nominees, asking them to indicate their interest in serving as a peer evaluator by completing an online information form. This form provides the Commission information about a nominee’s areas of expertise and professional history, which aids Commission staff in matching potential evaluators to areas of need.

From the pool of evaluator nominees, the Commission then selects participants in the Evaluator Training Workshop. Workshop attendance is limited, and selection is based on several factors, but most often includes areas of Commission need for upcoming evaluation visits.

Selected participants are notified and invited by email to register for the scheduled Evaluator Training Workshop. NWCCU covers attendance at the Workshop and all evaluation-related expenses for peer evaluators.

If a nominee was not selected for the scheduled Evaluator Training Workshop, their name remains on the list of Potential Peer Evaluators. This list is reviewed each year, and nominees are notified of subsequent training opportunities.

NWCCU looks for candidates with expertise in areas such as:

  • Institutional Finance
  • Library and Information Resources
  • Student Support
  • Academics
  • Assessment
  • Strategic Planning Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

If you have additional questions regarding peer evaluation with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, please contact the Commission office at (425) 558-4224 or email Mellissa Thoreson, Director of Institutional Evaluation and Planning at

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