Articles & Updates

NWCCU Membership Approves 2020 Eligibility Requirements and Standards for Accreditation

Aug. 22, 2019 ⋅ Categories: NWCCU, Policies, Standards, USDE

August 22, 2019 – Redmond, WA – The chief executive officers of 158 eligible member institutions were availed the opportunity to vote on adoption of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities’ 2020 Eligibility Requirements and Standards for Accreditation. Of the 134 who voted, 129 voted Yes to adopt the new ERs, and Standards, four voted No not to adopt, and one Abstained. The 2020 ERs and Standards will take effect on January 1, 2020.

“The revised Eligibility Requirements and Standards reflect the iterative and concerted efforts of thousands of our stakeholders, commissioners, and staff,” said Sonny Ramaswamy, president of NWCCU. “We look forward to instituting these new Eligibility Requirements and Standards to promote student success at our member institutions.”

NWCCU Staff will hold a series of online and in-person training sessions throughout fall 2020 to answer questions and provide resources. Additionally, the 2020 Handbook of Accreditation will provide explanations, models, templates, and rubrics to institutions and Evaluation Teams. All resources will be made available on the Tools and Resources pages on the NWCCU website (

“The Commission is pleased with the degree to which member institutions engaged in the intensive process of reviewing the Standards and Eligibility Requirements. We believe that the outcome will result in streamlined processes and a distinctive focus on student success,” said Thayne McCulloh, president of Gonzaga University and Chair of the Commission.

The NWCCU is grateful to the thousands of stakeholders who participated in the year-long process and who helped create a model for the Commission’s future work that places Student Success at the center of every conversation.

2020 NWCCU ERs and Standards