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Privacy Policy

Last updated: June 25, 2024


The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), located at 8060 165th Avenue NE, Suite 200, Redmond, WA 98052, is a Washington State nonprofit corporation, recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization by the Internal Revenue Service. NWCCU’s website is a source of news, information, and policies and procedures related to accreditation of post-secondary institutions. NWCCU is committed to maintaining trust by protecting personal data and, to the extent possible, ensuring that personal data is secure.

This Privacy Policy describes how NWCCU collects, uses, shares and protects personal data for operations, communications (including HLC’s website), meetings and events. It also describes the choices available to individuals regarding the use of their personal data. Please read this Policy carefully to understand.

Individuals with questions about this Privacy Policy, or a complaint about how NWCCU has handled a request under this Policy, can contact us at by email at or by mail at 8060 165th Avenue NE, Suite 200, Redmond, WA 98052.

Personal Data Definition

Personally identifiable information may include, but is not limited to, an individual’s name, address, email address, phone number, credit card number, birthdate and unique government-issued identification number, or indirect identifiers such as location data or IP address, metadata, and device type. This list of data elements is not exhaustive.

How NWCCU Collects and Uses Personal Data

NWCCU collects and uses personal data to ensure it provides individual users with information about news, services, community collaboration and professional learning opportunities that advance higher education. The information NWCCU holds enable its staff members to engage in basic communication with individuals, helps enhance individual experiences with NWCCU, including on our website, and identifies improvement opportunities for NWCCU’s operations, communications, meetings and events.

NWCCU sometimes contracts with service provides (such as event contractors and registration systems) to collect and use personal data. Some examples how we collect and use data are:

  • When an individual user engages with NWCCU by creating a profile, NWCCU collects personal data about the individual, including (but not limited to) name, title, company name, work/home address, email address, phone number and demographics such as number of years in higher education, affiliations and professional interests. NWCCU asks individual users to voluntarily provide additional information related to curriculum vitae/resume, gender, ethnicity and other demographics, which is used to help NWCCU better understand and better advance the diversity of NWCCU’s community.
  • NWCCU processes personal data to communicate about NWCCU-related events, content and other opportunities related to accreditation and NWCCU services. NWCCU may also use this information to understand member needs and interests to better tailor programs and services.
  • NWCCU may use personal data to personalize user experience through recommendations on the website or in email, apps or other service platforms to provide users more relevant information.
  • NWCCU may use personal data to reply to communications users send to NWCCU.
  • NWCCU may use basic personal data from user profiles to automatically fill out forms with personal data for ease of use.
  • NWCCU may use personal data to communicate essential information about transactions, such as an electronic receipt for a purchase or a confirmation of a conference registration, or to reimburse when necessary.
  • NWCCU may inform individuals about NWCCU events, programs and services of potential interest, unless individual users have opted out of such communications.
  • NWCCU retains information about transactional history and engagements, such as participation in events, webinars, volunteering, and presenting at conferences to understand program and service use.
  • NWCCU produces various publications, reports and educational materials, which are linked on the website. Much of the content is open access; however, some material requires a login for access. NWCCU uses login information to track how often individual users gain access to or read the content.
  • NWCCU hosts many professional learning events throughout the year. These include in-person conferences like NWCCU’s annual conference, as well as live online trainings. If registered for one of NWCCU’s events, a web profile is required, and NWCCU will access this data to provide the individual user with information and services associated with the event. In addition, during the registration process, NWCCU collects voluntarily shared personal data regarding accessibility and dietary requests.
  • NWCCU will collect information about speakers at NWCCU’s events including name, organization, and contact information. NWCCU may also collect information provided by event attendees who evaluated a speaker’s presentation and associate it with the speaker’s record in a database. In certain instances, and with the speaker’s approval, NWCCU will make and store a recording of the presentation.
  • NWCCU may share basic registration information, including name, title and institution name of a participant at particular events (e.g., webinar or preconference workshop) with the designated presenter(s) for the purpose of planning for the event and tailoring the presentation to the group.
  • NWCCU keeps a record of attendee and presenter participation at NWCCU events, which may be used by NWCCU to provide attendees and presenters with information about other relevant NWCCU services, or to understand individuals’ interests and tailor offerings to meet their needs.
  • Some of NWCCU’s events are sponsored. As a matter of practice, NWCCU does not share attendee names, email addresses and postal mail addresses with corporate participants at NWCCU conferences without the attendee’s consent.
  • As is common practice on most websites, NWCCU collects certain information automatically on NWCCU’s website and stores it in log files. This information is erased after 26 months as noted in Google Analytics policies. As individual users interact on NWCCU’s website, NWCCU may collect information about the user’s computer or device, and his or her visits to NWCCU’s website (“automatically collected data”) through cookies, Internet Protocol (IP) address tracking/URL tracking and other tools (collectively referred to as “tracking technologies”). Cookies are text files placed on a user’s computer to collect standard internet log information and visitor behavior information (for further information and instructions on how to set your browser not to accept cookies, visit The types of automatically collected data on NWCCU’s website through the use of these and other tools include: new or returning user information, browser information, computer or device type, operating system, internet service provider, website usage, referring/exit pages, platform type, date/time stamp. NWCCU may use information about an IP address to help diagnose problems with NWCCU’s server, analyze trends, track visitor engagements, and gather information that assists NWCCU in identifying visitor preferences. NWCCU also may use an IP address to enhance security and investigate an actual or potential security incident.
  • Incoming correspondence to NWCCU whether transmitted by email, the postal service, or otherwise may be retained and used to respond to an inquiry; to notify an individual of NWCCU conferences, publications, or other services; or to keep a record of a complaint, accommodation request, and the like.
  • NWCCU reserves the right to use the personal data that it collects to identify the source of any inappropriate use of information resources managed by NWCCU, including, but not limited to, offensive or illegal postings to online discussion lists, collaboration sites and other communication vehicles; denial-of-service actions; unauthorized use of online services and network infrastructure; misuse or unauthorized use of the NWCCU name, logo or other representations of NWCCU; and to protect the personal safety and privacy of NWCCU employees and service providers, members, online users and the public under the policies and practices described in this Privacy Policy.
  • When NWCCU goods or services are purchased using a credit or debit card, or institutional dues and fees owed to NWCCU are paid using a credit or debit card, the information is provided directly by individual users into a PCI/DSS-compliant payment processing service. Neither NWCCU nor its websites process or store card information.

Retention of Personal Data

NWCCU will retain Personal Data only for as long as is necessary for the purposes set out in this Privacy Policy. We will retain and use Personal Data to the extent necessary to comply with our legal obligations (for example, if we are required to retain your data to comply with applicable laws), resolve disputes, and enforce our legal agreements and policies.

The Company will also retain Usage Data for internal analysis purposes. Usage Data is generally retained for a shorter period of time, except when this data is used to strengthen the security or to improve the functionality of Our Service, or We are legally obligated to retain this data for longer time periods.

Sharing Your Personal Data

NWCCU does not share information about you with third parties, except when required by law to do so. No mobile information will be shared with third parties/affiliates for marketing/promotional purposes. All other categories exclude text messaging originator opt-in data and consent; this information will not be shared with any third parties.

Delete Your Personal Data

Individuals have the right to delete or request that NWCCU assist in deleting the Personal Data that has collected.

Individuals may update, amend, or delete information at any time by signing in to your account, if you have one, and visiting the account settings section that allows you to manage personal information. Individuals may also contact NWCCU to request access to, correct, or delete any personal information that has provided to NWCCU.

Please note, however, that NWCCU may need to retain certain information when we have a legal obligation or lawful basis to do so.

Security of Your Personal Data

The security of Personal Data is important to NWCCU, but remember that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage is 100% secure. While We strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect Personal Data, NWCCU cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Children’s Privacy

NWCCU does not address anyone under the age of 13. We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 13. If NWCCU becomes aware that it has collected Personal Data from anyone under the age of 13 without verification of parental consent, NWCCU will take steps to remove that information from servers.

Links to Other Websites

NWCCU’s services may contain links to other websites that are not operated by NWCCU. Clicking on a third party link, will direct an individual to that third party’s site. We strongly advise individuals to review the Privacy Policy of every visited site.

We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies or practices of any third party sites or services.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We may update this Privacy Policy from time to time. NWCCU reserves the right to amend the Privacy Policy at any time, for any reason, without prior notice, other than the posting of the amended Privacy Policy at this site. The date the Privacy Policy was last revised is listed at the top of this page.

You are advised to review this Privacy Policy periodically for any changes. Changes to this Privacy Policy are effective when they are posted on this page.