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V6I1: Student Centered, Data Informed


Ed Harri, Senior Vice President, NWCCU

At NWCCU, our focus is on Standards for Accreditation that support continuous improvement at member institutions through the use of data-informed approaches, including the institution’s use of student achievement data to assess their own progress.

While many institutions are national leaders in using data for strategizing and improving student achievement outcomes, this is an area with significant room for growth for both NWCCU and member institutions. Currently 47 institutions have a total of 63 Recommendations on at least one of the two Standards most closely aligned with this work, 1.D.2 and 1.D.3.

Enhancing our own use of institutional data and supporting institutions in their work is a primary area of emphasis for the Commission over the next year. At the federal level, there is a clear expectation of accreditors to carefully examine institutional progress on student achievement outcomes using data-informed approaches. We will use the Standards as a mechanism for this review and make considerable efforts to support institutions in meeting the same and implementing strategies that contribute to student access, belonging, and success.

To support institutions in these efforts, you can expect to see a variety of approaches from NWCCU over the next year. This will include articles on demystifying these Standards in The Beacon, development of publicly available guidance documents, and training for Accreditation Liaison Officers, peer evaluation teams, and Commissioners. We also plan to share best practices with and from our member institutions. We will take on these efforts for students, for institutions, and in support of our own mission to foster continuous improvement.

If you have questions about your own institution’s progress or have exemplars to share, please reach out to your NWCCU staff liaison.


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