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Office of the Provost Accreditation

Accreditation FAQ

Accreditation FAQ

The accreditation team at Washington State University established the list of frequently asked questions below to address topics of discussion in association with the University’s accreditation review. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities sent representatives to WSU April 9-11, 2018, for an on-site evaluation. To ask additional questions about accreditation or related topics, please email to

Understanding institutional accreditation:

How does WSU demonstrate that it is fulfilling its mission?

How can faculty, staff, and students from all campuses participate in NWCCU’s on-site review?

How is the evaluation committee chosen?

Are there different levels of recommendations?

Recent history of accreditation reviews for WSU:

How has WSU responded to NWCCU recommendations over the current 7-year review cycle?

How has WSU responded to NWCCU Recommendation 1 from 2009: Provide a contemporary enterprise management system?

How has WSU responded to NWCCU Recommendation 2 from 2009: Enhance and strengthen assessment of student learning?

How has WSU’s responded to NWCCU Recommendation 3 from 2009: Improve effective communication about planning and decision making?

How has WSU’s responded to NWCCU Recommendation 1 from 2011: Focus objectives, outcomes and indicators on resource and capacity decisions?

How has WSU responded to NWCCU’s Recommendation 2 from 2011, reiterated by evaluators in 2013: Incorporate metrics representing the assessment of student learning outcomes among indicators essential to mission fulfillment?

How has WSU’s responded to NWCCU Recommendation 3 from 2011: Clarify key indicators of mission fulfillment?

How has WSU’s responded to NWCCU Recommendation 1 from 2013: Strengthen faculty involvement in assessing student learning outcomes?

Faculty-related topics:

What has WSU been doing to ensure a supportive community and climate for faculty?

How is the balance between tenure track and other faculty changing and what are the consequences of this change?

How are faculty engaged in assessment of student learning?

How does WSU recognize faculty accomplishments?

How does WSU support faculty in the adoption of academic technology to enhance teaching and learning?

Understanding assessment of student learning:

How is the quality of WSU online courses assessed and evaluated?

What is meant by the phrase “Student Learning Outcomes”?

What is necessary to meet accreditation expectations for assessment of student learning?

Understanding governance and strategic planning:

How does WSU demonstrate it is fulfilling its mission?

How does WSU govern its multiple campuses?

How do WSU’s campus-specific strategic plans relate to the overall strategic plan?

What data and tools are WSU using to inform decision making?

Topical updates:

How does WSU approach the need for academic advising?

How does WSU monitor and improve academic progress, graduation rates, retention, and student achievement overall?

How does WSU research support the undergraduate student experience?

How is academic program performance improvement monitored?

How is the Office of Student Affairs reorganizing to prioritize student needs?

How does WSU ensure the academic success of students participating in athletics?

How has WSU addressed accusations of a lack of due process in decisions made by the Student Conduct Board?

How do staff members contribute to decision making and problem solving at WSU?

What changes has WSU made over the past five years in its approach to undergraduate recruitment and admissions?

What is WSU doing to promote a healthy and equitable campus climate and culture?

What is WSU doing to reduce the risk of falls from windows, balconies, decks, and other elevated surfaces?

What is WSU doing in the areas of suicide prevention, education and postvention?

What is WSU doing to address travel safety concerns?

Additional questions?

If you have any additional questions or comments about the accreditation process at WSU, please email to