The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) maintains two broad sets of standards that all institutions must meet. These standards set expectations for student achievement, student success, and continuing institutional improvement, and require the institution to have the resources and governance structure necessary to meet these outcomes. The university submits yearly reports that document continued adherence to these standards.
Standard 1: Student Success and Institutional Mission and Effectiveness
This standard requires the institution to publicly commit to student success, equity, and elimination of achievement gaps. The institution must apply meaningful methods of assessing student accomplishment, define performance thresholds that reliably indicate extent of student accomplishment, and establish benchmarks that track the student’s path to completion. The programs of study offered by the institution must be consistent with the institution’s mission and be structured such that students can complete the program in a timely manner. The institution must regularly evaluate its programs for currency and effectiveness and make revisions where needed.
Areas of evaluation: Institutional Mission, Improving Institutional Effectiveness, Student Learning, Student Achievement
Standard 2: Governance, Resources, and Capacity
This standard requires the institution to employ a system of governance under which decisions are driven by formal planning and input from multiple stakeholders is sought. Sufficient resources are allocated toward student success and student learning is central to institutional operations. The institution maintains an environment supportive of independent thought, free inquiry, and meaningful discourse. The institution presents itself with integrity and clearly communicates with its stakeholders in a timely manner.
Areas of evaluation: Governance, Academic Freedom, Policies and Procedures, Institutional Integrity, Financial Resources, Human Resources, Student Support Resources, Library and Information Resources, Physical and Technology Infrastructure
Periodic Review of Accredited Institutions
NWCCU accrediting procedures necessarily include periodic review of accredited institutions, both for their benefit and to ensure fulfillment of the accrediting Commission’s accountability function.
Under the current cycle, WSU will undergo a Mid-Cycle Review in Spring 2021; a Policies, Regulations, and Financial Review in Spring 2024; and an Evaluation of Institutional Effectiveness in Spring 2025.