Regional accreditation of postsecondary institutions is a voluntary, non-governmental, self- regulatory process of quality assurance and institutional improvement. It recognizes higher education institutions for performance, integrity, and quality to merit the confidence of the educational community and the public. Accreditation or pre-accreditation by a postsecondary regional accrediting agency qualifies institutions and enrolled students for access to federal funds to support teaching, research, and student financial aid.
The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) is an independent, non- profit membership organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the regional authority on educational quality and institutional effectiveness of higher education institutions in the seven-state Northwest region of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. It fulfills its mission by establishing accreditation criteria and evaluation procedures by which institutions are reviewed.
The new accreditation model implemented by the NWCCU in 2010 established a seven year cyclic renewal process with required annual activities coupled with two site visits (third and fifth years) culminating into a university self study.
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