News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

February 16, 2010 — Vol. 26 No. 7

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities reaffirms Idaho State University accreditation

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has reaffirmed the accreditation of Idaho State University on the basis of its fall 2009 Regular Interim Evaluation.

"The notification we received affirmed our accreditation and found us in 'substantial compliance' with all standards and lauded us for the progress we've made on strengthening collaborative internal communications," said Gary Olson, ISU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. "I would like to thank all faculty, staff and students across campus who participated so ably in the accreditation process. The letter from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities reflects the excellence of our institution and our commitment to maintaining the highest standards."

Idaho State University was visited by two Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) reviewers in November and received positive feedback from an evaluation committee after that visit. The reviewers conducted the standard five-year interim evaluation of the institution. The University is required by the NWCCU to submit a Regular Interim Report five years after the ten-year reaccreditation evaluation, which ISU completed in fall 2004.

The Commission met in January to consider the site reviewers' report. The letter the NWCCU sent Feb. 5 to ISU formally reaffirms ISU's accreditation.

In 2004, the Commission issued 10 recommendations, which Idaho State University has successfully addressed.

The NWCCU is an independent, non-profit membership organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation 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.

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 preaccreditation 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 oversees regional accreditation for 163 institutions. Its decision-making body consists of up to 26 Commissioners who represent the public and the diversity of higher education institutions within the Northwest region.