About the process
NWCCU is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the authority on the educational quality and institutional effectiveness of higher education institutions in the Northwest region of the United States.
The accreditation process involves both an internal and external (peer) review of institutional programs and academic quality. The purpose is for quality assurance and improvement. Standards are set by NWCCU and are the same for all institutions, although the institution defines (via this self-reflective process) how to demonstrate that the standards have been met.
NWCCU has a seven-year cycle; the upcoming site visit is part of the Year Seven phase. During this phase, we are tasked with demonstrating mission fulfillment: have we accomplished what we said we were going to accomplish, have we met our own expectations, and what evidence can we provide to demonstrate that we have met them.
The Mission and Core Themes of Lewis & Clark College drive the self evaluation process; the accreditation report is the document produced via this self-reflection. Standards One through Three (which were the result of the Mid Year Cycle phase) generally lay the groundwork; Standards Four and Five are used to demonstrate mission fulfillment and can be thought of as the “results” of our reflective self-study.