Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) is an independent, non-profit membership organization recognized by the United States Department of Education since 1952 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 commission dropped its association with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and as of May 2012, is not listed in CHEA's database of recognized accrediting agencies; it is shown as one that was formerly recognized. The agency is still the regional accrediting agency for the Pacific Northwest states, as CHEA recognition is not required in order for accrediting agencies to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
NWCCU operational area
|Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington|
|Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy|
|Board of Commissioners|
The Commission oversees regional accreditation for 156 institutions. Its decision-making body consists of up to twenty-six Commissioners who represent the public and the diversity of higher education institutions within the Northwest region.
The organization traces its history to 1917 when the Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher Schools was formed. In 1974 the association changed its name to the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, which included two divisions, one being the Northwest Association of Colleges and Universities. The Northwest Association of Colleges and Universities split from the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools to create two separate organizations in 2002, changing the name of the organization to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. NWCCU handles the accreditation of institutions of higher education and the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools handled the accreditation of primary and secondary schools, before joining with AdvancEd in 2012.
- "U.S. Department of Education". Retrieved 31 July 2010.
- History of the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools Archived 2007-04-22 at the Wayback Machine. and Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities History, accessed February 5, 2007. 
- Tamburri, Rosanna (2013-06-19). "More Canadian universities seek U.S. accreditation". University Affairs. Retrieved 9 November 2014.