EWU Accreditation Reaffirmed by NWCCU

University to address handful of recommendations

March 2, 2023

Eastern Washington University President Shari McMahan announced EWU has received its official notification from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) reaffirming the university’s accreditation.

“This is a campus-wide effort, and I want to thank you all for your engagement and hard work to make this happen,” says McMahan. 

Accreditation, considered an assurance of quality to the educational community and public, is a process of recognizing educational institutions for performance, integrity and quality. For higher education, the NWCCU is one of six regional bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. 

In reaffirming accreditation, NWCCU has recognized EWU as an institution which is maintaining a high level of educational standards, while fulfilling our mission to expand opportunities for personal transformation through excellence in learning.

Specifically, NWCCU commissioners commended EWU in four major areas, including utilization of technology to improve academic advising, early warning and related support systems; the university’s deep commitment to student success; our commitment to an inclusive campus environment; and a commitment to community engagement as an invaluable resource to the communities we serve.

“This reaffirmation of accreditation is significant and acknowledges the good work being completed at Eastern,” says Provost Jonathan Anderson. “We are thankful to the site visit team and NWCCU for their time and thoughtfulness. While the Commission commended us in multiple areas, it also recognizes, as do we, that we have work still to be done.”

In particular, NWCCU outlined five areas for improvement. Recommendations are common, and President McMahan notes the university looks forward to making strides in the following  areas:

  1. Demonstrate a continuous process to assess institutional effectiveness relative to the institution’s priorities. This includes a system by which data is collected, reviewed, used to inform decision making, and utilized for allocating resources across the entire institution in a cohesive manner. 
  2. Make further progress in our system of assessment institution-wide to evaluate the quality of learning in our programs and improve instructional programs. This is to be done by ensuring a clear path through all the assessment processes, and closing the loop by using assessment results as input into resource allocation processes. 
  3. Make publicly available select disaggregated indicators of student achievement that are clearly and systematically integrated into the assessment of institutional effectiveness. 
  4. Review the diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in academic units, Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Student Affairs with a goal to reduce redundancy and increase support designed to close equity gaps. 
  5. Provide information verifying required course sequences and projected timelines to completion based on normal student progress and frequency of course offerings. 

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness is working on a plan to implement and demonstrate progress on these recommendations. The NWCCU will visit EWU in Fall ’24 to evaluate our progress in addressing recommendations 1,3, and 4, followed by a mid-cycle review of recommendations 2 and 5 in Spring ’25. 

More information on next steps will be shared when they become available.

“Again, a sincere thank you to everyone who was a part of the accreditation process, and all those who have done the personal work to ensure EWU remains a high-quality institution,” says McMahan.