The University of Idaho was first accredited in 1918 and continues that status today. The university hosted its most recent visit by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) Year Seven Accreditation in April 2015. The next comprehensive visit is scheduled for Spring 2022.
The University of Idaho is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, which recognizes our compliance with its standards of higher education. Many of our schools, colleges, departments and programs have separate accreditation as well.
Here are just a few examples:
- The Architecture Program in the College of Art and Architecture is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board.
- The College of Education is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education and approved by the Idaho State Board of Education. The programs of study in education are planned to meet certification requirements in Idaho and the requirements of the various accrediting agencies such as the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges.
- The College of Engineering undergraduate degree programs are accredited by the Engineering Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012, telephone: (410) 347-7700. The Computer Science undergraduate degree program is accredited by the Computer Accreditation Commission of ABET
- In the College of Natural Resources, forest curricula have been accredited since the Society of American Foresters began accreditation in 1935.
- The College of Science offers a professional Bachelor of Science in chemistry that is accredited by the American Chemical Society.
- The College of Business and Economics is accredited by AACSB International — Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Seven Year Process
The accreditation process begins with an initial report in Year One of the cycle, followed by a Mid-Cycle on-site review in the third year with a particular focus on student learning outcomes and program assessment. The comprehensive report developed for the Year Seven visit includes information on
- institutional changes since the previous report;
- mission, core themes and expectations;
- resources and capacity;
- institutional planning, core theme planning, assessment and improvement; and
- mission fulfillment, adaptation and sustainability.
NWCCU Accreditation Summary Report
The accreditation team provides feedback on the extent to which the university addresses and meets the standards supporting the sections noted above. The overall results of the visit are summarized here.
The 2015 NWCCU decision included three commendations:
- recognition of the university’s “innovative and interdisciplinary” program of General Education,
- the impact of the Leadership Academy on faculty and staff leadership development,
- and the significant initiatives to improve public safety and engage the university community in ensuring the welfare of others.
The commission identified recommendations for continuing attention and improvement. These included:
- more clearly identifying the benchmarks for mission fulfillment,
- more consistently using assessment results to determine fulfillment of the mission,
- more consistently formalizing and evaluating institutional planning cycles and results, and 4. using these data to define the future of the university consistent with its mission.
Announcement of Accreditation
The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) informed President Chuck Staben that the University’s regional accreditation was reaffirmed July 20, 2015.
Regional accreditation, a voluntary process, provides a mechanism to recognize colleges and universities that meet defined standards of practice and quality. The University of Idaho was first accredited in 1918 and continues that status today.
The accreditation process, a seven year cycle, begins with an initial report in Year One of the cycle. This is followed by a Mid-Cycle on-site review with a particular focus on student learning. The comprehensive report developed for the Year Seven visit includes information on institutional changes since the previous report; Mission, Core Themes, and Expectations; Resources and Capacity; Institutional Planning, Core theme Planning, Assessment, and Improvement; and Mission Fulfillment, Adaptation, and Sustainability.
The University of Idaho hosted the Year Seven site visit in spring 2015. A team of seven members from within the NWCCU region conducted an on-site visit to ascertain that the University addressed and provided documentation that each of the standards was addressed and met. Team members reviewed the Year Seven Report; interviewed University administrators, faculty, staff, and students; visited various facilities; had the opportunity to observe classes; and gathered information relative to the standards and self-study. The team documents its observations and findings in a report submitted to NWCCU with its commendations and recommendations.
The NWCCU decision included three commendations: 1) recognition of the University’s “innovative and interdisciplinary” program of General Education, 2) the impact of the Leadership Academy on faculty and staff leadership development, and 3) the significant initiatives to improve public safety and engage the University community in ensuring the welfare of others. The Commission identified recommendations for continuing attention and improvement. These included: 1) more clearly identifying the benchmarks for mission fulfillment, 2) more consistently using assessment results to determine fulfillment of the mission, 3) more consistently formalizing and evaluating e institutional planning cycles and results, and 4) using these data to define the future of the University consistent with its mission.
The University is initiating the process for development of the next University strategic plan in fall 2015. The articulation of goals and strategies for the strategic plan will include a review, refinement, and up-date of strategies, benchmarks, and measures of performance. The increased coordination of these processes will streamline University practices and reporting for the NWCCU and University of Idaho Board of Regents/State Board of Education.
The University is in the process of developing the Year One report for the next cycle of accreditation, due to NWCCU January 2016.
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Provost and Executive Vice President