The Accreditation Process
Accreditation is best understood as a process that provides a college the opportunity to complete a thorough self-study of how it meets its mission and serves its community. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) currently requires a 7-year cycle. Colleges complete a Year One Self-Evaluation Report during the first year of the cycle, a Mid-Cycle Evaluation Report during the third year of the cycle, and a complete self-study in the seventh year of the cycle. Site visits are held for both the mid-cycle and year-seven evaluations.
We completed and submitted our Year Three Self-Evaluation Report in September 2017, and it was accepted by NWCCU in January 2018. Lane is implementing recommended changes.
Descriptions of Evaluations and Reports
We complete Standard One in the accreditation process by identifying our mission, core themes, and expectations. Part of this process includes submitting a report to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) that describe the ways we measure our success in achieving Lane's mission, core themes, and expectations.
We undertake our mid-cycle evaluation, looking specifically at assessment of student learning. In addition to describing our assessment plan, we provide two examples at the course, program, or institutional level. We also identify areas for improvement as we move toward the year 7 evaluation.
We address Standards One through Five. Standard Two describes capacity. Standard Three focuses on how we plan and implement programs and policies to meet our mission, core themes, and expectations. Standard Four gives us an opportunity to examine the ways we assess our programs for effectiveness. The focus of Standard Five is mission fulfillment. It includes examining how we inform the community about our progress in fulfilling our mission, as well as the ways we plan institutional improvement.
What are the outcomes of these self-studies?
The self-study process allows us to take a deep and comprehensive look at how we do things and how we might improve with the ultimate goal of mission fulfillment. After the self-study, we create the self-evaluation report, which provides a snapshot of our performance. Then, we host NWCCU evaluators during a site visit. They make a determination of whether the college will be accredited or not. NWCCU can issue compliments, commendations, concerns, and recommendations.