Southwestern is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality evaluated through a peer review process. An accredited college or university is one which has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.
Accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities is not partial but applies to the institution as a whole. As such, it is not a guarantee of every course or program offered, or the competence of individual graduates. Rather, it provides reasonable assurance about the quality of opportunities available to students who attend the institution.
Inquiries regarding an institution's accredited status by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities should be directed to the administrative staff of the institution. Individuals may also contact:
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
8060 165th Avenue N.E., Suite 100
Redmond Washington, WA 98052
The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities officially reaffirmed Southwestern Oregon Community College’s accreditation on July 22, 2013, following a peer evaluation of the 2013 Year One Report. The next review by NWCCU will be a year three review in the form of a Mid-Cycle Evaluation (MCE). It is intended to ascertain an institution’s readiness to provide evidence (outcomes) of mission fulfillment and sustainability in the Year 7 report. This report will be submitted to NWCCU by March 2015 and will include a campus site visit in April 2015. This Mid-Cycle report will include two parts. It will respond to recommendations if related to Standard 1 - Mission, Core Themes, and Expectations. Informed and guided by Standards 1 and 3-5, Part I of the MCE will be a narrative shaped by the questions below describing the institution’s plan for linking/aligning mission (Standard One) with mission fulfillment and sustainability (Standard 5). For Part II, we will provide representative examples of how it has operationalized its mission and core themes progressing from objectives to indicators to outcomes.
Copies of the college’s accreditation, self-study reports, approvals, and certifications are available for review by contacting the Accreditation Liaison Officer or requesting to review copies of reports which have been made available at the Library (not all reports are available at the Library at this time), located in Tioga Hall or posted on the Institutional Report Archives webpage. NWCCU Accreditation status is granted as an institution; any program specialized accreditation or approvals are granted by other agencies.
Southwestern is recognized by multiple agencies for approval and program specialized accreditation. Achieving this status is yet another way to ensure the quality of the individual programs at Southwestern. Click on the Program Accreditation link and then select the links for individual programs to learn more about specialized accreditation for the Culinary Programs, Early Childhood Education Programs, Emergency Medical Technician Program Approvals, Nursing Program Approvals, Transitional Education Program Approvals and more.
The curricula of programs are approved by the Southwestern Board of Education and then submitted to the Oregon State Board of Education for approval. The programs are subject to periodic evaluation both internally and externally by the state.
Southwestern is committed to a practice of evaluating and assessing the effectiveness of the College. Accreditation and State Standards also require the College to have in place practices to evaluate and assess the effectiveness of all programs and the administrative operations. Measures of Institutional Effectiveness and Outcomes are ways the College demonstrates to the Accreditation agencies, the State, the Board, the students, the Community and the staff achievement related to programs and administrative operations.