The mission of Central Washington University is to prepare students for enlightened, responsible, and productive lives; to produce research, scholarship, and creative expression in the public interest; and to serve as a resource to the region and the state through effective stewardship of university resources.

NWCCU Reaffirmation of Accreditation - Faculty Members

A Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) peer review committee is coming to Ellensburg October 22-24, 2018 to evaluate the extent of CWU’s mission fulfillment across five core themes based on the NWCCU Eligibility Requirements and Standards for Accreditation. Faculty members are vital to this process.

Evaluators will likely be particularly interested in your perspectives on CWU’s student profile, mission, core themes, challenges and adaptability, sustainability (both financially and in terms of the quality and competitiveness of academic offerings and student services), and interactions between/among faculty, staff, students, and administrators. Below you will find a series of questions we expect the NWCCU evaluators to ask.

  1. What are the primary, most important, changes faculty have implemented to improve your department/program?
    • What data or informationdid you use to determine these specific changes were necessary?
    • What data or information did you (or will you) use to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of these changes?
    • What has been the impact of those changes? To date, how effective has these changes been? What is working well - and what is not? Did you see improvement across CWU's five core themes?

Examples of change include:

  • Program-level and/or course learning outcomes - or other curriculum changes
  • Policies, procedures, practices
  • Pedagogy
  • Faculty and staff hiring
  • Faculty and staff professional development
  • Facilities/equipment
  • Work load
  • Advising
  • Experiential learning opportunities
  • Resource requests/allocations
  1. Given the time, energy, and effort devoted to General Education, you are also likely to be asked the following:
    • Would you please describe the process by which CWU created a new GE program during AY2016-17 and AY2017-18?
      • What was the role of faculty members?
      • How involved were the faculty?
    • How would you describe the current GE at CWU and the new GE to be implemented in Fall 2019?
    • What, if any, do you see as the benefits of the new GE?
    • Do you see any drawback to the new program? Can those drawbacks be mitigated? If so, how?
    • How does your department/program contribute to the current GE? How will you contribute to the new GE?
    • To what extent has your department/program been involved in the assessment and, by extension, improvement of the current GE?
    • What do you anticipate your department's/program's role will be in the assessment and improvement of the new GE?
  2. Evaluators are very interested in assessment and improvement of student learning. They are likely to ask the following:
    • What are your program learning outcomes? When were they last reviewed/updated?
    • What are your course learning outcomes? When were they last reviewed/updated?
    • Do you have an Advisory Board and/or other method(s) for ensuring your program-level and course learning outcomes are current?
    • Do you have a curriculum map of program-level learning outcomes and specific courses?
    • Please describe your department’s/program’s assessment process(es). Who is responsible for department- and program-level assessment?
    • What have you learned from department/program/course assessment – and what changes have you made? What has been the impact of those changes?
    • Specialized Accreditation – same questions as above with the addition of the following:
      • If your department/program holds or is seeking specialized accreditation, please provide a summary of the department’s/program’s status and, if applicable, history of specialized accreditation.
      • If your department/program currently holds specialized accreditation, what challenges did you encounter in obtaining specialized accreditation? How did you address those challenges?
      • If you are seeking specialized accreditation, what challenges do you anticipate? What is your plan for addressing those challenges?
  3. What is the primary mission of the institution?
    • Who are the students CWU serves?
    • How do faculty support the mission and CWU’s students?
  4. What are the insitution's core themes? CWU's core themes could be the themes for any university. What is distinctive about the core themes at CWU?
    • Teaching and learning
    • Inclusiveness and Diversity
    • Scholarship and Creative Expression
    • Public Service and Community Engagement
    • Resource Development and Stewardship
  5. How does your department/program support the institution's core themes?
  6. To what extent is the insitution fulfilling the mission and core themes?
    • Where and in what ways is the institution meeting or exceeding the expectations it set for itself?
    • Where and in what ways is the institution falling short?
    • How is the institution addressing those shortcomings?
  7. To what extent is your department/program contributing to the mission and core themes?
    • Where and in what ways is your department/program exceeding the expectations you have set?
    • Where and in what ways is your department/program fallings short?
    • What are you doing to address those shortcomings?
  8. Since the last NWCCU site visit, in what ways have the institution and your department/program had to adapt to changing circumstances - in terms of both external and internal factors?
    • How well have the institution and your department/program adapted to change?
    • Thinking about the future, how well-equipped are the institution and your department/program to adapt to change?
  9. What are the primary challenges the institution and your department/program have had to overcome since the last NWCCU site visit (Fall 2009) or since the NWCCU Mid-Cycle Evaluation visit (Fall 2014)?
    • What are the primary challenges the institution and your department/program currently face?
    • What challenges are on the horizon?
  10. Evaluators may also ask questions about specific Accreditation Standards. Examples include the following:


Standard Question
1a, 5a, 5b Do you think the university's mission is understood by the faculty? are their views and concerns incorporated into the institution's goals?
1a, 5a Do you think the university’s mission drives decisions, practices, and resource/budget allocation?
5b How well does the institution evaluate its resources and capacity?
1a, 5a, 1b, 3b1, 3b2 Does the institution use evidence from assessments to make decisions moving forward? How?
2a22 Does the institution have clearly defined policies with respect to intellectual property? Have there been any issues?
2a27 Does the institution effectively protect faculty’s academic freedom? Have there been any issues?
2c2 Do faculty use student learning outcomes effectively? Do they find them beneficial?
3a1 Is the institution’s planning process participatory?
3a2 Does the administration communicate effectively with faculty?
3a3, 3a4 Are the results of the planning and implementation processes shared with the faculty? Are they transparent?
4a1, 4b1 Does the institution engage in ongoing systematic collection and analysis of meaningful, assessable, and verifiable data to measure achievement?
4a2, 4b2 Is evaluation of programs systematic and effective? Is the assessment process effective in designing improvements and changes?
4a4 Is there a holistic evaluation of alignment, correlation, and integration of programs and services?
4b3 Are results made publicly available in a timely manner?