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Institutional Effectiveness, Research & Planning
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What is Accreditation - and How Are CWU Students Involved?

Accreditation is a process that provides colleges and universities periodic opportunities to examine the quality our academic programs and student services and to demonstrate how we try to improve those programs and services.

Accreditation also provides the opportunity to examine the extent of CWU’s mission fulfillment and how fulfilling that mission affects you and your fellow students, your family members, our faculty, staff, and surrounding communities.

A Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) peer review committee comes to Ellensburg every seven year, with a midcycle evaluation in year three, to evaluate the exten of CWU's mission fulfillment based on the NWCCU Eligibility Requirements and Standards for Accreditation.

Students have a key role to play during these visits, and the NWCCU peer review committee will often schedule open forums to meet directly with students. Below are some questions they may ask you during these forums.

General identification questions (name, year, major, membership in groups/organizations, etc.)

  • Why did you come to CWU? What were your criteria for choosing a university?
  • What is it like being a student here? How would you describe your experience as a student at CWU?
  • What have been the best parts of your time here?
  • What do you wish had been done differently?
  • What was your orientation experience like?
  • What has advising been like?
  • What has your experience of student services been like?
  • Do you think there is programming for you?
  • Would you describe your experiences with your classes and your major?
  • Do you feel included in the CWU community?
  • Have you felt safe and welcome at CWU?
  • What do you know about CWU’s mission? How does it impact you as a student?
  • For the following questions, would you share examples?
    • Do you think CWU supports your learning?
    • Do you think CWU supports inclusiveness and diversity?
    • Do you think CWU supports your and other students’ research and creative expression?
    • Do you think CWU supports public service and community engagement?
    • Do you think CWU uses its resources wisely?
    • Do you feel like you have sufficient support from CWU to reach your potential and your goals?