CWU News

CWU receives initial NWCCU reaccreditation report

NWCCU reaccreditation committee leader Charles Wight addresses an audience at CWUAn initial report by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) indicates strong support by the review team for reauthorization of accreditation for CWU. 

The regional accreditation process, which began nearly a decade ago, is crucial to the success of CWU students. It measures the degree to which the university is accomplishing its mission and assesses whether it is doing so in a fiscally sustainable manner.

CWU’s stated mission 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.

“Accreditation ensures that we are assessing the quality of our academic programs and whether our college credits and degrees are accepted at other regionally accredited colleges,” noted CWU President James L. Gaudino. “A strong outcome of the reauthorization review ensures that our students can continue to receive federal financial aid and that programs that serve students and support research qualify for federal funding.”

CWU achieves its mission through adherence to five core themes: teaching and learning; inclusiveness and diversity; scholarship and creative expression; public service and community engagement; and, resource development and stewardship.

The NWCCU report was developed as part of a three-day reaccreditation committee visit, which followed completion of a year-long university self-study. The on-campus evaluation, by the nine-member committee, was a peer review of the data included in that study.

The NWCCU team leader, Charles Wight, commended CWU for the service of students and employees to the community. He also noted Central’s dedication to and focus on the success of our students, and for our collective emphasis on continuous improvement.

The committee also offered three suggestions for improvement: building a more effective and efficient system of academic advising, continuing our assessment of learning outcomes at the class level, and the bringing together individual divisional strategic plans into a single overarching plan.

“I welcome the independent point of view of the team and suggestions to improve,” Gaudino stated. “In truth, none of the recommendations surprised me; work is underway now to develop strategies to address these proposals.”

Before CWU reaccreditation is officially finalized, the university will receive a written report and have an opportunity to comment on the findings. A final report will then be submitted to NWCCU leadership for review at a January meeting. The leadership will then vote, with a final decision expected to be announced in early February.

CWU has been an accredited institution since 1918.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,