PULLMAN, Wash. – As Washington State University prepares for reaccreditation, new standards require a self-study with progressive reports due every two years – rather than one big report generated every 10 years, as WSU completed in 2009.
 
“The new accreditation cycle is intended to promote self-reflection and analysis, help the institution fulfill its mission and meet its goals, and support continuous improvement,” said Provost Warwick Bayly. “This represents essential work for all of us, individually and collectively.”
 
WSU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
 
In April, a team of six evaluators from peer institutions in the Pacific Northwest will review WSU’s report and visit campus. This report will focus on effective management, operations and services, as well as updates to strategic planning.
  
“Accreditation is a form of peer review,” said Kimberly Green, interim director of institutional accreditation and director of the Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning (ATL). “It’s a system of self-regulation to assess universities on their ability to fulfill the mission and goals they’ve identified for themselves.”
 
Since May, Green has been working with leadership institution-wide to report on areas of governance, undergraduate and graduate education, online programs, student affairs, business and finance, human resources, libraries and physical and technical infrastructure. 
    
Academic programs also are involved, as WSU will address the NWCCU’s 2009 recommendation to strengthen educational assessment system-wide. Annual assessment reports from degree-granting programs will contribute to the upcoming report. 
 
“In recent years, we’ve seen the efforts in academic programs to improve and systematize assessment, and we’re preparing to show those gains to the NWCCU,” Green said. “ATL and the Graduate School have been serving as a resource for many programs and faculty to help them move this work ahead and get useful results in a manageable way.”
 
In October, the provost will circulate the report to key groups, including vice presidents, deans, the Faculty Senate, APAC, ASWSU and GPSA. The regents will review the report at the end of the year. The report will be posted online for the WSU community.
 
For more information on this project, please go to http://accreditation.wsu.edu.
 
For information on the accreditors, please go to the NWCCU website