Accreditation is a collegial process of self-review and peer review for improvement of academic quality and public accountability of institutions and programs. It is a process of recognizing educational institutions for performance, integrity, and quality that entitles them to the confidence of the educational community and the public. This recognition is extended largely through non-governmental, voluntary membership associations that establish accreditation criteria, evaluate institutions against those criteria, and approve institutions that meet the criteria. Higher education in the United States is served by eight regional accrediting agencies.

Northwest Nazarene University has a long and distinguished history as an accredited institution, having first been accredited as a junior college in 1931, and subsequently as a four-year college in 1937. NNU has maintained its accreditation since that time and is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Our most recent full-scale accreditation self-study report is linked below.

This NWCCU accreditation process is currently represented by a seven-year cycle of written reports and visits by evaluation committees. During the present cycle of implementation, the seven-year cycle has been compressed to six years. The accreditation calendar for NNU is:
Fall 2011 Year One Self-Evaluation Report
Fall 2012 Year Three Self-Evaluation Report and Committee Visit
Fall 2016 Year Seven Self-Evaluation Report and Committee Visit

In addition to regional accreditation, some departments and programs are accredited by nationally-recognized specialized accreditation boards including the following:
  • The Business programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
  • The Concurrent Credit Program is accredited by the National Alliance Concurrent Enrollment Programs (NACEP).
  • The Counseling Department is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
  • The Education Department is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP, formerly NCATE).
  • The Engineering Program is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology (ABET).
  • The Music program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
  • The Nursing Department is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
  • The Social Work Department is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).