Accreditation & Assessment

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. In fall 2016, the institution completed its most recent seven-year cycle; in fall 2017, the institution began its new seven-year cycle of evaluation. The most recent self-evaluation reports are provided below.

2017 – 2023 Accreditation Cycle

2010 – 2016 Accreditation Cycle

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 National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (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).
  • The Graduate School of Theology is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).


Northwest Nazarene University is an educational community with a primary commitment to the learning and developmental growth of its student in undergraduate, graduate, and professional development programs. The University is committed to an ongoing assessment process at University, academic program, and individual course levels. The purposes of assessment at Northwest Nazarene University include formative and summative evaluations resulting in improvement of student learning and educational programs, and communicating the success of these processes to internal and external audiences in appropriate ways.

Assessment at NNU includes several elements:

  • University-wide, college, program and department strategies or assessment of student learning
  • Program and department objectives: the more specific statement of expected outcomes students will demonstrate in knowledge, skill or disposition as a result of a specific learning experience, course, or program
  • Annual program and department report of student performance on school or department objectives
  • Four University values: NNU’s statement of its broad goals for students in undergraduate and graduate programs:
    • Transformation
    • Community
    • Truth
    • Service
  • Annual University report of student performance on University values
  • The collection of information on entering and graduating students
  • Periodic review of all academic programs and faculty
  • Documentation of modification of programs made as a result of assessment data