Accreditation Reaffirmed by NWCCU, WSU’s Next Steps Take Shape

Now that fall semester is in full swing and many faculty and administrators with assessment duties have kicked off another cycle of assessment, we in ATL find ourselves wrapping up 2018 undergraduate program assessment reporting. In doing so, we are reminded of the effort and dedication that goes into creating a viable system of assessment across all of WSU’s undergraduate programs.

We want to take a moment to recognize that, over the summer, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) reaffirmed WSU’s institutional accreditation; an acknowledgement that we, as a university, continue to meet or exceed criteria for the assessment of institutional quality evaluated through a peer review process. NWCCU also commended WSU’s work in assessment, specifically assessment of general education. In addition, WSU’s 2013 recommendation about strengthening faculty responsibility to foster and assess student achievement of learning outcomes was successfully resolved, a recognition of the continued efforts of department faculty. Similarly, our 2013 recommendation that online students and courses be systematically included in assessment was also resolved, with a note to continue attention in this area.

WSU-wide planning for the next cycle of the Strategic Plan has begun to take shape, and we recognize that assessment activities will continue to play a role in fulfilling the metrics by which we measure our progress as a university. New NWCCU recommendations will impact undergraduate program assessment planning and priorities moving forward, including the need to:

  • Incorporate student learning outcomes assessment findings into the evaluation of university mission fulfillment (including summary information about student learning outcomes for degree programs)
  • Include student learning outcomes data (rather than the process of assessing student learning outcomes) in WSU’s Strategic Plan metrics under Core Theme 2
  • Improve the availability and use of data which can be disaggregated to identify differences among campuses and learning modalities

ATL wishes to extend a “thank you” to each and every individual who contributes to assessment-related initiatives within WSU’s diverse array of colleges, schools, departments, and programs. From the Provost, Deans and Associate Deans who help oversee efforts and provide infrastructure, to chairs, faculty assessment coordinators and committee members, and instructors who give their time and energy to evaluate student work and create plans for “closing the loop,” we recognize the care, time and effort that goes into quality assessment. Your work supports students and quality undergraduate education at WSU.