ISU Headlines

NWCCU gives ISU positive feedback during reaccreditation evaluation

Posted November 11, 2009

Idaho State University has received positive feedback from an evaluation committee from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) after a visit by two reviewers to the Pocatello campus on Nov. 5 and 6.

The reviewers conducted the standard five-year interim evaluation of the institution and reported they will forward to the NWCCU three commendations and only one recommendation. The University is required by the NWCCU to submit a Regular Interim Report five years after the ten-year reaccreditation evaluation, which ISU completed in Fall 2004.

The Commission will meet in January 2010 to consider the site reviewers' report and will issue its formal report to President Arthur C. Vailas shortly thereafter.

"This is high praise for Idaho State University and indicates just how far the institution has come in the last few years," said Gary Olson, ISU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. "In 2004, the Commission issued 10 recommendations, and now in 2009 the Commission has only one recommendation. This is certainly impressive progress."

The NWCCU is an independent, non-profit membership organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the regional authority on educational quality and institutional effectiveness of higher education institutions in the seven-state Northwest region of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington. It fulfills its mission by establishing accreditation criteria and evaluation procedures by which institutions are reviewed.

The single recommendation concerns building on Idaho State University’s ongoing efforts to communicate effectively with all constituencies and to increase those efforts as much as possible.

The two reviewers commended the institution for its efforts to:

1) to enhance student services, especially financial support;

2) to implement the Banner ERP system, which will facilitate data-driven decision making and research; and

3) to provide students and staff with a modern and innovative mixed-use facility, the Rendezvous Complex.

"Clearly, this is a very positive evaluation of the institution and a real tribute to all our faculty and staff who have worked so hard over the last half decade to lead the institution to new levels of excellence," Olson said.

Olson thanked and praised all ISU faculty, staff and students who participated in preparing the five-year interim report for the Commission, and who participated in the various forums with the site reviewers.

"I would especially like to thank Professors Barbara Adamcik and Alan Egger for their selfless devotion to preparing the five-year interim report," Olson said. "They spent countless hours in planning and steering this project to its successful conclusion."

Regional accreditation of postsecondary institutions is a voluntary, non-governmental, self-regulatory process of quality assurance and institutional improvement. It recognizes higher education institutions for performance, integrity and quality to merit the confidence of the educational community and the public. Accreditation or preaccreditation by a postsecondary regional accrediting agency qualifies institutions and enrolled students for access to federal funds to support teaching, research and student financial aid.

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities oversees regional accreditation for 163 institutions. Its decision-making body consists of up to 26 Commissioners who represent the public and the diversity of higher education institutions within the Northwest region.