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Accreditation Update: Why Is ISU Submitting a Year 6 and Year 7 Report Simultaneously?

July 26, 2021

In 2020, the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) updated its accreditation standards (as explained in New Accreditation Standards Offer ISU Opportunity to Shine).  The timing of the NWCCU’s implementation of the new standards and ISU’s Year 7 timeline has required ISU to adjust its Year 6 submission.  The NWCCU’s October site visit will now include a discussion of both Standards 1 and 2 found within the Year 6 and Year 7 self-study reports.   

The Year 6 report, also known as the PRFR (Policies, Regulations, and Financial Review), focuses on Standard 2, which predominantly includes institutional effectiveness.  At about 50 pages, this self-study report helps the NWCCU’s peer evaluation team understand how ISU develops and implements policies and procedures and collects, tracks, and utilizes its funds. 

The Year 7 report, also known as the EIE (Evaluation of Institutional Effectiveness), concentrates on standard 1, which details the advancement of student learning, student achievement and institutional effectiveness.  Also about 50 pages, the NWCCU is seeking an explanation and supporting documents on how ISU wholistically supports student success, the effectiveness of ISU’s system of governance and how the University measures mission fulfillment.  

Under the timeline associated with the new standards, a normal seven-year accreditation cycle would require the University to submit the PRFR a year before the end of the accreditation period.  The Year 7 report would then be submitted the following year.   This new timeline relieves some of the pressure put on the University and splits the development and review of the reports over two years.

For this accreditation cycle, ISU will submit the Year 6 and 7 reports simultaneously, and the site visit will focus on both reports.  As a result, the site visit team will require more time from faculty and staff because they will need answers to questions regarding both sets of standards.

How can you prepare for the October site visit?  Please read the Year 6 and 7 reports when they are made available on August 4, participate in the meetings with peer evaluators, and feel free to reach out to Darren Blagburn if you have questions about the information in the reports. 



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