Accreditation Statement

Accreditation Statement


Lower Columbia College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

NWCCU is one of seven institutional accrediting agencies that operate within a scope of authority approved by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). Institutional accreditors have traditionally had oversight over higher educational institutions within a selected subset of the 50 states and U.S. territories, along with institutions outside of the U.S., which have voluntarily sought membership for accreditation. However, under the new 2020 USDE regulations, the former regional accreditors are now allowed to operate nationally. Institutional accreditation serves to assure the educational community, parents, students, employers, policymakers, and the public that an accredited institution has met high standards of quality and effectiveness.

For the purposes of determining eligibility for United States government assistance under certain legislation, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education recognizes institutional accrediting agencies as reliable authorities on the quality of education offered by educational institutions.

Institutional accreditation applies to an institution as a whole, not individual programs or units within the institution. Institutional accreditation agencies perform important functions, including fostering quality education and continuous improvement, and encouraging institutional efforts toward maximum educational effectiveness. The accrediting process requires institutions to examine their own missions, operations, and achievements. It then provides expert analysis by peer evaluators, which may include commendations for accomplishments as well as recommendations for improvement.

Inquiries regarding an institution's accredition status by the NWCCU should be directed to the administrative staff of the institution. Individuals may also contact:

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
8060 165th Avenue N.E., Suite 100, Redmond, WA, 98052
(425) 558-4224

Accreditation by the NWCCU refers to the institution as a whole. Therefore, statements like "fully accredited" or "the program is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities" or "this degree is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities" are incorrect and should not be used.

In addition to institutional accreditation, specific programs at LCC have obtained specialized accreditation, including:

  • The Lower Columbia College Nursing Program is approved by the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
  • The Lower Columbia College Medical Assisting Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs on recommendation of the Curriculum Review Board of the American Association of Medical Assistants Endowment.
Copyright 2023 Lower Columbia College | All Rights Reserved.