Lower Columbia College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
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) 558-4224nwccu.org
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: