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Alliance Response to NWCCU Draft Standards

In September 2018, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), the regional accrediting body for Orbis Cascade Alliance member institutions, launched a review of its Standards of Accreditation, Eligibility Requirements, and evaluative process.

As part of this process, led by the NWCCU Bylaws, Standards, and Policies Committee, NWCCU invited public comment on the current standards. (Information on the opportunities for comment and a full timeline of the standards review process is available on the NWCCU Standards Review page). 

Alliance Advocacy

When the current standards were developed, participation and advocacy from library professionals and leaders was integral to the inclusion of standards related to information literacy and evaluation of library resources and services.

The Orbis Cascade Alliance Board believes it is important for the Alliance to participate in the current standards review, and to use the collective voice of our member institutions to advocate for continued emphasis in the accreditation process on the critical role of libraries in academic institutions.

March 2019: Feedback on NWCCU revised standards

  • In February 2019, NWCCU issued a first draft of revised Standards for Accreditation. This draft substantially reduced the existing library standards. The revised draft is available on the NWCCU website.
  • The Alliance Board is currently participating in a coordinated response to these proposed revisions with library organizations in our region, including state chapters of ACRL, state library associations, ILAGO, OWEAC, and others.
  • The focus of the collective response is on advocating to restore library instruction to the standards. Here is the final letter.

November 2018: Alliance response to initial call for comment

  • At the November 2019 Alliance Council meeting, Alliance Board members hosted a discussion to provide input into a letter to NWCCU with suggested revisions to the current standards
  • A joint Council/Board working group drafted a letter to NWCCU that was voted on and approved by Council following the meeting
  • The letter was submitted to the NWCCU Bylaws, Standards, and Policies Committee on November 20, 2018
Questions about the Alliance’s role in this process may be directed to the Alliance Board.