|Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, British Columbia|
|Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy|
|Board of Commissioners|
The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) is an independent, non-profit membership organization recognized by the United States Department of Education since 1952 as an institutional accreditor for colleges and universities. Prior to 2020, when the Department of Education reorganized accreditation, NWCCU was 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 establishes accreditation criteria and evaluation procedures by which institutions are reviewed. The commission is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
The Commission oversees regional accreditation for 156 institutions. Its decision-making body consists of up to twenty-six Commissioners who represent the public and the diversity of higher education institutions within the Northwest region.
The organization traces its history to 1917 when the Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher Schools was formed. In 1974, the association changed its name to the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, which included two divisions, one being the Northwest Association of Colleges and Universities. The Northwest Association of Colleges and Universities split from the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools to create two separate organizations in 2002, changing the name of the organization to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. NWCCU handles the accreditation of institutions of higher education and the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools handled the accreditation of primary and secondary schools, before joining with AdvancEd in 2012.
The NWCCU also accredits non-US institutions. Capilano University and Thompson Rivers University of British Columbia, Canada received accreditation in 2013 and 2018, respectively.