NWCCU Statement on Institutional Accreditation Status
The University of Alaska Anchorage is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality evaluated through a peer review process. An accredited college or university is one which has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.
Accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities is not partial but applies to the institution as a whole. As such, it is not a guarantee of every course or program offered, or the competence of individual graduates. Rather, it provides reasonable assurance about the quality of opportunities available to students who attend the institution.
Inquiries regarding an institution's accreditation status by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities should be directed to the administrative staff of the institution. Individuals may also contact:
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Note: This statement is pursuant to NWCCU requirements on disclosure of accreditation status.
Institutional Accreditation by the NWCCU
UAA has been accredited by the NWCCU since 1974. NWCCU is one of six regional accrediting associations that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to 1974, UAA existed as an extension of the University of Alaska with no separate accreditation status. Since the merger of the university and the community colleges that occurred in 1987, this single accreditation status has applied to all campuses of UAA - in Anchorage, and at Kenai, Kodiak and in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley. Prince William Sound Community College in Valdez is separately accredited by NWCCU.
Institutional accreditation is regularly reviewed and renewed (or "reaffirmed") by the NWCCU. This reaffirmation occurs through regular reports and site visits. In addition to these reports and visits, UAA also communicates regularly with the NWCCU about new programs and changes to institutional leaders and organizational structure.
UAA's institutional accreditation was last reaffirmed in early 2012, as a result of an accreditation report in September 2011. This report began a new accreditation cycle that will run from 2011-2017. Prior to this cycle, UAA participated in a pilot project to develop new accreditation standards and processes for the northwest region. This pilot consisted of four reports and two site visits between 2008 and 2010.
When available, individual academic programs often seek program accreditation in addition to the university's institutional accreditation. For more information on program accreditation, including the purpose of program accreditation, the programs currently accredited, and the process for communicating with program accreditors and seeking new program accreditation, please see the Program Accreditation page.
Accreditation Status Change to Include Doctoral Programs
In 2012, UAA was granted candidacy by the NWCCU to expand our offerings to include awarding doctoral degrees, starting with the Joint Ph.D. program in Clinical-Community Psychology. In 2014, the NWCCU acted on this candidacy and granted accreditation at the doctoral degree-granting level.