Washington State Quality Awards Standards
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Washington State Quality Awards and Northwest Commission on College and University Accreditation
The Washington State Legislature passed a law (RCW 43.17.390) requiring all state agencies, including colleges, to undergo ongoing independent assessments of organizational quality. Washington Association for Community and Technical Colleges (WACTC) representatives and the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges staff members requested that Governor Gregoire review Northwest Commission on College and University (NWCCU) accreditation standards and processes, required of all community and technical colleges, as a means of satisfying Washington State Quality Award (WSQA) standards. A review process comparing WSQA and NWCCU standards was initiated in 2008 and included an extensive crosswalk by colleges and an independent consultant review.
On November 10, 2008, Governor Gregoire issued a decision that Northwest Commission on College and University accreditation satisfies the Washington State Quality Award standards under RCW 43.17.390.
SBCTC submitted its first SBCTC WSQA assessment application in October 2009.
The community and technical college system is required to meet additional requirements to fully comply with WSQA standards:
- Each college will post its most recent full accreditation report on its website. Information will be updated per accreditation review cycle.
- Each college will post a brief list of NWCCU accreditation commendations and recommendations related to its most recent accreditation visit on its college website.
- Colleges will complete an annual status report on accreditation progress and submit the status report to SBCTC by November 15 of each year.
- SBCTC will post Student Achievement Initiative outcomes for each college by November 15 of each year.
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