Washington State Quality Awards (WSQA) and
Northwest Commission on College and University Accreditation
In 2005, the Washington State Legislature passed a law 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 (SBCTC) staff members requested that Gov. 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 Nov. 10, 2008, Gov. 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 Nov. 15 of each year.
- SBCTC will post Student Achievement Initiative information for each college by Nov. 15 of each year.
Last Modified: 3/31/22, 4:45 PM