- Northwest Accreditation Commission
Northwest Accreditation Commission Abbreviation NWAC Type Non-governmental organization Purpose/focus Educational accreditation Headquarters Boise, ID Region served Seven NW states plus states in the International and Transregional Committee Website 
The Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC), formerly named the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools, is an organization based in Boise, Idaho which accredits a variety of schools, including K-12, elementary, middle, and high schools; schools offering distance education; non-degree-granting post-secondary institutions; and special purpose, supplementary education, travel education, and trans-regional schools.
The commission identifies its geographic territory as Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington, as well as "other geographical areas designated from time to time by the Board of Trustees." The commission has accredited schools in other states such as Florida, Iowa, Mississippi, California and Pennsylvania and outside the United States in countries including UAE, Egypt, Kosovo, Macedonia, Saudi Arabia, and Spain.
The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities is the recognized regional accreditation agency for post-secondary degree granting institutions in the seven-state region served by the Northwest Accreditation Commission.
The Commission 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. In 2000 it became the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges and Universities, which disbanded and split into two separate organizations in 2004, with the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools handling the accreditation of schools and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities handling the accreditation of institutions of higher education.
In the spring of 2010 the membership of the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools approved a plan to restructure the Commission. The purpose of the reorganization is to redirect resources to the accreditation committees, increase services to member schools, enhance regional support for state committees, and align the decision-making authority within the state and International/Transregional committees. Highlights of the plan provide for a state director in each state to manage all state operations. Accreditation directors and three board of trustee members from each accreditation committees make up the commission which also includes three at-large commissioners, Higher Education, independent schools, and one public member.
As a result of the restructuring the organization was renamed the Northwest Accreditation Commission and adopted a new logo. Each of the State Accreditation Committees along with the International and Transregional Accreditation Committee has representatives serving on the Commission on Schools and represent the interests of member schools.
Sources and notes
- ^ History of the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools and Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities History, accessed February 5, 2007.
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