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North Idaho College has been accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (the NWCCU) since 1947. The NWCCU is an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. The college’s most recent comprehensive review by the commission was its Mission Fulfillment and Sustainability evaluation in spring 2020. In June 2020, the NWCCU reaffirmed North Idaho College’s accreditation

On January 26, 2023, the NWCCU voted to issue NIC a Sanction of Show Cause. The College submitted a Show Cause Report on March 30, 2023, on why NWCCU membership should not be withdrawn. NIC continues to be under heighted monitoring by the NWCCU with ad hoc reports due following all meetings of the Board of Trustees. The College is also required to submit semester enrollment reports to NWCCU immediately following each census date.

The concerns stated in the Show Cause letter relate to board governance and institutional integrity, specifically, the Board of Trustees.  The letter identifies eight different areas of risk that must be addressed in the report as well as demonstrating evidence of compliance with 10 eligibility requirements and 16 standards.  See NIC’s Quick Reference Guide to the NWCCU Standards and Eligibility Requirements, including the areas of risk identified by the NWCCU’s show cause sanction. Even though the main concern is with governance and institutional integrity, NIC will have to readdress eligibility requirements and standards relating to academic freedom, departures from the college’s administrative and academic leadership ranks, and financial sustainability, as these areas were noted as a concern from the April 1, 2022 Action Letter (see below).

Accreditation Show Cause Timeline Graphic Updated February 2024

Accreditation Show Cause Timeline

Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the NWCCU 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 that 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 NWCCU 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.

An inquiry regarding North Idaho College’s accredited status by the NWCCU should be directed to the administrative staff of the college. Individuals may also contact:

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
8060 165th Avenue N.E.
Suite 200
Redmond, WA 98052
(425) 558-4224

Accreditation Status

North Idaho College is a member institution with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). NIC’s accreditation status is Show Cause.

NWCCU’s most recent notification occurred on July 7, 2023 with the commission extending the Show Cause sanction.

NWCCU is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Find more information about NIC's non-compliance review with the NWCCU from 2021 to present.

NWCCU Regular Review Reports

North Idaho College works collaboratively with the NWCCU throughout the accrediting body’s typical sever-year review cycle to maintain compliance with the NWCCU’s Eligibility Requirements and Standards.

Information about regular reviews and reports is posted below.

Find more information about the NWCCU’s non-compliance review of NIC.

The NWCCU reaffirmed NIC’s accreditation in July 2020 after a Mission Fulfillment and Sustainability Evaluation during the spring of 2020. 

The NWCCU approved NIC’s Ad Hoc Report in July 2018.

The NWCCU approved NIC’s 2016 Mid-Cycle Report in July 2016. The Mid-Cycle Review is a progress report and does not result in recommendations or commendations.

The NWCCU approved NIC’s Year One Self-Study Report and Ad-Hoc Report in July 2014. There were no recommendations or commendations as a result of these reports.

The NWCUU reaffirmed NIC’s accreditation after the college’s Comprehensive Year Seven Evaluation in July 2013 with recommendations and commendations.