Capilano University embarked upon a comprehensive process to become accredited
by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), one of six
independent regional organizations sanctioned by the U.S. Department of
Education to evaluate post-secondary institutions.
pleased (and very excited) to report that we were successful in our efforts and
have officially received formal accreditation!
attest to the fact that accreditation is a rather complex topic. Hopefully the
following provides some useful background.
and present, played a vital role in the accreditation process, right from the
beginning. In fact, we couldn’t, and wouldn’t have achieved this milestone
without them and you.
designated a university in 2008, the President hosted a series of ‘world café’
meetings and open forums to solicit input from all constituents—faculty,
students, staff, and the wider community. The student voice was also
represented by the Student Union through ongoing consultation and by the four
students elected to Senate. This engagement helped shape the strategic
direction of the new university and to identify the core themes which became
the framework for accreditation process.
For example, the
CSU Lounge came about as a result of the consultation process which identified
the need for increased social spaces on campus.
As accreditation is a
pathway for continuous improvement, students will also have the opportunity to
provide feedback and input and be a part of the decision-making process as we
continue to implement the programs, services and initiatives we identified as
part of the accreditation process.
We offer a
diverse range of employment-focused degrees, diplomas and certificates. Although graduating from an accredited university
does not guarantee a job, it can help. It says to
prospective employers and recruiters that you have a quality education and have
something to contribute when joining their organization. Capilano University
has a reputation for producing job-ready candidates who through a combination
of course work, practicums and other enhanced learning experiences, bring a
well-rounded perspective to the workplace and their community.
don’t have to tell you it’s up to you to make the most of the opportunities
presented by your program and your experiences at Cap U—your success is our
important is the security accreditation brings our foreign students. It serves
as an added layer when it comes to credibility and accountability.
As the NWCCU accreditation is an internationally
recognized designation, it offers greater recognition by post-secondary
institutions in a student’s home country and abroad and can impact
international students may now be eligible for national scholarships offered by
funding agencies in their home countries.
In the U.S., accreditation
is an important factor when a college or university is deciding whether to
accept transfer credit from a student's previous school. Many, if not most
colleges and universities will not accept transferred course credits from an
institution that has not earned appropriate accreditation status from an
does not provide automatic acceptance by an institution of credit earned at
another institution—that’s the prerogative of the institution you are applying
to. For this reason, students should take additional measures to determine what
the enrollment requirements are and whether they meet those requirements. For
example, researching prospective schools’ entry requirements and making
inquiries to those institutions.
by the NWCCU means that we join 162 other accredited post-secondary
institutions in the Northwest, such as:
In the United
States, post-secondary education is governed at the national level by the U.S.
Department of Education. The federal government in turn sanctions six regional
associations to formally accredit institutions of higher learning in their
geographic area. Accreditation is mandatory for U.S. post-secondary
institutions seeking federal funding.
For example, North
Carolina’s Duke University is accredited by the Southern Association of
Colleges and Schools (SACS), Stanford by Western Association of Schools and
Colleges and The New England Association of Schools and Colleges’ (NEASC)
Commission on Institutions of Higher Education accredits Harvard.
The NWCCU accredits
institutions in the seven-state Northwest region of Alaska, Idaho, Montana,
Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. It’s responsible for reviewing and
assessing institutions according to a set of criteria and evaluation
In the simplest
terms, accreditation is our promise to
you and the public that we will provide the quality of education we claim
to. Consider it evidence or a seal of approval, that what we say is true and can be trusted.
To use a cliché,
accreditation is a journey, not a destination. Reaching such an important
milestone does not mean we can now sit back and rest on our laurels. It comes
with a commitment to ongoing evaluation
and improvement to ensure we are meeting our goals and fulfilling our
promise to you and future students.
Digging deeper, accreditation is both a status and the
process leading to the achievement of that status. As a status,
accreditation is essentially confirmation from an expert external source that a
university—everything from its degrees, programs and courses to its faculty,
facilities and services—meet certain standards of quality and excellence.
As a process,
accreditation means that in achieving recognition by the accrediting agency, in
Capilano University’s case, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and
Universities, we are committed to self-study and external review by our peers
(i.e. other post-secondary institutions) as a means of quality assurance. This
applies to the more than five-year journey we took in meeting their rigorous
standards and becoming accredited, but as mentioned, also going forward. Accreditation is the tool we’ll use on
an ongoing basis to monitor, assess, and
evaluate the standards and quality of the education a student receives.
With these benchmarks in hand, we will
continuously seek ways in which to enhance and improve the quality of education
Capilano University | 2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver, British Columbia Canada V7J 3H5 Tel: 604.986.1911
Sunshine Coast | 5627 Inlet Avenue, Sechelt, British Columbia Canada V0N 3A0 Tel: 604.885.9310
Capilano University is named after Chief Joe Capilano, an important leader of the Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh) Nation of the Coast Salish people. We respectfully acknowledge that our campuses are located on the territories of the Lil’wat, Musqueam, Sechelt (shíshálh), Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.