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Accreditation Support: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

Mapping the Ruffalo Noel Levitz Satisfaction-Priorities Surveys to the NWCCU Standards for Accreditation

Many institutions rely upon the Ruffalo Noel Levitz suite of satisfaction and priorities survey results to demonstrate the fulfillment of institutional accreditation requirements. In the region served by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) - the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington - NWCCU-accredited colleges and universities are responsible for showing fulfillment of the Standards of Accreditation. Ruffalo Noel Levitz student surveys can help!

The PDF documents available via the links below show the Ruffalo Noel Levitz survey items mapped to the NWCCU requirements, tailored specifically to each RNL survey. Please note:

  • NWCCU requirements are stated in the PDF "2010 NWCCU Standards of Accreditation" (available online). As described by that document, there are five standards, most of which have several elements, further specified by detailed criteria for evaluation. For ease in locating specific requirements, NWCCU uses a standard rubric containing a number (standard), letter (element), and number (criterion). Thus, 1.A. 1 denotes the first standard ("Mission and Core Themes"), the element "Mission", and the first numbered evaluative criterion. The mappings here also use the rubric just described. To interpret the meaning of the mappings in full context, users may need to consult NWCCU publications that further define accreditation requirements.
  • Some NWCCU requirements are stated in multiple sentences or paragraphs under their respective standard/element/criterion. Where discrete ideas are articulated, the rubric used here further separates these ideas with an appended lower-case letter, such as: 2.D. 10a, 2.D. 10b, and 2.D. 10c.
  • In order to ease recognition of the keys ideas, the text of some NWCCU criteria has been lightly edited or truncated, especially if a sentence is more than 20 words. In some instances, "it" substitutes for reference to "the institution." Please see the original text from NWCCU to understand any given requirement as stated in its entirety in context. Fulfillment of all the requirements is necessary to achieve NWCCU accreditation.
  • Not all NWCCU criteria refer to processes that students can experience, so not all NWCCU criteria can be mapped to an affiliated RNL survey team. For example, students rarely have any meaningful exposure to institutional planning and budgeting processes (Standard 3), so no survey items have been mapped to that standard or its criteria.
  • The documents list RNL items as they appear on the survey instruments, clustered beneath the criteria they support. Some RNL survey items are mapped to multiple criteria. Only the RNL survey items which students rate for "Importance" and/or "Satisfaction" appear in these mappings.
  • Most relationships in these mappings should be self-evident. Mapped relationships between a survey item and NWCCU requirements may be either direct or indirect. For example, not only do students experience instructional and support services directly, but also, employee training programs indirectly influence the quality of the services that the students experience. The mappings are meant to be illustrative, not comprehensive and definitive.
  • The final section of the document lists survey items which may be related to NWCCU requirements at the discretion of the survey user - especially, the campus-created survey items.
  • Questions about these documents or the survey instruments? Please contact Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

Ruffalo Noel Levitz survey items mapped to the NWCCU Standards of Accreditation

Download the appropriate document(s) based on the survey version(s) you are using on your campus:

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