Accreditation Mapping - NWCCU

Map your Satisfaction-Priorities Surveys to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities principles

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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 documents available via the links below – tailored specifically to each RNL survey – show the Ruffalo Noel Levitz survey items mapped to the NWCCU requirements.

RNL 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:

  • SSI four-year college and university version Form A
  • SSI four-year college and university version Form B
  • SSI community, junior, and technical college version Form A
  • SSI community, junior, and technical college version Form B
  • SSI career and private school version Form A
  • SSI career and private school version Form B
  • Adult Student Priorities Survey
  • Priorities Survey for Online Learners

Make note of the following

  • NWCCU requirements are stated in the document “2020 NWCCU Standards of Accreditation and Eligibility Requirements” available online at the NWCCU website. Standards are comprised of various elements within each Standard, which are designated by the number of the Standard followed by a letter referencing the element (e.g., 2.A, 2.B). The mappings here also use the rubric just described.
  • Some NWCCU requirements are stated in multiple sentences or paragraphs under their respective elements. Where discrete ideas are articulated, the rubric further separates these ideas by number (e.g., 2.A.1, 2.A.2).
  • In order to facilitate recognition of key ideas, the text of some NWCCU requirements has been lightly edited or truncated. In some instances, “it” substitutes as the subject of sentences in reference to NWCCU’s citation of “the institution.” To understand NWCCU expectations in full context, users of these mappings should consult NWCCU publications that further define accreditation requirements.
  • Not all NWCCU requirements refer to processes that students can experience and evaluate, so not all NWCCU requirements can be mapped to corresponding RNL survey items. For example, students rarely have any exposure to the ways in which institutional strategic planning is informed by environmental scanning (see 1.B.4). Requirements having no visibility to students are not included in the mappings.
  • To help your institution recognize the connections being displayed in these mappings, the survey items are grouped under “Accreditation Themes” which may characterize the narratives being articulated by the institution in reporting its fulfillment of NWCCU requirements. Such themes include: academic quality and instruction; decision-making and planning; continuous quality improvement; resource sufficiency and accessibility; engagement, diversity, and inclusion; and several others.
  • Some NWCCU requirements will entail more than one Accreditation Theme, and some RNL survey items will also be mapped to more than one Theme. Thus, some redundancy is present in the mappings as Accreditation Themes and RNL survey items are associated with multiple NWCCU requirements.
  • A one-page overview of the Accreditation Themes is provided in each mapping document. The document lists the potential themes in use and identifies the topics or elements implied by the named theme. The named themes and the survey items mapped to them are meant to be illustrative, not comprehensive and definitive. Some survey items bear indirect relationships to themes and requirements (often as by-products of processes under review). Some survey items – especially, the campus-created survey items – must be related to NWCCU accreditation requirements at the discretion of the institution.
  • The mapping documents list RNL items in sequence as they appear on the survey instruments, clustered beneath the suggested themes and requirements they may support. Only the RNL survey items which students rate for “Importance” and/or “Satisfaction” appear in these mappings.
  • Questions about these documents or the survey instruments? Please contact Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

Additional Assessment Tools

Within this family of surveys are instruments for various populations:

You receive the data in an organized tabulation report that you can use right away. Of particular interest:

Our custom research projects can include such elements as telephone and written surveys; in-depth interviews; predictive modeling; geodemography; focus groups; environmental scans; awareness and opinion measurement; research-based publications and websites; and audits of current practices, programs, and communications. We have experience conducting small, medium, and large market research projects that are highly customized to each institution, campus, and system. Our research has helped institutions take the actions they needed to be more competitive.

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