Institutional Accreditation

Southwestern is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities 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 which 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 Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities 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.

Inquiries regarding an institution's accredited status by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities should be directed to the administrative staff of the institution. Individuals may also contact:

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
8060 165th Avenue N.E., Suite 100
Redmond Washington, WA  98052

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities is a nationally recognized regional accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education.

Copies of the college’s accreditation, self-study reports, approvals, and certifications are available for review by contacting the Accreditation Liaison Officer or requesting to review copies of reports which have been made available at the Library (not all reports are available at the Library at this time), located in Tioga Hall or posted on the Institutional Report Archives webpage.  NWCCU Accreditation status is granted as an institution; any program specialized accreditation or approvals are granted by other agencies.


The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities officially reaffirmed Southwestern Oregon Community College’s accreditation on July 22, 2013, following a peer evaluation of the 2013 Year One Report. A year three review was recently completed in the form of a  Mid-Cycle Evaluation (MCE) report and a site visit in April 2015. This Mid-Cycle report included two parts. For Part 1, Southwestern responded to recommendations as related to Standard 1 - Mission, Core Themes, and Expectations. Informed and guided by Standards 1 and 3-5. For Part II, we provided representative examples of how Southwestern has operationalized its mission and core themes, progressing from objectives to indicators to outcomes. Results of this most recent visit are currently in process. 

Institutional Accreditation Contact

Dr. Ali Mageehon, Accreditation Liaison Officer
Vice President Instruction

1988 Newmark
Coos Bay OR 97420
(541) 888-7417

The Specialized Accreditation and Self-Study contact information is located within the webpage for each area. 


Accreditation or Approval Type Last Accredited / Approved Length  Next Site Visit / Reaffirmation
Institutional - NWCCU 2013 Next Report Spring 2020 - Mid cycle evaluation & Visit
Culinary ACF - Culinary Arts:  Initial 2007 Spring 2013 7 Years 2020 
Baking & Pastry Program: Initial 2009 Spring 2013 7 Years 2020
Early Childhood Education Program April 2014 5 Years  2019
Early Childhood Education Degree - AAS and AS 2018 7 Years 2025
EMT - Basic:  Initial 1999 2014 5 Years 2019
EMT - Intermediate:  Initial 1999 2014 5 Years 2019
EMT - Paramedic 2017 5 Years 2022
Nursing Program May 2017 8 Years May 2025
Small Business Development Center June 2018 Annual Reviews June 2019
Transitional Education 2012   2019

Southwestern is recognized by multiple agencies for approval and program specialized accreditation. Achieving this status is yet another way to ensure the quality of the individual programs at Southwestern. To learn more about specialized accreditation for the Culinary Programs, Early Childhood Education Programs, Emergency Medical Technician Program Approvals, Nursing Program Approvals, Transitional Education Program Approvals visit the page for Program Specialized Accreditation, Agency Self-Study and Approvals.


The curricula of programs are approved by the Southwestern Board of Education and then submitted to the Oregon State Board of Education for approval. The programs are subject to periodic evaluation both internally and externally by the state.


Southwestern is committed to a practice of evaluating and assessing the effectiveness of the College. Accreditation and State Standards also require the College to have in place practices to evaluate and assess the effectiveness of all programs and the administrative operations. Success Indicators are one way the College demonstrates to the Accreditation agencies, the State, the Board, the students, the Community and the staff achievement related to programs and administrative operations.

Visit the Institutional Effectiveness webpage The College’s Institutional Effectiveness process is an ongoing, institution wide process of planning and assessment for the purpose of continuous improvement and to provide evidence that the College is effectively achieving its Mission and Core Themes.