Warner Pacific University’s regional accreditation reaffirmed by the NWCCU
On July 22, 2020, Warner Pacific received formal notification and official record of action taken by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) concerning its review of the spring 2020 Evaluation of Institutional Effectiveness for the University. The action of the Commission reaffirms the accreditation of Warner Pacific University after consideration of evidence, including the institution’s Self-Evaluation Report, the Peer-Evaluation Report, optional Institutional Response to the Peer-Evaluation Report, and information received as part of the institutional representative meeting with the Commissioners.
In reaffirming WPU’s accreditation, the Commission commended the University for:
- The meaningful and effective integration of its mission and core themes into the institution’s curriculum and core activities. Administrators, faculty, staff and students passionately embrace the core themes in a unified, student-focused approach.
- Intentionally creating an equity culture, demonstrated through enhanced structural diversity, curricular emphasis, and its recent designation as a Hispanic Servicing Institution. Diversity, equity and inclusion are woven into the fabric of the university and are measured through various assessments of students, faculty and staff.
- The remarkable success in collaborating with (the community) and for its urban environment. The institution has become much more visible and connected to the surrounding community, evidenced by its targeted recruiting efforts, extensive service rendered and valuable contributions of its alumni.
- The data-driven effort to eliminate unproductive academic programs, invest in new and existing potentially successful academic programs, and downsize the institution to meet financial needs.
- Institutionalizing innovative First-year and Transfer Learning Communities that effectively integrate learning with context, and provide students with a strong sense of belonging and educational purpose.
In addition to the five commendations, the NWCCU offered two recommendations substantially in compliance but in need of improvement. The Commission recommended that Warner Pacific University:
- Fully implement recently adopted plans to assess student learning in proficiency areas related to the core themes, academic program reviews, and the new General Education Core.
- Demonstrate short and long-term financial health and stability by strategically growing enrollment, controlling expenses, and becoming less dependent on unrestricted giving to cover operations.
President Andrea Cook noted her gratitude to the visiting evaluation team, “Having a campus visit in the midst of COVID-19, was certainly a unique experience – as the visit approached, I think we all wondered how this would work and if we would be able to reflect to the visiting team the essence of the mission, ethos and uniqueness of Warner Pacific University over Zoom. I am really pleased to say that the visit went extraordinarily well, and I believe that members of the visiting team, while not experiencing our physical campus, left the visit feeling that they had been with us and seen the mission and core themes of WP evidenced through their meetings.”
Additionally, Cook commented, that Diversity, equity and inclusion and the commitment to become a more just institution, is at the heart of our Christ-centered work. By committing to this work, we are serving increasing numbers of students who have often felt unwelcomed and challenged to flourish in higher education.