KAMLOOPS–The quality of education and commitment to student success at Thompson Rivers University has received major recognition with the university achieving accreditation status through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
“We are amazed, gratified, and humbled. This wasn’t expected for at least another two years,” said TRU President Brett Fairbairn, referencing the lengthy process involved in accreditation whereby a university must affirm periodically to an accrediting body that they are meeting the highest of standards in post-secondary education.
Accreditation is an external review process that attests to the credibility and effectiveness of an institution in fulfilling its mission.
“Accreditation provides our students, our faculty and staff, and the communities we serve, with the acknowledgement that a TRU education is a high-quality education and that everyone involved in the delivery of this education is committed to the best outcome for our students.”
TRU’s journey to accreditation began 10 years ago with preliminary discussions among senior leaders and faculty. In the absence of a national accreditation body, TRU looked south to the Washington-based NWCCU which oversees accreditation in seven states and has evaluated two other BC institutions. Following Capilano and Simon Fraser universities, TRU is the third Canadian university accredited by the independent, non-profit agency.
All universities are evaluated by the same standards of quality; however, the commission acknowledges that institutions have different missions and responsibilities. The NWCCU accreditation means TRU has met these standards and is committed to quality programs and student success.
“TRU’s ability to meet all the stringent eligibility requirements and NWCCU standards speaks to the quality of this university, the immense collaboration between all areas that have come together throughout this process and our commitment to putting student success first,” said Christine Bovis-Cnossen, TRU provost and vice-president academic.
Led by the provost’s office, the accreditation initiative involved individuals across TRU. Bovis-Cnossen said the dedication of TRU’s faculty and staff to ongoing quality improvement, and the commitment shown through the process with NWCCU, is why TRU was able to achieve accreditation in three years versus the five-year period afforded by NWCCU when TRU was granted accreditation candidacy in 2016.
She added the milestone of achieving accreditation is not the end of the journey, but is ongoing, as TRU will work toward meeting recommendations for improvement identified by NWCCU and will continue with ongoing assessment and quality improvement through a regular cycle of NWCCU reviews.
In granting TRU accreditation status, NWCCU President Sonny Ramaswamy remarked, “TRU is to be commended for its commitment to student success. This recognition is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication on the part of administration, faculty, staff and the board of governors to achieve this goal.”
Under the NWCCU’s seven-year accreditation cycle, self-evaluated and peer-evaluated reviews of TRU’s accreditation status will be undertaken in spring 2022 and spring 2026.
TRU is accredited at the associate, baccalaureate and master’s degree levels and is compliant with the standards, policies and eligibility requirements of the NWCCU. The designation is retroactive to September 2018.
For more information on accreditation at TRU: www.tru.ca/vpacademic/accreditation/nwccu-accreditation.
For more information on the NWCCU: www.nwccu.org.
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