Accreditation at Heritage University
Heritage University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Regional accreditation of postsecondary institutions is a voluntary process of quality assurance and institutional improvement. It qualifies institutions and enrolled students for access to federal funds to support teaching, research, and student financial aid.
The NWCCU Standards for Accreditation support the organization’s mission to accredit institutions of higher education on a seven-year cycle by applying evidence-informed standards and processes to support continuous improvements and promote student achievement and success. The Standards for Accreditation define the quality, effectiveness, and continuous improvements expected of accredited institutions. The Standards serve as indicators by which institutions are evaluated by peers through a process of self-reflection and evaluation that blends analysis and synthesis into a holistic examination of the institution’s ability to fulfill its unique mission, deliver quality education, and promote student achievement.
Standard One: Student Success and Institutional Mission and Effectiveness
Standard Two: Governance, Resources, and Capacity
Heritage College began granting academic credit on July 1, 1982, as successor to Fort Wright College of the Holy Names in Spokane, Washington, which closed on June 30, 1982. In 2004, Heritage College was designated Heritage University. Heritage College received accreditation June 16, 1986, retroactive to September 1, 1985. Accreditation was most recently reaffirmed in 2019. The next self-study mid-cycle report is due March 2022.
In addition to regional accreditation, separate programs at Heritage are accredited as follows:
Medical Laboratory Science: The MLS program at Heritage is accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Lab Sciences (NAACLS). Accreditation was confirmed in April 2018 for 10 years.
Education: State of Washington approval through the Professional Education Standards Board (PESB) has been granted to the following education programs: Residency Teacher; and Residency Principal/Program Administrator. Accreditation is reaffirmed annually.
Nursing: The baccalaureate degree program in nursing at Heritage University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791. The program was accredited in January 2018 for 5 years. It is also approved by the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission.
Social Work: The Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.) degree is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) effective with the class of 1997. The program was re-accredited in 2019.
Context for Institutional Retention Persistence and Completion Data
Heritage University is a unique institution in the United States. While it is located inside a Native American reservation, it is not a Tribal college. Additionally, through its stated mission of serving the educational needs of the population of the Yakima valley, HU serves large numbers of minoritized, first generation and low-income students. This is unusual for a private non-profit institution. Within this context, the retention and persistence rates of HU are encouraging. In all the years analyzed in the PDF below, with the exception of one, the rate was above 80%. Nevertheless, the faculty and administration of the institution continue to work at finding ways to support students to overcome obstacles. The Student Affairs team is continuously developing new strategies to provide emergency funding, counseling, tutoring, and other supports to students at Heritage.
State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement
Heritage University is a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). As of July 1, 2020, the federal requirements for state authorization of postsecondary institutions (https://federalregister.gov/d/2019-23129) have been updated to include disclosure of professional licensure requirements. Heritage’s disclosure information, by program and by state, are below for reference:
Since July 1, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education regulations to improve the integrity of programs authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA), as amended (the “program Integrity Rule”) have been in place.
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Accreditation and Quality Improvement
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Toppenish, WA 98948
Phone: (509) 865-8599