Q: What is Accreditation and How Does it Work?
A: Higher education accreditation involves both private accrediting associations and regional authorities recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). The federal government (DOE) does not directly accredit schools. Instead, the government approves accrediting agencies that are responsible for the evaluation and oversight of colleges and universities. In order to demonstrate that they meet rigorous educational standards, U.S. colleges and universities voluntarily seek federally recognized accreditation. Bastyr University's regional accrediting body is the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Bastyr University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). The NWCCU is an independent, non-profit membership organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the regional authority on educational quality and institutional effectiveness of 162 higher education institutions in the seven-state Northwest region of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.
In 2012, Bastyr University completed a comprehensive self-evaluation process which resulted in the NWCCU reaffirming the University's regional accreditation status. The following are the University's comprehensive self-evaluation, the peer review report and the commission's letter of reaffirmation.
- Bastyr University's Comprehensive Self-Evaluation - February 21, 2012
- A Comprehensive Peer-Evaluation Report - April 4, 2012
- NWCCU Accreditation Reaffirmation Letter - July 20, 2012
Q: What is Professional Education Accreditation?
A: In addition to regional accreditation, colleges and universities often seek professional accreditation for their individual degree programs. Most professional accrediting agencies are also recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Professional accreditation is sometimes called program accreditation or specialized accreditation. This type of accreditation is often associated with national professional associations such as the American Bar Association, which accredits law schools, and the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (sponsored by the American Medical Association), which accredits MD programs.
The following is a current list of Bastyr University’s program accreditations.
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine Program Accreditation
The Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine program is accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME), a specialized accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For more information, the 2014 CNME Handbook of Accreditation for Naturopathic Medicine Programs is available via download from the CNME website.
Dietetics Program Accreditation
Bastyr University's Bachelor of Science with a Major in Nutrition with Didactic Program in Dietetics, Master of Science in Nutrition with Didactic Program in Dietetics, and the Dietetic Internship are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), the accrediting agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). ACEND is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a specialized accrediting agency.
Acupuncture and East Asian Medicine Program Accreditation
The Master of Science in Acupuncture (MSA), the Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MSAOM), and the Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). ACAOM is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a specialized accrediting agency.
Individuals who complete the Master of Science in Acupuncture or Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine are eligible to sit for the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) certification exams as well as various state licensing exams.
The Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and the combination of the Master of Science in Acupuncture and the Certificate in Chinese Herbal Medicine are approved for California licensure by the California Acupuncture Board.
Midwifery Program Accreditation
The Master of Science in Midwifery degree is accredited by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC). Graduates are eligible to sit for licensure in Washington and other states, apply to the Canadian bridging program for provincial registration, and may sit for the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) exam to receive the Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) credential recognized in many states for legal practice of midwifery and reimbursement for services. MEAC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a specialized accrediting agency.
State Authorization, Approval and/or Exemption
Washington: As a long-standing regionally accredited, degree-granting institution in Washington state, Bastyr University is “continuously exempt” from state authorization and review. However, any institution granted exemption from the requirements for degree authorization under WAC 250-61 may be subject to periodic review by the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) to ensure that all criteria for the exemption continue to be met. Any person desiring information about the requirements of this status may contact WSAC at 917 Lakeridge Way SW, Olympia, WA 98502 | info[at]wsac.wa[dot]gov | (360) 753-7800.
California: Bastyr University is approved to operate an accredited institution by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) in the state of California. Approval to operate means the University maintains compliance with California state standards. Any person desiring information about the requirements of this status may reach BPPE directly via its contact page. In compliance with BPPE requirements, the following documents are available below. (Please click on the name of the document to view/download.)
- The 2016-17 University Catalog
- The University's 2016 Annual Report to the BPPE
- Program Information
- Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine - Program Viewbook
- Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness - Information Sheet
- 2016 Program Factsheets
- Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine Factsheet
- Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness Factsheet
Reciprocity Agreements: Bastyr University is a member of NC-SARA (National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements). This is a multi-state consortium that manages oversight of distance education, including preceptorships and practicums in which students may engage outside of Washington and California. Bastyr seeks approval, authorization or exemption to operate in other states as needed. Click here to view a chart of professional licensures by state.
Foreign Non-Immigrant Students
Bastyr University is an approved school for enrollment of F-1 non-immigrants through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). More information is available on the Department of Homeland Security's "Study in the States" web page.
University Financial Audit
Form 990 is filed with the IRS annually and available to the public in the Bastyr University Finance Office.
Current students must first exhaust the complaint process established by Bastyr University, as published in the Student Handbook on the University's intranet MyBU. Prospective students who wish to make a complaint should contact Susan Weider, Dean of Students, at (425) 602-3000.
If you are a Washington student and are unable to resolve your concern internally with Bastyr University, you can contact the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC), which has authority to investigate student complaints against specific schools. WSAC may not be able to investigate every student complaint. Visit http://www.wsac.wa.gov/student-complaints for information regarding the WSAC complaint process.
If you are a California student and are unable to resolve your concern internally with Bastyr University you may also contact the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) to file a complaint. For BPPE student complaint information, please refer to www.bppe.ca.gov/enforcement/complaint.shtml.
If you are a non-Washington or non-California resident and are unable to resolve your concern internally with Bastyr University or through the two agencies listed above (WSAC or BPPE, respectively), you may contact NC-SARA or your home state agency to file a complaint, depending on your home state's student complaint process. For your convenience, Bastyr University has created a current list outlining each state's complaint process.
Active U.S. military service members, veterans and their family members may access the Department of Defense's Postsecondary Education Complaint System at http://www.militaryonesource.mil/voluntary-education?content_id=274604.