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 (ED). The federal government (ED) 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 NWCCU Self-Evaluation - August 23, 2019
- A Comprehensive Peer-Evaluation Report - April 4, 2012
- NWCCU Accreditation Reaffirmation Letter - February 3, 2020
Public Notice of Accreditation Visit
The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) will perform a comprehensive accreditation visit to Bastyr University on October 21-23, 2019. An NWCCU evaluation team will be meeting with students, faculty, and staff. The purpose of the visit is to evaluate Bastyr University’s compliance with NWCCU accreditation standards and policies.
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
Bastyr University’s master’s-level program in acupuncture (MSA), master’s-level program in Oriental medicine (MSAOM), and advanced practice doctoral (DAOM) program are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). Institution/program accreditation history, notes, and dates of review may be viewed at: http://acaom.org/directory-menu/directory/
The Bastyr University professional doctoral (DAc) program, approved to begin enrolling students, is not yet accredited or pre-accredited by ACAOM. Graduates of this program are not considered to have graduated from an ACAOM-accredited or pre-accredited program and may not rely on ACAOM accreditation or pre-accreditation for professional licensure or other purposes.
This program is eligible for ACAOM accreditation, and Bastyr is currently in the process of seeking ACAOM pre-accreditation/accreditation for the program. However, the University can provide no assurance that pre-accreditation or accreditation will be granted by ACAOM.
ACAOM is recognized by the United States Department of Education as the specialized accreditation agency for institutions/programs preparing acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners. ACAOM is located at 8941 Aztec Drive, Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55347; phone 952/212-2434; fax 952/657-7068; www.acaom.org
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.
Master of Public Health
Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) Procedure for Third-Party Comments
The CEPH accreditation review and site visit for the Bastyr University MPH Program is scheduled for 6 January 2022.
As part of their accreditation review and site visit, CEPH has a procedure for third-party comments that assures opportunity for affected parties, including students, alumni, faculty and the community, to provide written input into the deliberations of a site visit team. This request for third-party comments is separate from the process of obtaining feedback from stakeholders on the self-study document, and must take place approximately three months before the visit. The request for third-party comments is more broad, does not require any reference to the self-study document and thus provides a school or program’s stakeholders with the opportunity to submit feedback directly to CEPH on the program and its practices, procedures and policies. Students, alumni, faculty, staff, community partners and members of the general public are all stakeholders who may make a third-party comment during this process. Anyone who feels that she/he/they has relevant information may submit a
third-party comment, including individuals who are also participating in the site visit and self-study, if they feel they have something additional to add.
As part of this process we hereby notify our major constituents that the CEPH accreditation review and site visit for the Bastyr University MPH Program is scheduled for 6 January 2022, and that written third-party comments will be accepted by CEPH until 6 December 2021 (30 days before the on-site visit).
All third-party comments should be sent directly to CEPH by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by surface mail to:
Council on Education for Public Health
1010 Wayne Avenue, Suite 220
Silver Spring, MD 20910
The Bastyr University MPH accreditation is coordinated by Lynelle Golden, PhD, Dean School of Natural Health Arts and Sciences, email@example.com and Robin Fenn, PhD, LICSW, Chair/Professor of Public Health, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 | email@example.com | (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 2021-22 University Catalog
- The University's 2018 Annual Report to the BPPE
- 2020 School Performance Fact Sheets
- Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine - Program Viewbook
- Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology
- Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness - Information Sheet
- Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Culinary Arts
BUC School Performance Factsheets
- Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine Factsheet
- Master of Science in Nutrition and Wellness Factsheet
- Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology 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 are encouraged to utilize 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 unable to resolve your concern(s) internally with Bastyr University, you may contact the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC), the University’s responsible state agency, to file a complaint at http://www.wsac.wa.gov/student-complaints. In addition to filing an official complaint with WSAC, Bastyr University California students may also contact the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) at http://www.bppe.ca.gov/enforcement/complaint.shtml. Please refer to Bastyr University’s current list of states and territories for further information.
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.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/Feedback.asp.