Accreditation at SFU
What is accreditation?
Accreditation allows an assessment by our peers (educators and researchers) who have the same aspirations to high standards as we have at Simon Fraser University. Currently, SFU has certain programs or faculties, such as Beedie School of Business, that have attained specific accreditation relating to their field.
SFU has applied for formal accreditation with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), an independent, non-profit agency.
The NWCCU is one of six independent regional agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to evaluate the quality and institutional effectiveness of post-secondary institutions. Simon Fraser is being accredited by a U.S. agency because Canada doesn’t have a comparable institutional accreditation body.
The independent, non-profit NWCCU accepted SFU’s application for candidacy in January 2009.
What is the value for SFU?
We will become the first Canadian post-secondary research university to become accredited.
What are the benefits?
- Increase accountability - through regular external assessments of our adherence to best-practice standards.
- Set clear benchmarks - Establish clearer benchmarks/standards for assessing educational goals and students’ learning experiences.
- Enhance the value of an SFU degree.
- Build relationships - Strategically build our relationships with U.S. institutions, including government, foundations and collegiate sports associations.
- Foster public confidence - in our ability to adhere to our stated vision and goals.
What are the next steps?
SFU submitted a Comprehensive Initial Accreditation Self Evaluation Report to the NWCCU in February 2016. This was followed by a site visit of an evaluation team, April 6-8.
The next step includes the consideration of SFU's Self Evaluation Report and the Evaluation Committee's Report by the NWCCU Board of Commissioners this coming June toward granting initial accreditation.
If successful, SFU will become accredited. Then a regular seven-year cycle of annual reports on individual cycles, with two visits from the NWCCU in the seven years. Each seven-year cycle will conclude with a full Self Evaluation and accreditation reaffirmation.