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Accreditation FAQs

Accreditation is always a top priority at North Idaho College.

NIC and its partners work to meet the high educational standards for accreditation and address any issues of concern to ensure students aren’t negatively affected.

North Idaho College is an accredited college dedicated to student success and educational excellence.

What is a Teach-Out Agreement?

Teach-Out Agreement is a written agreement between an institution or institutions that provides for the equitable treatment of students and a reasonable opportunity for students to complete their programs of study if an institution loses its accreditation and ceases to operate before all enrolled students have completed their programs of study.

Federal law requires an institution to submit Teach-Out Agreement(s) in advance so the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) and the U.S. Department of Education may activate them in the event an institution loses its accreditation.

The NWCCU has required NIC to submit a Teach-Out Agreement(s) because “…North Idaho College (NIC), particularly the NIC Board of Trustees, has not made demonstrable progress in several key areas to address Recommendations from the April 2023 Show Cause visit.” (March 1, 2024, NWCUU Plan for North Idaho College.) 

A Teach-Out Agreement confirms that currently enrolled NIC students can complete their respective programs of study if NIC loses its accreditation.

The NWCCU is tasked with ensuring that NIC makes Teach-Out Agreements with other institution(s).

A Teach-Out Agreement ensures that students don’t have to worry about finding another way to complete their programs of study. Students do not have to sign or do anything but continue with their coursework.

Teach-Out Agreements submitted to NWCCU will only be between NIC and participating institutions that agree to help currently enrolled NIC students complete their respective degree or certificate programs. Teach-Out Agreement(s) ensure student credits will transfer.

Accreditation FAQs

  • Accreditation is the recognition from an accrediting agency (the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities – NWCCU) that an institution meets acceptable levels of quality.
  • NIC remains accredited. Credits and degrees earned under NIC's accreditation are always valid, valuable, and transferrable.

No, NIC is accredited.

  • On February 9, 2023, the NWCCU issued a sanction of show cause in a letter to NIC. The action letter stated that NIC is out of compliance with Eligibility Requirements and Standards related to its governance.
  • Within the past twelve months (July 7, 2023, and March 1, 2024), the NWCCU extended the show cause sanction and identified a specific list of concerns that the NIC Board of Trustees and administration must address. No issues about the academic experiences for students are of concern.
  • The NWCCU continues to work with NIC and wants to keep the College's accreditation. Multiple processes in place allow a sanctioned institution a multi-year period to address the NWCCU's concerns and work toward compliance with accreditation requirements and standards.
  • NIC's instructional programs are solid and in compliance. Instruction and program quality are not in question; this matter relates to the NIC Board of Trustees' governance of the College.
  • A sanction of show cause notes that NIC is out of compliance with standards of accreditation and requires the College to provide evidence that it will comply with NWCCU's specific recommendations by April 1, 2025. 
  • The extension of show cause requires an on-site visit by the NWCCU in Fall 2024 to verify progress. NIC remains accredited during this time.
  • The College's Board of Trustees and members of its administration will continue to participate in training sessions to demonstrate best practices of Board governance and work to establish evidence to comply with NWCCU standards.
  • NIC is required to submit a report and prepare for an on-campus visit during the Fall of 2024. The NWCCU Commissioners will consider the team report from the visit and the College's response to the report at the January 2025 Commission Meeting.
  • Because of the lack of demonstrated progress by the Board on outstanding Recommendations, federal regulations and NWCCU policy require NIC to develop Teach-Out Agreements with other institutions for our academic programs. NIC must submit these agreements to NWCCU for approval before August 31, 2024. NIC already developed a broad Teach-Out Plan, as was required when NWCCU initially placed NIC on Show-Cause in February 2023. A Teach-out Agreement takes the details a step further. It is a written agreement between institutions that provides for "the equitable treatment of students and a reasonable opportunity for students to complete their program of study if an institution ceases to operate before all enrolled students have completed their program of study." (34 CFR 600.2)
  • North Idaho College remains a quality, affordable option for higher education that welcomes all students. There is a variety of pathways available to match your needs. If you are interested in attending, please apply.
  • Current students do not need to take any immediate action. All classes that you are currently enrolled in are accredited and will transfer to other institutions, if desired.
  • Please continue to watch your Cardinal Mail for any future updates.
  • If you have any questions/concerns, please reach out to your advisor.
  • Degrees and credits you have earned at NIC are always valid, valuable, and transferrable.
  • Degrees and credits do not 'disappear' if an institution loses accreditation.
  • NIC maintains its status as an accredited institution. It serves nearly 20,000 people annually through various programs, including transfer programs, career and technical education, and workforce training.
  • Continue to work with your students to determine which path is best for them.
  • Contact NIC's Accreditation Liaison Officer, Steve Kurtz, at with any questions/concerns.
  • NIC is working with the NWCCU to meet all requirements laid out by the NWCCU.
  • The College is working with the Idaho State Board of Education to ensure students remain a priority and that there is no impact on teaching and learning at NIC.

The NIC Board of Trustees continues to engage in training for their professional development. Board actions and behavior must immediately demonstrate compliance with NWCCU Eligibility Requirements and Standards.

The U.S. Department of Education (USDE), NWCCU and the Idaho State Board of Education have explicit tools and requirements to protect students. NIC would have time to develop and deploy with the assistance of NWCCU a teach-out plan and agreement as required by USDE regulations and NWCCU policies. The specific information about that process is unknown at this time. 

The accreditation review process gives NIC the opportunity for the Board and administration to address the eight issues outlined in NWCCU's March 1, 2024, action letter. NIC will maintain accreditation as long as the Board of Trustees makes adequate progress and commits no egregious and unexpected acts.

Yes. NIC credits transfer just as they always have. Nothing has changed for students with transfer credits. All degrees awarded are valid.

  • No. Financial Aid is not impacted by the show cause status.
  • NIC students can access federal, state, and local financial aid programs. The College provides extensive support services to help students secure financial aid, housing, and scholarships.
  • Last year, NIC's Foundation awarded more than $1.2 million in scholarships.

No. NIC retains its accreditation during this period. Nothing has changed for students seeking certification.

  • Absolutely. NIC continues to offer multiple start dates, flexible scheduling, and accelerated courses that include face-to-face instruction, hybrid, and fully online learning. For more information about NIC programs, visit

Updated: Monday, March 4