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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.

  • Accreditation is the recognition from an accrediting agency (the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities – NWCCU) that an institution maintains a certain level of educational standards.
  • For credits to transfer to other colleges, NIC must be accredited. NIC remains accredited and any credits and degrees earned under NIC’s accreditation are valid, valuable and transferrable.

No, NIC is accredited.

  • The NWCCU wants to work with NIC and has no desire to take away the college’s accreditation. There are multiple processes in place that allow a sanctioned institution a multi-year period to address the NWCCU’s concerns and work toward compliance with accreditation requirements and standards.
  • On Feb. 9, 2023, the NWCCU issued a sanction of show cause in a letter to NIC. This stated that NIC is out of compliance with Eligibility Requirements and Standards related to its governance.
  • On July 7, 2023, the NWCCU notified the college of an extension of show cause sanction and identified a specific list of concerns that must be addressed by the NIC Board of Trustees and administration. No issues about the academic experiences for students are of concern.
  • 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 that evidence be presented that NIC is addressing the NWCCU’s specific concerns and acting toward compliance with accreditation requirements and standards. The extension of show cause requires two on-site visits by the NWCCU in Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 to verify progress. NIC remains accredited during this time.

NIC will need to prepare an additional report for each of the two visits during the next nine months. The NIC Board of Trustees and members of the administration will continue to participate in training sessions with the goal of providing evidence of the demonstration of best practices of governance for the two reports. After the team visits, representatives from NIC will likely to be invited to attend the NWCCU Commissioners meetings in January and June of 2024. The NWCCU must notify the college of any official decision within 30 days, and the college would have the opportunity to appeal any potential adverse action. NIC remains accredited throughout this process.

North Idaho College remains a quality and affordable option for higher education that welcomes all students. There is a variety of pathways available to match your needs. If 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 already earned while an institution is accredited are not impacted by a loss of accreditation. Degrees and credits do not ‘disappear’ if an institution loses accreditation

  • NIC maintains its status as an accredited institution and serves nearly 20,000 people a year through a variety of programs, including transfer programs, career and technical education and workforce training.
  • Continue to work with your student to determine which path is best for them.
  • Reach out to NIC's Accreditation Liaison Officer, Steve Kurtz, at with any questions/concerns.
  • NIC is working with the NWCCU to meet all specific requirements as 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 to teaching and learning at NIC.

The NIC Board of Trustees has already had several board trainings and will continue to have a series of workshops and trainings 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 15 issues outlined in NWCCU’s most recent (July 7, 2023) action letter. NIC will continue to maintain accreditation as long as adequate progress is made and there are no egregious and unexpected acts committed by NIC.

Yes. NIC credits transfer just as they always have. Nothing has changed for students with transfer credits. Any degrees awarded can never be taken away.

NIC students have access to a full array of federal, state and local financial aid programs. The college provides extensive support services to help students secure financial aid, housing and other programs. Last year, NIC's Foundation awarded more than $1 million in scholarships. Financial Aid is not impacted by the show cause status.

No, the receipt of the recent letters from NWCCU do not impact NIC’s accreditation status. NIC remains accredited.

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: Thursday, March 23