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Accreditation is a form of independent review designed to establish and maintain the uniform quality of educational programs and institutional effectiveness. It includes an important process of self-assessment that allows an institution to reflect on its programs, policies, and procedures as well as its strengths and weaknesses in accomplishing its educational mission. 

As an accredited school, Olympic College is allowed to provide financial aid to qualifying students, thereby giving more people access to strong, valuable education programs.

The most recognized accreditation in higher education is administered by regional accrediting associations that are ratified by the United States Department of Education. Olympic College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities  (NWCCU), an institutional accrediting body which accredits colleges and universities in the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. The NWCCU is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. 

Olympic College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the Northwest Commissioni on Colleges and Universities indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality evaluated through a peer review process.  An accredited college or university is one which has available the necessary resources to achieve its state purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.  Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.

Accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities is not partial but applies to the institution as a whole.  As such, it is not a guarantee of every course of program offered, or the competence of individual graduates.  Rather, it provides reasonable assurance about the quality of opportunities available to students who attend the institution.

Inquiries regarding an institution's accredited status by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities should be directed to the administrative staff of the institution.  Individuals may also contact:

                                            Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
                                                            8060 165th Avenue N.E., Suite 100
                                                                        Redmond, WA  98052

Accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities refers to the institution as a whole.  Therefore, statements like "fully accredited" or "this program is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities" or "this degree is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities" are incorrect and should not be used.

Olympic College's accreditation was reaffirmed in January 2010 based on its 2009 Self-Study.  The next full review and reaffirmation of accreditation will take place in fall of 2017 with its Year Seven Report.

Olympic College is a public, two-year post-secondary institution serving the people of Kitsap and Mason Counties in Washington State (Community College District 3). Some individuals programs are also accredited by various agencies (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Program-specific accreditation.




Bachelor of Science, Nursing

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Associate Degree, Nursing and Licensed Practical Nursing

National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, now Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing; approved by the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission

Medical Assisting

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)

Physical Therapy Assistant

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) of the American Physical Therapy Association

Culinary Arts Institute

American Culinary Federation


Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) [see Medical Office Assistant above]

Child Development and Family Center [Child care Program]

National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs, Candidate validation visit winter 2014

Olympic College is also approved by the Veterans Administration for attendance by veterans under Public Law 550 and 894. 

Olympic College measures its effectiveness and fulfillment of the Mission by using the achievement indicators found in the College’s Core Themes.

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities can be reached:
  • Through its website at
  • By phone at  (425) 558-4224
  • Or by contacting the Northwest Commission office at
        8060 165th Avenue NE, Suite 100
        Redmond, Washington, 98052-3981