Accreditation is a voluntary, non-governmental peer review process overseen by the higher education community that aims to ensure academic quality and accountability and to encourage improvement.
In addition to institutional accreditation, many of NU’s programs are approved or recognized by state and national organizations.
The Office of University Planning and Assessment is available to assist programs, departments and colleges with their accreditation related needs, usually by assisting with program assessment, data gathering and reporting.
Niagara University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (3624 Market Street, 2nd Floor West, Philadelphia, PA 19104). Individual faculties also hold major accreditations from the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), The Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB). Among the university's more popular undergraduate academic programs are business, education, hospitality and tourism management, criminal justice, psychology, theater studies, biology, communication studies and political science.
NU’s 10-year reaccreditation process with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education was completed in 2017. This intensive, two-year process, brought the campus community together for a time of self-study, exploring educational programs, policies and services to determine how well we meet institutional goals, fulfill our mission and meet Middle States’ standards.
The Commission measures compliance with the following seven Standards for Accreditation:
Standard I: Mission and Goals
The institution’s mission defines its purpose within the context of higher education, the students it serves, and what it intends to accomplish. The institution’s stated goals are clearly linked to its mission and specify how the institution fulfills its mission.
Standard II: Ethics and Integrity
Ethics and integrity are central, indispensable, and defining hallmarks of effective higher education institutions. In all activities, whether internal or external, an institution must be faithful to its mission, honor it contracts and commitments, adhere to its policies, and represent itself truthfully.
Standard III: Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience
An institution provides students with learning experiences that are characterized by rigor and coherence at all program, certificate, and degree levels, regardless of instructional modality. All learning experiences, regardless of modality, program pace/schedule, level, and setting are consistent with higher education expectations.
Standard IV: Support of the Student Experience
Across all educational experiences, settings, levels, and instructional modalities, the institution recruits and admits students whose interests, abilities, experiences, and goals are congruent with its mission and educational offerings. The institution commits to student retention, persistence, completion, and success through a coherent and effective support system sustained by qualified professionals, which enhances the quality of the learning environment, contributes to the educational experience, and fosters student success.
Standard V: Educational Effectiveness Assessment
Assessment of student learning and achievement demonstrates that the institution’s students have accomplished educational goals consistent with their program of study, degree level, the institution’s mission, and appropriate expectations for institutions of higher education.
Standard VI: Planning, Resources and Institutional Improvement
The institution’s planning processes, resources, and structures are aligned with each other and are sufficient to fulfill its mission and goals, to continuously assess and improve its programs and services, and to respond effectively to opportunities and challenges.
Standard VII: Governance, Leadership and Administration
The institution is governed and administered in a manner that allows it to realize its stated mission and goals in a way that effectively benefits the institution, its students, and the other constituencies it serves. Even when supported by or affiliated with governmental, corporate, religious, educational system, or other unaccredited organizations, the institution has education as its primary purpose, and it operates as an academic institution with appropriate autonomy.