Accreditation / Assessment / Academic Program Review

Accreditation / Assessment / Academic Program Review / Distance Education and Licensure


Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the Northwest Commission 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 stated 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 Accreditation

Portland State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Accreditation by the NWCCU is not partial but applies to the institution as a whole. As such, it is not a guarantee of every course or 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.

Because accreditation by the NWCCU refers to the institution as a whole, 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.

Accreditation of PSU

Accreditation of Portland State University was reaffirmed in fall 2015, after a comprehensive self-evaluation report. The next Year Seven Report is due for submission to the NWCCU in fall of 2022. For the most recent NWCCU affirmation letter, Mid Cycle Report, and other documentation, please refer to Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities Resources below.


Inquiries regarding an institution's accredited status by the NWCCU should be directed to Brian Sandlin,
Accreditation and Compliance Coordinator, 503-725-5252,

Individuals may also contact NWCCU:

Northwest Commission on College and Universities
8060 165th Avenue N.E., Suite 200
Redmond, WA. 98052
(425) 558-4224

Process for Filing a Complaint about PSU to the NWCCU


Specialized Accreditation

In the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences; the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). The Department of Chemistry is accredited by the American Chemical Society (ACS).

In the College of the Arts; Music programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). Theater programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theater (NAST). The Master of Architecture degree in the School of Architecture is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

In the College of Urban and Public Affairs; the Master of Urban and Regional Planning degree is accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB). The Master of Public Administration and Executive Master of Public Administration degrees are accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). The Master of Public Administration – Health Administration is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).

In the College of Education; teacher education programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) and by the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC). The counseling programs are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The Helen Gordon Child Development Center is accredited by the National Association for Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

In the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science; undergraduate programs in civil, computer, electrical, environmental, and mechanical engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The computer science program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). ABET can be contacted at 415 North Charles Street Baltimore, MD 21201 - telephone: (410) 347-7700.

In the School of Business; the undergraduate and graduate business programs as well as the accounting program are accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB).

In the School of Public Health; the undergraduate programs in Applied Health and Fitness, and Public Health Studies, the Master of Public Health degrees, the Master of Science in Biostatistics, and the Ph.D. programs in Community Health, Epidemiology, Health Systems and Policy are all accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). The Health Management & Policy MPH is also accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME).

In the School of Social Work; both the bachelor’s and the master’s programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The Child, Youth, & Family Studies certificate program is accredited by the National Council on Family Relations (NCRF).


The assessment of student learning at Portland State is a decentralized process that is performed at the program and college level. All programs are required to have program-level learning outcomes and to assess student learning related to these outcomes. 

The Institutional Assessment Council (IAC) serves as the primary resource for assessment policy on campus while the Office of Academic Innovation is the primary resource for helping programs with their assessment activities.

The charge of the IAC is to "create principles and recommendations for assessment planning that are sustainable and learning‐focused, and provides support aimed at enhancing the quality of student learning through assessment activities. The Council has designed a framework for promoting and supporting assessment long term, both at the program and institution levels. The IAC serves as the primary advisory mechanism for institutional assessment planning and coordinates with the assistant and associate deans group the implementation of systematic Annual Assessment Updates and Academic Program Review by the schools and colleagues."

Available Resources:

The IAC has developed a website and a rubric to assist programs with assessment planning and practice. 

For specific questions about assessment practices, the Office of Academic Innovation is available to provide assistance.  You may reach OAI at 503-725-6624 or

Annual Assessment Update

Every year in the Spring quarter, OAA with help from OIRP will circulate a survey to all degree programs that is designed for the programs to report on their assessment activities.

The questions relate to a programs student learning outcomes and how the program assesses student learning.  The survey goes on to ask for examples of how a program has used the results of assessment to improve.

The Office of Academic Innovation will be provided with the survey results and will be available to work with programs on improving their assessment practices.


Academic Program Review

Careful initiation and continued review of academic programs are key to an institution's viability and reputation. Not only does such an approach provide a level of quality assurance to the public, it also contributes to the broader portfolio of the state's system of public universities.

The review process employed by Portland State University serves to track the success of each program and identify its unique strengths. It provides a systematic way to improve programs by examining:

  • Adequacy of resources needed to sustain a quality offering;
  • Continued ability to address access and market demand;
  • Currency of the curriculum within the evolution of the discipline or field; and
  • Success of the program in terms of student learning.

Usually conducted through a form of self-study or external accreditation, the process for the ongoing review of existing programs engages faculty, administrators, graduates, and community partners in a thoughtful exploration that parallels many of the same elements reviewed during the program's initial approval. Results help reaffirm an institution's commitment to a program area, confirm the program's linkage with the institution's mission and strategic plan, and provide useful data for the institution's planning cycle.

At PSU, this process includes rigorous review and approval processes for all new programs and certificates, as well as a systematic review of all existing programs carried out at the college/school level.


Distance Education and State Licensure Information

Portland State is authorized to offer distance education through its membership in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, known as NC-SARA.  Participation in SARA allows accepted out-of-state students to take on-line courses from locations in other SARA states and still qualify for Title IV funding. 

NC-SARA requires that any institution that offers courses or programs potentially leading to professional licensure must keep all students informed as to whether such offerings actually meet state licensing requirements. 

The Speech and Hearing Sciences master’s degree program at Portland State University meets the academic and clinical requirements to be certified by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association and to be licensed as a speech-language pathologist in Oregon. Because licensure requirements vary from state to state, Portland State University is unable to determine if the academic training meets requirements for states other than Oregon. Program participants who are interested in working professionally outside of Oregon should visit the American Speech & Hearing Association (ASHA) State by State Requirements web page or the state licensing web page for the specific state in which they hope to practice.

Link to state's Speech and Hearing info
State Info ASHA Info
(American Speech-Language and Hearing Association)
Alabama State License Info Alabama Info from ASHA
Alaska State License Info Alaska Info from ASHA
Arizona State License Info Arizona Info from ASHA
Arkansas State License Info Arkansas Info from ASHA
California State License Info California Info from ASHA
Colorado State License Info Colorado Info from ASHA
Connecticut State License Info Connecticut Info from ASHA
Delaware State License Info Delaware Info from ASHA
Florida State License Info Florida Info from ASHA
Georgia State License Info Georgia Info from ASHA
Hawaii State License Info Hawaii Info from ASHA
Idaho State License Info Idaho Info from ASHA
Illinois State License Info Illinois Info from ASHA
Indiana State License Info Indiana Info from ASHA
Iowa State License Info Iowa Info from ASHA
Kansas State License Info Kansas Info from ASHA
Kentucky State License Info Kentucky Info from ASHA
Louisiana State License Info Louisiana Info from ASHA
Maine State License Info Maine Info from ASHA
Maryland State License Info Maryland Info from ASHA
Massachusetts State License Info Massachusetts Info from ASHA
Michigan State License Info Michigan Info from ASHA
Minnesota State License Info Minnesota Info from ASHA
Mississippi State License Info Mississippi Info from ASHA
Missouri State License Info Missouri Info from ASHA
Montana State License Info Montana Info from ASHA
Nebraska State License Info Nebraska Info from ASHA
Nevada State License Info Nevada Info from ASHA
New Hampshire State License Info New Hampshire Info from ASHA
New Jersey State License Info New Jersey Info from ASHA
New Mexico State License Info New Mexico Info from ASHA
New York State License Info New York Info from ASHA
North Carolina State License Info North Carolina Info from ASHA
North Dakota State License Info North Dakota Info from ASHA
Ohio State License Info Ohio Info from ASHA
Oklahoma State License Info Oklahoma Info from ASHA
Oregon State License Info Oregon Info from ASHA
Pennsylvania State License Info Pennsylvania Info from ASHA
Rhode Island State License Info Rhode Island Info from ASHA
South Carolina State License Info South Carolina Info from ASHA
South Dakota State License Info South Dakota Info from ASHA
Tennessee State License Info Tennessee Info from ASHA
Texas State License Info Texas Info from ASHA
Utah State License Info Utah Info from ASHA
Vermont State License Info Vermont Info from ASHA
Virginia State License Info Virginia Info from ASHA
Washington State License Info Washington Info from ASHA
West Virginia State License Info West Virginia Info from ASHA
Wisconsin State License Info Wisconsin Info from ASHA
Wyoming State License Info Wyoming Info from ASHA


The educator training offered in the College of Education at Portland State meets the requirements for licensure in the state of Oregon. Because licensure requirements vary from state to state, Portland State University is unable to determine if the academic training meets requirements for states other than Oregon. Program participants who are interested in working professionally outside of Oregon should visit the state licensing web page for the specific state in which they hope to practice. More information about educator licensure can be found at: and in the table below.

Link to state's Department of Education and licensure info.
Dept. of Education website Licensure Info
Alabama Dept. of Education Alabama Licensure Info
Alaska Dept. of Education Alaska Licensure Info
Arizona Dept. of Education Arizona Licensure Info
Arkansas Dept. of Education Arkansas Licensure Info
California Dept. of Education California Licensure Info
Colorado Dept. of Education Colorado Licensure Info
Connecticut Dept. of Education Connecticut Licensure Info
Delaware Dept. of Education Delaware Licensure Info
Florida Dept. of Education Florida Licensure Info
Georgia Dept. of Education Georgia Licensure Info
Hawaii Dept. of Education Hawaii Licensure Info
Idaho Dept. of Education Idaho Licensure Info
Illinois Dept. of Education Illinois Licensure Info
Indiana Dept. of Education Indiana Licensure Info
Iowa Dept. of Education Iowa Licensure Info
Kansas Dept. of Education Kansas Licensure Info
Kentucky Dept. of Education Kentucky Licensure Info
Louisiana Dept. of Education Louisiana Licensure Info
Maine Dept. of Education Maine Licensure Info
Maryland Dept. of Education Maryland Licensure Info
Massachusetts Dept. of Education Massachusetts Licensure Info
Michigan Dept. of Education Michigan Licensure Info
Minnesota Dept. of Education Minnesota Licensure Info
Mississippi Dept. of Education Mississippi Licensure Info
Missouri Dept. of Education Missouri Licensure Info
Montana Dept. of Education Montana Licensure Info
Nebraska Dept. of Education Nebraska Licensure Info
Nevada Dept. of Education Nevada Licensure Info
New Hampshire Dept. of Education New Hampshire Licensure Info
New Jersey Dept. of Education New Jersey Licensure Info
New Mexico Dept. of Education New Mexico Licensure Info
New York Dept. of Education New York Licensure Info
North Carolina Dept. of Education North Carolina Licensure Info
North Dakota Dept. of Education North Dakota Licensure Info
Ohio Dept. of Education Ohio Licensure Info
Oklahoma Dept. of Education Oklahoma Licensure Info
Oregon Dept. of Education Oregon Licensure Info
Pennsylvania Dept. of Education Pennsylvania Licensure Info
Rhode Island Dept. of Education Rhode Island Licensure Info
South Carolina Dept. of Education South Carolina Licensure Info
South Dakota Dept. of Education South Dakota Licensure Info
Tennessee Dept. of Education Tennessee Licensure Info
Texas Dept. of Education Texas Licensure Info
Utah Dept. of Education Utah Licensure Info
Vermont Dept. of Education Vermont Licensure Info
Virginia Dept. of Education Virginia Licensure Info
Washington Dept. of Education Washington Licensure Info
West Virginia Dept. of Education West Virginia Licensure Info
Wisconsin Dept. of Education Wisconsin Licensure Info
Wyoming Dept. of Education Wyoming Licensure Info

Students should attempt to resolve any grievances they may have with their school first. Should attempts to resolve these problems with appropriate school officials fail, or should the student be dissatisfied with the final outcome of the college complaint process, then the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC), can respond to a formal complaint.  Students may contact the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, 3225 25th St. SE, Salem, OR 97302 or by sending an email to  Students may also access our Complaints web page at or visit the complaints page at NC-SARA’s website: