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Accreditation & Student Success


The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Other programs such as education, business, nursing and social work have specialized accreditations from national organizations. These include the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The Charles Morton Share Trust Division of Nursing's programs are approved by the Oklahoma Board of Nursing. 

HLC's Open Pathways to Accreditation

For its next accreditation, Northwestern Oklahoma State University will be taking part in the Higher Learning Commission’s Open Pathways Ten Year Cycle. The chart that presents this cycle is provided below, as well as at the link. The graphic also will take you to a print quality PDF. Note the activities that are due each year as well as the reviewers who will be reviewing them.

Open Pathways graphic

Open Pathways graphic2


Student Success Data

Retention Rates

Retention Rates - Fall to Fall FY18 FY19 FY20 FY21 FY22
First Time Freshmen 54.8% 56.3% 60.9% 61.3% 56.4%
First Time Full-time Freshmen 60.2% 56.4% 69.0% 61.7% 56.7%

Graduation Rates

Graduation Rate/Degrees Granted - Based on full-time fall status FY18
Graduation Rates 30.44% 30.82% 25.81% 30.92%

Number of Degrees

  FY18 FY19 FY20 FY21
Certificates 39 28 36 29
Associates 0 0 0 0
Bachelors 328 358 330 301
Master 48 48 49 52
Doctoral 0 0 7 12

Licensure Pass Rate for Nursing

  FY18 FY19 FY20 FY21
Alva 62.5% 88.89% 81.8% 50%
Enid 76.47% 88.89% 88.8% 88%
Woodward 0% 100% 100% 100%
Ponca City 100% 100% 100% 100%
Cumulative 70.96% 92% 88.46% 88%
AANP Family Nurse Practitioner Certification
      FY20 FY21
First-time pass rate     85.71% 100%

Office of Educational Quality and Accountability Reports


Quality Initiative Report

The Open Pathway requires an institution to designate one major improvement effort it has undertaken during its 10-year accreditation cycle as its Quality Initiative.  The Quality Initiative is intended to allow institutions to take risks, aim high and learn from only partial success or even failure. 

NWOSU Qualitiy Initiative Proposal

NWOSU Quality Initiative Report

HLC Approval Letter

Multi-Location Report

Institutions with three or more off-campus additional locations are required to undergo a Multi-Location Visit every five years.  The purpose of the Multi-Location Visit is to confirm the continuing effective oversight by the institution of its additional locations.

NWOSU Multi-Location Report

HLC Approval Letter

Assurance Argument

HLC conducts an Assurance Review to determine whether an institution on the Standard or Open Pathway continues to meet teh Criteria for Accreditation.  On the Open Pathway, the Assurance Review is conducted by itself in Year 4 and is a part of the comprehensive evaluation that occurs in Year 10.

NWOSU 4-year Assurance Review

HLC 4-year Assurance Review Approval Letter

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

709 Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, OK 73717
Phone: (580) 327-1700

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Mission Statement

Northwestern Oklahoma State University provides quality educational and cultural opportunities to learners with diverse needs by cultivating ethical leadership and service, critical thinking and fiscal responsibility.

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