Weber State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). It also has professional accreditation in a number of specialized fields.
In explaining the roles of accreditation, NWCCU has stated:
Accreditation is a status granted to an educational institution or a program that has been found to meet or exceed stated criteria of educational quality. In the United States, accreditation is voluntarily sought by institutions and programs and is conferred by non-governmental bodies.
Accreditation has two fundamental purposes: to certify the quality of the institution or program and to assist in the improvement of the institution or program. …
Institutional Accreditation. An institutional accrediting body considers the characteristics of whole institutions. For this reason, an institutional accrediting body gives attention not only to the educational programs of the institutions it accredits, but also to other such institutional characteristics as the student personnel services, financial conditions, and administrative strength.
The criteria of an institutional accrediting body are broad, as is demanded by the attention to an entire institution and by the presence in the United States of postsecondary institutions of widely different purposes and scopes. Such breadth of criteria also provide encouragement to institutions to try innovative curricula and procedures and to adopt them when they prove successful. Accreditation of an institution by an institutional accrediting body certifies to the general public that the institution:
- has appropriate purposes;
- has the resources needed to accomplish its purposes;
- can demonstrate that it is accomplishing its purposes; and
- gives reason to believe that it will continue to accomplish its purposes. …
Specialized Accreditation. A specialized accrediting body focuses its attention on a particular program within an institution of higher education. The close relationship of the specialized accrediting body with the professional association for the field helps ensure that the requirements for accreditation are related to the current requirements for professional practice.
In a number of fields (e.g., medicine, law, dentistry), graduation from an accredited program in the field is a requirement for receiving a license to practice in the field. Thus, specialized accreditation is recognized as providing a basic assurance of the scope and quality of professional or occupational preparation. This focus of specialized accreditation leads to accreditation requirements that are sharply directed to the nature of the program, including specific requirements for resources needed to provide a program satisfactory for professional preparation. Because of this limitation of focus to a single program, many specialized accrediting bodies require that the institution offering the program be institutionally accredited before consideration can be given to program accreditation.
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, General Policy B-1