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The USNCC was established by the Secretary of the Navy in 2020 as a pilot program. As a federal institution, ultimate authority for governance of USNCC rests with the US Congress. In December 2021, Congress passed the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, which empowered USNCC with conditional degree-granting authority*, the ability to directly hire staff and faculty in support of its educational mission, and to pursue candidacy status and accreditation through the United States Department of Education and Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


The USNCC is currently pursuing candidacy status and accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) ⁠— a voluntary, non-governmental, membership association that defines, maintains, and promotes educational excellence across institutions with diverse missions, student populations, and resources. MSCHE is recognized by the US Department of Education and is the accrediting body for several military institutions, including the United States Naval Academy, National Defense University, and United States Military Academy

*Conditional degree granting authority is dependent upon achieving MSCHE accreditation. 
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