Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)?

The Higher Learning Commission is the commission empowered to conduct accrediting activities for degree-granting organizations of higher education. It is part of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The Association was founded in 1895 as a membership organization for educational institutions. It is committed to developing and maintaining high standards of excellence. The NCA, one of six regional institutional accrediting associations in the United States, accredits and thereby grants membership to educational institutions in the North Central region.

What is accreditation?

Accreditation is formal recognition of the quality of an educational program or institution. Institutional accreditation, granted by the Commission, results from an evaluation of an entire institution.

Why is institutional accreditation important?

Institutional accreditation from the Commission demonstrates that an institution meets nationally recognized standards of quality. Credits and degrees earned at an accredited institution will be respected by employers and other educational institutions. Accreditation facilitates transferability of coursework and it provides access to student financial aid and certain federal funding opportunities.

What is the self-study process?

The self-study process typically takes approximately two years, and usually is completed prior to applying for reaccreditation. The process provides an opportunity for the institution to make a comprehensive evaluation of how well it is meeting its goals and to implement changes or plans for improvements. At the end of the self-study, the institution prepares a report for The Higher Learning Commission to use as a basis for evaluating the institution.