An institution must be judged by the Commission to have met each of the Criteria for Accreditation, the Core Components and the Federal Compliance Requirements to merit the grant of initial accreditation or the reaffirmation of accreditation.
In preparation for accreditation and reaffirmation of accreditation, an institution shall provide evidence through a self-study or self-evaluation process that it meets each of the Criteria and the Core Components. The distinctiveness of an institution’s mission may condition the strategies it adopts and the evidence it provides that it meets each Core Component. The institution shall also provide evidence with regard to those sub-components of the Criteria that apply to the institution. An institution in its evidence or a team in its review may identify topics or issues related to a Core Component other than those specified in the sub-components to be included in evaluating the institution’s meeting of the Core Component.
For institutions applying for initial accreditation the submission of evidence from the self-study or self-evaluation process constitutes the official application for accreditation. An institution applying for initial accreditation shall also demonstrate conformity with the Assumed Practices.
The judgment that the organization meets the Criteria for Accreditation and Core Components is based on detailed information about all parts of the institution. Such information may be acquired through evidence provided to the Commission by the institution or acquired by the Commission from other sources prior to, during, or subsequent to an evaluation process. This information will be confirmed in the written report of the visiting team; in the pattern of portfolios, reports, panel views and appraisals required of institutions participating in the AQIP processes; or in other review documents identified by the Commission as core elements of a process for reaffirmation of accreditation.
In the evaluation process, the Commission will review the institution against the Criteria and Core Components according to the following evaluative framework.
Core Components. The institution meets the Core Component if:
- the Core Component is met without concerns, that is the institution meets or exceeds the expectations embodied in the Component; or
- the Core Component is met with concerns, that is the institution demonstrates the characteristics expected by the Component, but performance in relation to some aspect of the Component must be improved.
The institution does not meet the Core Component if the institution fails to meet the Component in its entirety or is so deficient in one or more aspects of the Component that the Component is judged not to be met.
Criteria for Accreditation. The institution meets the Criterion if:
- the Criterion is met without concerns, that is the institution meets or exceeds the expectations embodied in the Criterion; or
- the Criterion is met with concerns, that is the institution demonstrates the characteristics expected by the Criterion, but performance in relation to some Core Components of the Criterion must be improved.
The Criterion is not met if the institution fails to meet the Criterion in its entirety or is so deficient in one or more Core Components of the Criterion that the Criterion is judged not to be met.
The institution meets the Criterion only if all Core Components are met. The institution must be judged to meet all five Criteria for Accreditation to merit accreditation.
The Commission will grant or reaffirm accreditation (with or without conditions or sanctions), deny accreditation, or withdraw accreditation based on the outcome of this evaluation.
Last Revised: February 2012
First Adopted: February 2003
Revision History: February 2012, effective January 2013
Notes: Formerly policy number 1.1(a)2, 2013 – 1.1(a)1, 1.1(a)1.1. The Revised Criteria for Accreditation, Assumed Practices, and other new and revised related policies adopted February 2012 are effective for all accredited institutions on January 1, 2013.
Policy Number Key
Section INST: Institutional Policies
Chapter A: Implementation of HLC Criteria and Requirements
Part 10: General