Higher Learning Commission

Policy Title: Components of Accredited or Candidate (“Affiliated”) Institutions

Number: INST.B.10.020

The affiliation status of an institution shall include the institution’s home campus or system office located within the Commission’s region and all its components wherever located. Components of an institution shall include all branch campuses, instructional sites, course locations and divisions offering distance delivery or correspondence operating inside the region, outside the region but within the United States, or outside the United States.

The operational status of all institutional components will be periodically reviewed under this policy.

Characteristics of a Component That May Be Included in the Institution’s Affiliation

An entity may be deemed a component of an affiliated institution if responsibility for the educational and operational activities of the component is clearly located at a home campus or system office that is central to the institution affiliated with the Commission.

The component may be included in the institution’s affiliation only if it has all of the following characteristics:

  1. the home campus or system office has oversight over the finances, administration, and hiring, firing and retention of personnel at the component;
  2. an administrator for the component reports to the CEO of the affiliated institution or the system;
  3. the home campus or system office provides meaningful oversight over the academic programs at the component;
  4. degree-granting authority of the home campus or system office encompasses, where possible, the degree or program activity of the component;
  5. public information about the institution, the component, and any corporate parent or structure is consistent with the characterization of the entity as a component of the affiliated entity.

Characteristics of a Separately Accreditable Component

A component of a larger institution that is currently included in that institution’s accreditation may be separately accreditable if a significant portion of responsibility and decision making for its educational activities lies within the component and not in the other parts of the larger system as defined in the characteristics outlined in this section.

The component may be separately accreditable if it has the following characteristics:

  1. has, under board policy, substantial financial and administrative independence from the home institution including matters related to personnel;
  2. has a full time chief administrative officer;
  3. is empowered, under board policy, to initiate and sustain its own academic programs;
  4. has degree-granting authority in the state or jurisdiction in which it is located; and
  5. public information about the institution, the component, and any corporate parent or structure is consistent with the characterization of the entity as a separately accreditable entity.

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Policy History

Last Revised: June 2009
First Adopted: January 1983, June 2000
Revision History: June 2000, revised June 2009
Notes: Jointly adopted with Council on Regional Accrediting Agencies. Former Policy number: 3.4(b). Also combined with the following policies November 2012: 3.4, 3.4(a)

Policy Number Key

Section INST: Institutional Policies

Chapter B: Requirements for Achieving and Maintaining Affiliation

Part 10: General

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