ASQ - Education Division

Changes in the Higher Learning Commission Accreditation Requirements: An Overview

Abstract: The Higher Learning Commission is an independent corporation and one of two commission members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), one of six regional institutional accreditors. In 2009, the Higher Learning Commission began a comprehensive review of its traditional accreditation criteria. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Education required the Commission to define minimum expectations relative to each of the criteria. In the spring of 2011, an alpha version of the new criteria was made available along with the current minimum expectations within the criteria. Overall, although there are no significant changes in the nature of the accreditation requirements, the new documents provide greater clarity and direction for institutions and others involved in the accreditation process. The revised criteria should also lead to improvements in assessment, accountability and transparency.

Keywords: Continuous Improvement - Higher Education Brief

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