Institutions accredited by the Higher Learning Commission must meet the five criteria for accreditation. These criteria emphasize continuous improvement and assessment of student learning.
Criterion One. Mission
The institution’s mission is clear and articulated publicly; it guides the institution’s operations.
Criterion Two. Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct
The institution acts with integrity; its conduct is ethical and responsible.
Criterion Three. Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support
The institution provides high quality education, wherever and however its offerings are delivered.
Criterion Four. Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement
The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs, learning environments, and support services, and it evaluates their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement.
Criterion Five. Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness
The institution’s resources, structures, and processes are sufficient to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its educational offerings, and respond to future challenges and opportunities. The institution plans for the future.
The new Criteria can be found here.
Foundational to the Criteria and Core Components is a set of practices shared by institutions of higher education in the United States. Unlike Criteria and Core Components, these Assumed Practices are (1) generally matters to be determined as facts, rather than matters requiring professional judgment and (2) unlikely to vary by institutional mission or context. The Assumed Practices can be found here.