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Open Pathway to Accreditation

In April 2009, the Higher Learning Commission introduced the Open Pathway as a proposed new model for accreditation with the goal of creating more value for institutions, reducing the burden of repetitive data and reporting, and enhancing rigor in ways that testify to the quality of higher education.

In 2010 IECC had the honor of being one of the few invited to participate as a "pioneer institution" in the new Open Pathway Demonstration Project.  IECC assisted with testing and refining the Open Pathway Assurance Process and were excited to have this unique opportunity to transform the Commission's Academy into an accrediting pathway focused on what and how well students learn.

The new Open Pathway model of accreditation involves two major components:

  • Quality Initiative
  • Assurance Argumentan electronic portfolio documenting how IECC meets the five HLC Criteria for Accreditation.
    IECC is one of 20 pioneer institutions who were selected to pilot and test the new Open Pathway model for continued accreditation. 

Click here for the HLC Open Pathway Booklet containing complete information about the Open Pathway Process and the Transition to the Open Pathway.


Quality Initiative

The Open Pathway requires an institution to designate one major improvement effort it has undertaken as its Quality Initiative for reaffirmation of accreditation.

Assurance System

All institutions in the Standard Pathway and Open Pathway will use the Commission’s online Assurance System to upload and link evidentiary materials to their Assurance Arguments, which make the case for how the institution meets the Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation.


IECC Reaffirmation of Accreditation 

On June 15, 2015, the Higher Learning Commission’s Institutional Actions Council (IAC) continued the reaffirmation of accreditation of Illinois Eastern Community Colleges.  This action followed an accreditation visit in April 2015 by a five member Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Peer Review Team.


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