The Accreditation Review web site was prepared to respond to the 2016 Show Cause Order issued by The Higher Learning Commission.
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is a regional agency that accredits degree granting institutions of higher education based in the 19-state North Central region of the United States, including Arkansas. Institutions are evaluated against the Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation, a set of standards that institutions must meet to receive and/or maintain accredited status.
HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation reflect a set of guiding values. The accreditation process is based on a system of peer review. Approximately 1,300 educators from institutions of higher education serve as peer reviewers conducting accreditation evaluations for other institutions. Peer reviewers also serve on committees that make up the decision-making bodies of the accreditation process.
HLC accreditation assures quality by verifying that an institution (1) meets standards and (2) is engaged in continuous improvement. In addition, all institutions are required to complete an annual filing of the Institutional Update, undergo annual monitoring of financial and non-financial indicators, and adhere to HLC policies and practices on institutional change.
Peer reviewers trained in HLC’s standards evaluate institutions demonstration of whether they meet the Criteria for Accreditation and make recommendations to HLC’s decision-making bodies.
The Board of Trustees appoints and authorizes members of the Institutional Actions Council (IAC) to conduct reviews and take actions on the majority of accreditation recommendations. IAC members consist of representatives of academic institutions accredited by HLC, as well as members of the public. Detailed information on IAC processes is found in HLC’s policies on decision-making.