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HLC Criteria

HLC Criteria for Accreditation

The Criteria for Accreditation are organized under five major headings:

Criterion 1: Mission 

Criterion 2: Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct

Criterion 3: Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support

Criterion 4: Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement

Criterion 5: Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness

Elements of Each Criterion

Each Criterion has three elements: Criterion Statement, Core Components, and Examples of Evidence.

1. Criteria Statements.

These statements, adopted by the Commission, define necessary attributes of an organization accredited by the Commission. An institution must be judged to have met each of the Criteria to merit accreditation. Sanctions may be applied if an affiliated institution is in jeopardy of not meeting one or more of the Criteria.

2. Core Components.

The Commission identifies Core Components of each Criterion. An institution addresses each Core

Component as it presents reasonable and representative evidence of meeting a Criterion. The review of each Core Component is necessary for a thorough evaluation of how an institution meets a Criterion.

3. Examples of Evidence.

In the Examples of Evidence, the Commission provides illustrative examples of the specific types of evidence that an institution might present in addressing a Core Component.

Institutions may provide other evidence they find relevant to their mission and activities. Some types of evidence suggested by the Commission may not be appropriate for all institutions; therefore, the absence of a specific type of evidence does not in and of itself mean that the institution fails to meet a Core Component.