Accreditation cycle

The Higher Learning Commission uses their Open Pathway accreditation cycle as part of their review of FLC. Read more about Open Pathway on the Higher Learning Commission's website.

Snapshot of accreditation activities for Standard and Open Pathway Institutions

This chart shows a typical timeline of required activities for most accredited institutions.
Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Institutional Update:
Includes HLC evaluation of financial and non-financial indicators
x x x x x x x x x x
Pathway Evaluation:
Assurance Review or comprehensive evaluation (with multi-campus visit, if applicable)
      x           x
Quality initiative:
Open Pathway only
        x x x x x  
Multi-location visit:
Only institutions with 3+ active additional locations
    x         x    

At any point during this cycle, institutions may undergo additional reviews as needed, related to: 

  • Substantive change applications
  • Change of Control, Structure, or Organization applications
  • Financial or non-financial indicator follow-up
  • Routine or special monitoring
  • Notice sanction