The self-study process involved gathering information and evidence relevant to the Higher Learning Commission's criteria from across campus, in addition to surveying campus and community constituencies about important issues and holding meetings to discuss these issues. The self-study is intended to provide an in-depth picture of how well the institution meets the criteria for excellence in higher education.

Because Fort Lewis is an already accredited institution in good standing based on its review in 2005-06, we can follow the most flexible process, known as the Open Pathway.

Under the timetable set by the HLC to transition institutions to the new processes, FLC will be in the first cohort of Open Pathway institutions when we are reviewed in 2015-16.

Unchanged in the review process are the criteria and core components of accreditation:

  • Mission and Integrity,
  • Preparing for the Future,
  • Student Learning and Effective Teaching,
  • Acquisition, Discovery, and Application of Knowledge, and
  • Engagement and Service.

Changed are the types of review activities and the frequency of the reviews.   Accreditation now requires: 

  • Institutional Update  – a data set filed via a web-based system and monitored every year, 
  • Assurance Review  – a 35,000 word Assurance Argument about how we meet the criteria for accreditation and the associated core components backed up by an Evidence File, both filed via a web-based system and monitored in 2015-16, 2019-20, 2025-26, and every five years after that,
  • Quality Initiative  –  a focused and systematic improvement project related to the academic core, which will begin in 2012-13 and be completed in 2014-15, and every five years after that, and a  
  • Comprehensive Evaluation  – the filing of a revised Assurance Review, a Federal Compliance Review, and a 1 ½-day campus visit, in 2015-16, 2025-26, and every ten years after that.