Why Fort Lewis College dedicates time and effort to earn accreditation

Accreditation is a mark of excellence for colleges and universities, symbolizing a rigorous test of quality. Schools must demonstrate that the education they offer is of the highest caliber.

This badge is not easily obtained; accreditation is a lengthy and involved process that examines every facet of an institution: formal educational activities, governance and administration, financial stability, admissions and student services, institutional resources, student learning, institutional effectiveness, and relationships with internal and external constituencies. Accreditation requires the dedication and hard work of faculty, staff, students, and community supporters.

In an increasingly complex world, the need for a highly educated citizenry is more important than ever. It is essential for higher education institutions to prove their degrees are a worthwhile investment. Through the accreditation process, we aim to show that a degree from Fort Lewis College is worthwhile and of exceptional value to the students who earn it.

A Higher Learning Commission accreditation

Institutional accreditation is set by the non-governmental agency that accredits degree-granting institutions of higher education in our geographic region: the Higher Learning Commission, or HLC.

Because Fort Lewis is an already accredited institution in good standing with the HLC, we can elect to follow the Open Pathway Cycle of accreditation and reaffirmation. This means the College underwent a comprehensive review of our reaccreditation cycle, known as an Assurance Review in Year 4 (2020) and a larger Comprehensive Evaluation for Reaffirmation in Year 10 (2026).

In preparation for these comprehensive evaluations, FLC provides information and evidence to HLC, demonstrating that we comply with all relevant accreditation criteria. In 2020, an HLC peer review team evaluated our submitted materials and determined that all requirements were satisfactorily met and FLC did not need additional monitoring.

FLC is currently preparing for the subsequent comprehensive evaluation in 2026.

Open Pathway accreditation activities and timeline