Accreditation Criteria

The Criteria for Accreditation are the quality standards by which the Commission determines whether an institution merits or reaffirms accreditation. They are as follows:

Criterion One: Mission

The institution’s mission is clear and articulated publicly; it guides the institution’s operations.

Core Components

A. The institution’s mission is articulated publicly and operationalized throughout the institution.
B. The institution’s mission demonstrates commitment to the public good.
C. The institution provides opportunities for civic engagement in a diverse, multicultural society and globally connected world, as appropriate within its mission and for the constituencies it serves.

Criterion Two: Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct

The institution acts with integrity; its conduct is ethical and responsible.

Core Components

A. The institution establishes and follows policies and processes to ensure fair and ethical behavior by its governing board, administration, faculty, and staff.
B. The institution presents itself clearly and completely to its students and the public.
C. The institution's governing board is autonomous to make decisions in the institution's best interest in compliance with board policies and to ensure the institution’s integrity.
D. The institution is committed to academic freedom and freedom of expression in the pursuit of truth in teaching and learning.
E. The institution’s policies and procedures call for responsible acquisition, discovery, and application of knowledge by its faculty, staff, and students.

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

The institution provides quality education wherever and however its offerings are delivered.

Core Components

A. The rigor of the institution’s academic offerings is appropriate to higher education.
B. The institution offers programs that engage students in collecting, analyzing, and communicating information, mastering modes of intellectual inquiry or creative work, and developing skills adaptable to changing environments.
C. The institution has the faculty and staff needed for effective, high-quality programs and student services.
D.  The institution provides support for student learning and resources for effective teaching.

Criterion Four: Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement

The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs, learning environments, and support services, and it evaluates its effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement.

Core Components

A. The institution ensures the quality of its educational offerings.
B. The institution engages in ongoing assessment of student learning as part of its commitment to the educational outcomes of its students.
C. The institution pursues educational improvement through goals and strategies that improve retention, persistence, and completion rates in its degree and certificate programs.

Criterion 5. Institutional Effectiveness, Resources, and Planning

The institution’s resources, structures, and processes are sufficient to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its educational offerings, and respond to future challenges and opportunities.

Core Components

A. Through its administrative structures and collaborative processes, the institution’s leadership demonstrates its effectiveness and enables it to fulfill its mission.
B. The institution’s resource base supports its educational offerings and plans to maintain and strengthen its quality.
C. The institution engages in systematic and integrated planning and improvement.

Find further details on accreditation criteria