Accreditation in Higher Education
Accreditation has evolved into a valuable attribute of institutions in higher education during the last century. Accreditation is a voluntary process in which the primary purposes are quality assurance and institutional and program improvement. The accreditation of an institution assures the public that its formal educational activities, governance and administration, financial stability, admissions and student personnel services, resources, student academic achievement, organizational effectiveness and relationships with outside constituencies have been assessed and evaluated by an external entity. UIS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCA).
HLC-NCA Accreditation Process
Our accreditation process by the HLC-NCA involves:
- A 10-year cycle (see Historical Documents);
- A self-study exercise that evaluates how well the institution meets the criteria for accreditation;
- Preparation and submission of a self-study report; and
- An on-site visit by peer evaluators who review the claims and evidence of the self-study report (October 2007).
HLC-NCA Criteria for Accreditation
- Criterion One – Mission and Integrity
The organization operates with integrity to ensure the fulfillment of its mission through structures and processes that involve the board, administration, faculty, staff, and students.
- Criterion Two – Preparing for the Future
The organization's allocation of resources and its processes for evaluation and planning demonstrate its capacity to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its education, and respond to future challenges and opportunities.
- Criterion Three – Student Learning and Effective Teaching
The organization provides evidence of student learning and teaching effectiveness that demonstrates it is fulfilling its educational mission.
- Criterion Four – Acquisition, Discovery and Application of Knowledge
The organization promotes a life of learning for its faculty administration, staff and students by fostering and supporting inquiry, creativity, practice, and social responsibility in ways consistent with its mission.
- Criterion Five – Engagement and Service
As called for by its mission, the organization identifies its constituencies and serves them in ways that both the organization and the constituencies value.