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HLC: Criteria for Accreditation

Select this image for Accreditation

The Criteria for Accreditation are the standards of quality by which HLC determines whether an institution merits accreditation or reaffirmation of accreditation. Criterion 4 is as follows:

Criterion 4. 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 their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement.

Core Components

4.A. The institution ensures the quality of its educational offerings.​

4.B. The institution engages in ongoing assessment of student  learning as part of its commitment to the educational outcomes of its students.

4.C. The institution pursues educational improvement through goals and strategies that improve retention, persistence and completion rates in its degree and certificate programs.


Click the image below to view the Kriterion 4: Mission

For more information about Criterion 4, contact:

Trish Schmidt
Shelby Lowen

To learn more about each criterion click the buttons below:

Criterion History

Last Revised: February 2019, effective September 1, 2020

First Adopted: August 1992

Revision History: Criterion 3 revised August 1998, revised February 2002, revised February 2007; New Criteria for Accreditation adopted February 2003, effective January 2005; New Criteria for Accreditation adopted February 2012, effective January 2013; revised June 2014; revised February 2019, effective September 1, 2020Notes: Former Policy Number: 1.1(a), 2013 – 1.1 Part A, 1.1 Part B. In February 2021, references to the Higher Learning Commission as “the Commission” were replaced with the term “HLC.”

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