HLC Overview - Comprehensive Evaluation Requirements

The Criteria for Accreditation are the standards of quality by which the Commission determines whether an institution merits accreditation. There are 5 separate Criteria each with a set of core components. Along with the 5 criteria there is a federal compliance piece.

The Core Components

The institution meets the Core Component if the Core Component:

  1. is met without concerns, that is the institution meets or exceeds the expectations embodied in the Component; or
  2. is met with concerns, that is the institution demonstrates the characteristics expected by the Component, but performance in relation to some aspect of the Component must be improved.

The institution does not meet the Core Component if the institution fails to meet the Component in its entirety or is so deficient in one or more aspects of the Component that the Component is judged not to be met.

The Criteria for Accreditation

The institution meets the Criterion if the Criterion:

  1. is met without concerns, that is the institution meets or exceeds  the expectations embodied in the Criterion; or
  2. is met with concerns, that is the institution demonstrates the characteristics expected by the Criterion, but performance in relation to some Core Components of the Criterion must be improved.

The institution does not meet the Criterion if the institution fails to meet the Criterion in its entirety or is so deficient in one or more Core Components of the Criterion that the Criterion is judged not to be met.

The institution meets the Criterion only if all Core Components are met. The institution must be judged to meet all five Criteria for Accreditation to merit accreditation.

The Commission will grant or continue accreditation (with or without conditions or sanctions), deny accreditation, or withdraw accreditation based on the outcome of its review.