HLC 2021 Accreditation
Overview of Institutional Accreditation
Accreditation is the process used in U.S. education to ensure that schools, postsecondary institutions, and other education providers meet, and maintain, acceptable levels of quality. Quality Assurance is one of three main elements in the Higher Education Act's (HEA's) federal student aid programs. In order for students to receive federal student aid from the U.S. Department of Education for postsecondary study, the University of Arizona must maintain its accreditation status with a recognized accreditor. The regional accreditor for University of Arizona is the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
The Department of Education recognizes HLC to be a reliable agency and designates the role of gate-keeper to institutions that want access to federal student aid programs under the HEA. Thus, being accredited has public value and benefit. HLC is expected to develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met. This process is voluntary and based on the principle of academic self-governance. We request for HLC to evaluate the programs at UA and to judge that we meet the criteria for accreditation. Maintaining accreditation status also confirms to parents, students, and employers that UA meets acceptable educational standards.
Primary accrediting activities include:
- Standards: The Higher Learning Commission establishes and periodically refines its standards and policies to be followed by all successful candidates for accreditation or re-accreditation.
- Self-Study: UA prepares an in-depth self-evaluation report that measures performances with the standards set by HLC.
- Site-Visit: A peer review team selected by HLC does an on-site program inspection and reviews the self-study report.
- Decision and Publication: T Upon favorable recommendation by the peer review team, HLC grants reaccreditation and lists UA in their official publication of accredited institutions.
- Monitoring: HLC continues to monitor UA throughout the accreditation period.
- Reevaluation: HLC sets a date to reevaluate UA to ascertain whether continuation of UA's accredited status is warranted.
Coming Soon | Be prepared to know:
- Information for Students
- Information for Faculty
- Information for Administrators
- Information for Staff
Regional accreditation validates the quality of an institution as a whole and evaluates multiple aspects of an institution ranging from its academic offerings, governance and administration, mission, finances, and resources. The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission--one of six regional accreditation agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. UA's last comprehensive evaluation for re-accreditation occurred in 2010 and validated the University’s extraordinary quality and integrity of academics, research, administration, faculty, staff, resources, facilities and procedures.
Specialized accreditation focuses on programs, schools or colleges within a university that has already been awarded institutional accreditation. Many units at the University have voluntarily applied for and received this type of recognition. Like regional accreditation, each unit must go through a rigorous assessment process about every 6-8 years to assure that their programs continue to meet quality standards of the profession for which that program prepares graduates. To learn more about the accredited programs, visit the University Catalog for a detailed list of programs, units and accrediting agencies.