About Accreditation and the New HLC Accreditation Process
The NCA, existing since 1895, is an organization comprised of member schools from nineteen states, from Minnesota to Oklahoma and from West Virginia to Arizona. Within the NCA, the HLC accredits organizations as a whole. Besides assessing formal educational activities, it evaluates such things as governance and administration, financial stability, admissions and student services, institutional resources, student learning, institutional effectiveness, and relationships with internal and external constituencies. Each accreditation process requires the university seeking accreditation to conduct an evaluative self-study as well as participate in a site visit by an HLC-sponsored accreditation team.
The HLC has designed the accreditation process to achieve its mission:
Serving the common good by assuring and advancing the quality of higher education.
While the focus of an accreditation visit historically has been on the self-study report we generate and the response to that report from the HLC, the Commission is developing a new model for continued accreditation through a program called Pathways. Pathways proposes to separate the continued accreditation process carried out through PEAQ into two components: the assurance process and the improvement process.
Creighton has selected the Open Pathway
The Open Pathway separates the continued accreditation process into two components: the Assurance Review and the Quality Initiative.
- Two Assurance Reviews take place in the ten-year cycle: one in Year 4 and one
in Year 10. The Year 4 review occurs asynchronously via the Commission's
online Assurance System and without a visit. The Year 10 review also is
conducted with the Assurance System but includes a visit to the campus, as
noted below. No change requests may be combined with the Year 4 review; all
change requests at Year 4 are evaluated separately through the Commission's
- Between Years 5 and 9 of the ten-year cycle, the institution proposes and
completes a Quality Initiative. The Assurance Reviews free the Quality Initiative to
focus on institutional innovation and improvement. The institution undertakes a
Quality Initiative as something it elects to suit its own purposes. Its timeframe is
flexible to accommodate the amount of time necessary to complete or make
substantial progress toward completion.
- In Year 10, the institution undergoes a comprehensive evaluation.
Creighton is scheduled for a 2016-2017 comprehensive review visit.