About Accreditation

About Accreditation

Institutional Accreditation

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accredits an institution versus any specialized program within an institution (e.g., law, nursing, business). The institutional accreditation process evaluates the ability of an entire institution to meet its overall mission by evaluating the educational activities of an institution as well as the university's governance and administrative structure, financial viability, student support services, human resources, the student learning environment, student learning, institutional effectiveness, and relationships with internal and external constituencies. 

To this end, HLC adopted five Criteria for Accreditation and Core Components to inform the Commission's decisions regarding an institution's ability to meet the standards necessary for accreditation.  These five criteria address:

(1) Mission
(2) Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct
(3) Teaching-Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support
(4) Teaching-Learning: Evaluation and Improvement
(5) Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness

Specialized Accreditation

Specialized program accreditation processes sets standards for professional or other specialized programs (e.g., nursing, business, medicine, law) and evaluates the ability of the individual program to meet these standards. Though these standards may be very similar to those set by HLC, the standards apply only to the specific program and not the institution as a whole.

See more about specialized accreditation.

Pathways: The Open Pathway

The HLC has developed a 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 change process.
  • 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.