3.43 Accreditation

Board Policies
Chapter 3 - Educational Policies

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Part 1. Purpose
To establish accreditation requirements for colleges and universities.

Part 2. Background
Higher education institutions demonstrate that they and their educational programs meet minimum standards through accreditation. Accreditation can be attained at the institutional or programmatic level. Once achieved, accreditation must be renewed periodically to ensure that the quality of the institution and educational programs is maintained.

In order for students to receive federal student aid from the U.S. Department of Education for postsecondary study, the institution must be accredited by a federally recognized accreditor.

Part 3. Definitions

A process and a status that assures higher education institutions and programs meet a set of standards developed by peers.
  1. Institutional accreditation
    Accreditation of an entire institution determined by national accreditors, indicating that each of an institution's parts is contributing to the achievement of the institution's mission and objectives.
  2. Program/specialized accreditation
    Accreditation of an institution’s programs that involves examination of the individual academic units, programs, or disciplinary offerings to ensure they are providing students with a quality education in a particular area of study. Programmatic accreditation may be required in some fields for graduates to seek licensure or certification. Programmatic accreditation in other fields serves to provide a recognition of quality.
Higher Learning Commission
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation that is one of the institutional accreditors in the United States. HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region (including Minnesota) and is recognized as a accreditor by the United States Secretary of Education.

National accreditation
The accreditation process used or status granted by one the federally recognized regional accreditors in the United States.

Part 4. Accreditation

Subpart A. Institutional Accreditation
Colleges and universities shall achieve and retain institutional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission. Any college or university that does not maintain accredited status with the Higher Learning Commission may be subject to loss of degree granting authority.

Subpart B. Program Accreditation
For programs that have an accreditation and for which people working in that field must be licensed or certified for employment, then colleges and universities shall achieve and maintain accreditation for those programs (i.e., law enforcement, nursing, dental hygiene, etc.).

Colleges and universities are encouraged, though not required, to obtain voluntary program accreditation where appropriate and aligned with the mission of the college or university (i.e., automotive technician, business, chemistry, etc.).

Part 5. Report to the Board

The chancellor shall provide an annual report to the Board of Trustees on the status of regional accreditation for each college and university. College and university presidents shall provide an annual update to the chancellor, or chancellor’s designee, on the status of their institutional accreditation.

Related Documents:

Policy History:

Date of Adoption: 01/29/20
Date of Implementation: 01/29/20
Date of Last Review:

Date & Subject of Amendments:

No additional history.