Wayne State University

HLC'17 process

"Interviews with members of the Board of Governors, administration, faculty, staff, and students confirmed wide-spread understanding and support of the institution's mission."


(2007 Report of a Comprehensive Evaluation Visit)

  • Celebrating 100 years of HLC accreditation

    Wayne State University has been accredited by HLC and its predecessor accrediting bodies since 1915. Continued accreditation requires periodic, comprehensive evaluation toward what is called reaffirmation of accreditation. Reaffirmation of accreditation is a determination by the HLC that an accredited institution continues to meet the requirements of the Criteria for Accreditation. 

  • HLC comprehensive evaluation: March 2017

    Wayne will undergo its next HLC comprehensive evaluation with an onsite visit commencing on March 6, 2017. This evaluation will be conducted on campus by a ten-person team of HLC peer reviewers selected from universities in 19-state, north central region that includes the state of Michigan. 

  • Wayne's deliverables in advance of March 2017

    Wayne is presently assigned to the HLC Open Pathway, which requires an institution to undertake a major Quality Initiative designed to address its highest priority concerns or aspirations. The Quality Initiative is intended to encourage institutions to "take risks, aim high, and if so be it, learn from only partial success or even failure."

    The Quality Initiative takes place in the last five years of a ten-year accreditation cycle and concludes six months prior to reaffirmation accrediation.  

    • In August 2014, Wayne designated the Undergraduate Academic Advising Initiative as its HLC Quality Initiative.
    • A final report is due to the HLC by August 31, 2016.

    One month in advance of the March 2017 comprehensive evaluation, Wayne must electronically submit a required set of documents to the HLC. These documents are the work product of an intensive, multi-year effort:

    • Assurance Argument
    • Evidence File
    • Federal Compliance Filing

    The HLC'17 Steering Committee and a supporting team of faculty and staff are now engaged in preparing and producing these documents, including abstracting and assembling required evidentiary files. 

    In mid-2016, the Steering Committee will engage Wayne's internal and external constituencies for feedback and input. How you can help.

  • Assurance Argument and Evidence File

    The Assurance Argument presents Wayne's case that it continues to meet all HLC Criteria for Accreditation. It is limited to 35,000 words, but includes links to separate, discrete documents as the required evidence that Wayne meets each review criterion.

    An Evidence File consists of all evidentiary documents supporting the Assurance Argument. Evidence is abstracted from many sources, including but not limited to Board of Governors documents; audited financial statements; institutional planning, policy, and financial documents; assessment data on learning outcomes, retention, and graduation; and other internal and public documents.

  • Federal Compliance Filing

    The Federal Compliance document is an information set providing data related to Wayne's compliance with Title IV of the Higher Education Act, Title IX requirements, and other U.S. Department of Education regulations that accrediting agencies must monitor.

  • Other actions in advance of March 2017 evaluation

    Quality Initiative

    • In August 2016, the university will submit a document demonstrating continuous improvement in an area of the university’s choosing. Provost Winters recommended a study of Wayne State’s investment and improved outcomes relating to Undergraduate Advising.
    • Dr. Monica Brockmeyer has led a small team that has documented our progress in this arena and it will be submitted to the HLC this summer.
    • A team from the HLC — different than the ten-person peer review team  — will review the submission and determine if the university has made “a genuine effort” to improve the topic area. Their “Yes/No” evaluation — without commentary — will be provided to the peer review team in advance of the March 2017 onsite visit.

    Student Survey

    • In January 2017, the university will promote an HLC survey directed exclusively to current Wayne State University students that will remain open for ten days.
    • The student survey responses will be transmitted directly to the HLC.
    • After survey closure, the HLC will aggregate and analyze student responses and create a summary to assist the evaluation team in identifying potential issues and formulating questions to be posed at the onsite comprehensive evaluation. (The HLC will also share the survey summary with Wayne State University 30 days in advance of the evaluation.) 

    Third party comment directly to the HLC

    • In December 2016, Wayne will publish online and in local print publications a public notice of the March 2017 comprehensive evaluation.
    • The notice will include an invitation and call-to-action for external third parties to submit feedback and input regarding Wayne State University directly to the HLC. (This has been an HLC practice since the 1997-98 academic year, and was part of Wayne's 2007 reaffirmation process.)
    • The HLC will accept comments up to 30 days prior to the March 2017 comprehensive evaluation.
    • The HLC forwards comments to the peer review team to consider in their comprehensive evaluation.

    Note that the HLC does not settle disputes between institutions and individuals, whether submitted by faculty, students, or others, and complaints submitted as comments are not considered by the HLC.

    Depending on the outcome of a review, accreditors may require additional follow-up reports.