Criteria for HLC Accreditation

"The responsibility for assuring the quality of an institution rests first with the institution itself. Institutional accreditation assesses the capacity of an institution to assure its own quality and expects it to produce evidence that it does so."

(The Higher Learning Commission)

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) criteria for Accreditation evaluates its member institutions according to five Criteria for Accreditation, which are the standards of quality by which the HLC determines whether an institution merits accreditation or reaffirmation of accreditation.

Each of these criteria includes Core Components that further detail the HLC's expectations. Criteria for Accreditation reflect HLC Guiding Values; HLC articulates these guiding values as context for understanding its Criteria for Accreditation and their underlying intentions.

In addition, institutions are required to abide by a set of standard practices shared by institutions of higher education in the United States called Assumed Practices, which are a set of practices shared by institutions of higher education in the United States. Unlike Criteria and Core Components, these Assumed Practices are (1) generally matters to be determined as facts, rather than matters requiring professional judgment; and (2) unlikely to vary by institutional mission or context.

HLC Five Criteria for Accreditation

  1. Mission
  2. Integrity: Ethics and Responsible Conduct
  3. Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support
  4. Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement
  5. Institutional Effectiveness: Resources and Planning

Obligations of Affiliation

While holding affiliation with the Higher Learning Commission, WSU must voluntarily and continually meet certain Obligations of Affiliation.