UIC 2016-2017 Higher Learning Commission Reaccreditation
UIC has begun to prepare for its next accreditation, which will be completed during the 2016-17 academic year. In higher education, accreditation is recognition by a certified accrediting body that a college or university meets standards of performance and planning that students and the public can rely upon. In the United States, regional bodies, whose members are higher education institutions, award accreditation through a peer review process. For Illinois, the Higher Learning Commission is the accrediting body.
UIC was last accredited in 2007. Since then, the Commission has developed two new accreditation processes, the Standard Pathway and the Open Pathway. UIC follows the Open Pathway, which separates the continued accreditation process into two components: the Assurance Review and the Quality Initiative.
The components of the comprehensive evaluation in the Open Pathway are these:
- An Assurance Review
- A review of Federal Compliance
- An on-site visit by a team of Peer Reviewers
The purposes of the visit are to validate claims made in the institution’s Assurance Filing and to compare those materials with what the team finds during planned activities while on site.
In preparation for the Assurance Review, an institution develops an Assurance Argument that has links to materials in an Evidence File.
The Assurance Argument is organized by the HLC’s five Criteria and their Core Components. For each criterion, we articulate how each Core Component within it is met, including a statement of future plans with regard to the Core Component, and links to materials uploaded to the Evidence File for each statement made. To the extent possible, an institution is encouraged to use existing materials as evidence rather than create new materials exclusively for the accreditation process. A given evidentiary piece may support meeting multiple Criteria for Accreditation or Core Components.
The Commission assumes that strong institutions are continuously engaged in improvement, without guidance from the Commission. As part of the Open Pathway, institutions select one major improvement project that meets its current needs or aspirations to designate as its Quality Initiative. UIC is in the process of completing the proposal for our Quality Initiative, which will be connected to the ongoing Student Success Plan.