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Accreditation Information

HLC's Open Pathway & Criteria for Accreditation 

The University of Central Missouri has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1915. The HLC Criteria for Accreditation are standards for quality by which the Commission determines whether an institution as a whole (academic programs, student services, governance, and administration) merits accreditation or reaffirmation of accreditation and pursues continuous improvement.

The HLC offers institutions two Pathways for Reaffirmation of Accreditation: Standard and Open. UCM participates in the Open Pathway accreditation process. The Open Pathway features a ten-year evaluation cycle with multiple reviews along the way.

Institutions on the Open Pathway undergo a virtual Assurance Review in Year 4. This involves submitting evidence demonstrating that the institution continues to meet HLC criteria for accreditation.

A defining feature of the Open Pathway is its focus on quality and institutional improvement. Between Years 5 and 9, institutions on the Open Pathway propose a Quality Initiative project. The project proposal is peer reviewed and feedback provided. The institution then completes the project and submits a Quality Initiative Report in Year 9.

Year 10 review involves a comprehensive on-site peer review for reaffirmation of accreditation. This evaluation includes submission & review of the Assurance Argument and Evidence File, Federal Compliance Filing, and a student survey. The comprehensive review is based on HLC's Criteria for Accreditation.

Specialized Accreditation   

In addition to HLC accreditation, several degree programs within UCM’s four colleges maintain specialized/programmatic accreditation. Specialized accreditation focuses on specific academic programs. The Specialized Accreditation Overview report provides a comprehensive list of degree programs that carry specialized accreditation. The report includes programs’ last accreditation review and status with accrediting bodies.

Specialized Accreditation Overview 

For additional information, questions, or help with assessment and related topics, please contact Josiah Nyangau, Assistant Vice Provost for Assessment and Planning.  


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