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Why Accreditation Matters

What is accreditation?

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an institutional accreditor recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to accredit degree-granting colleges and universities. Institutional accreditation validates the quality of an institution's academic programs, examines the quality of the institution beyond its academic offerings, and evaluates the institution as a whole.

Accredited institutions complete periodic reviews on a 10-year cycle to ensure they continue to meet the criteria for accreditation and pursue institutional improvement. Criteria for accreditation include:

  • Institutional Mission
  • Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct
  • Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support
  • Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement
  • Institutional Effectiveness, Resources and Planning

A detailed overview of the accreditation process is available at


Why Accreditation Matters

  • Accreditation provides assurance that current and potential students are receiving a quality education which will be recognized as such by potential employers and/or licensing boards.
  • The U.S. Department of Education recognizes accreditation as a marker which allows the institution to disperse federal (Title IV) student financial aid.
  • Other colleges or universities recognize accredited accreditation in cases when students transfer to another institution.
  • Employer-paid tuition reimbursement programs often require that employee participants enroll in accredited institutions.


How Does Accreditation Affect You?

In addition to assuring students, parents and employers that the University of Central Missouri provides a quality educational experience, accreditation will allow UCM students to continue receiving federal financial aid. It will also ensure that college credit and degrees earned at UCM will continue to be recognized by employers and other higher education institutions.



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