The Standard Pathway is one of three options institutions have for maintaining accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). It follows a 10-year cycle and, like all pathways, is focused on quality assurance and institutional improvement. These improvement topics are integrated into comprehensive evaluations conducted during the cycle, as well as through interim monitoring, as required.
Institutions submit an annual Institutional Update, which is reviewed by HLC to monitor organizational health, comply with certain federal requirements and identify any changes that may require HLC follow up. HLC will also apply change processes as appropriate to planned institutional developments, and will monitor institutions through reports, visits and other means as it deems appropriate.
Year 4: Comprehensive Evaluation
Institutions undergo a comprehensive evaluation to ensure they are meeting the Criteria for Accreditation, pursuing institutional improvement and complying with certain requirements set by the U.S. Department of Education. A Year 4 evaluation may include a determination that interim monitoring is necessary.
Year 10: Comprehensive Evaluation
The second comprehensive evaluation conducted in the Standard Pathway cycle follows the same process as the evaluation conducted in Year 4. The Year 10 evaluation leads to an action regarding the reaffirmation of the institution’s accreditation.