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A brief overview of accreditation in the U.S. and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is available by clicking here.
UMD is on the Open Pathway for maintaining accreditation with HLC, which follows a 10-year review cycle. The Open Pathway process is focused on quality assurance and institutional improvement, which includes the Quality Initiative. This initiative allows UMD to pursue improvement projects that are targeted toward our needs and aspirations.
The 10-year review cycle includes four types of institutional reviews:
- An annual Institutional Update, which is reviewed by HLC to monitor institutional health, ensure compliance with certain federal requirements, and identify any changes that may require HLC follow-up.
- An Assurance Review in Year 4 of the cycle documents that the institution continues to meet the HLC Criteria for Accreditation. A peer review team evaluates the materials and makes the appropriate recommendation to the HLC Institutional Actions Council for further review and potential action.
- The Quality Initiative project is designed and completed in Years 5-9 of the cycle. A peer review team evaluates the proposal and the outcomes report for this process.
- Year 10 of the cycle marks the Comprehensive Evaluation process in which the institution completes the “Assurance Argument.” This report, which is also evaluated by a peer review team, is completed to ensure that the Criteria for Accreditation are met. This report also requires documentation to ensure the institution is complying with U.S. Department of Education requirements. This review involves a site visit by the peer review team, which will occur at UMD in April 2018.