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UMD is on the 10-year Open Pathway cycle for maintaining accreditation with HLC. The Open Pathway 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 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 an Assurance Argument prepared by the institution 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. Documents for UMD's first Quality Initiative are shown here:
- Year 10 of the cycle marks the Comprehensive Evaluation process in which the institution completes another Assurance Argument for external review. In addition, this report requires the Federal Compliance Form as documentation to ensure the institution meets U.S. Department of Education requirements. This review also involves a site visit by the peer review team, which occurred at UMD most recently in April 2018.
A brief overview of accreditation in the U.S. and the Higher Learning Commission is available here.