Preparing for an accreditation review can be a time-consuming process for your institution’s staff. Your catalog plays a key role in the application process and will likely need to be updated to include all required material. To help bring clarity to a hazy process, we’ve compiled a checklist of what your catalog needs to include when applying for accreditation with The Higher Learning Commission (HLC):
A key component of applying for accreditation with The HLC is submitting your catalog, either electronically or in print form. The following information must be included in your institution’s catalog:
- Academic program requirements
- Course descriptions
- Learning outcomes for each academic program
- Policies on transfer credits and recognition of prior learning
Documentation that May be Included in your Catalog or Handbook
The Higher Learning Commission requires other documentation to be submitted when applying for accreditation. The following information may be included within your institution’s catalog or handbook for the sake of simplicity:
- Your institution’s protocol for assessing student learning. This may include a summary or assessment results, programs documents, or advisory committee minutes
- Policies outlining accessibility of public documents, such as your course catalog, student handbooks, and orientation materials.
- Documentation of how your institution integrates general education into undergraduate degree programs and/or ensures that your students have completed appropriate general education as undergraduates.
- Documentation or any academic program offered by your institution that is outsourced to another entity
- Documents identifying the institution’s current affiliations with national, regional, and specialized accrediting bodies and state agencies in the past five years. This should include any state or federal financial aid programs.
To view the most up-to-date information about applying for accreditation with The Higher Learning Commission, you can visit the Criteria for Accreditation section of their website.