HLC Accreditation

Welcome to Marygrove College's Accreditation Web Site

Marygrove College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an independent corporation that is one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The Higher Learning Commission accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region.

Maintaining HLC accreditation is crucial to our ongoing operation in that it demonstrates the quality of our processes and services, and provides evidence of the excellence of our educational programs to our stakeholders. Accreditation enables us to hire highly qualified faculty and staff members; it enables our students to receive financial aid and other services in their pursuit of a Marygrove College education. As the result of our 2017 accreditation review and subsequent decisions by the Marygrove Board of Trustees, on September 25, 2017, the Board of Trustees of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) issued a Show-Cause Order to Marygrove College. “A Show-Cause Order is a procedural order that requires an institution to present its case as to why accreditation should not be withdrawn.” Marygrove announced on August 9, 2017, that it will discontinue offering undergraduate studies, effective December 16, 2017, and focus solely on graduate programs and professional development beginning January 2, 2018.

The HLC emphasized that Marygrove College continues to be fully accredited during the Show-Cause review. Marygrove respects and believes in the accreditation process and has been an accredited college since 1926. We are pleased to be able to continue as an accredited institution as we work with our board of trustees and all of our constituents to address the concerns raised by the HLC.

We are confident that when the HLC’s review of our plan is completed, Marygrove will move forward as a sustainable, accredited graduate-only institution.

Below is the HLC’s Public Disclosure Notice of Marygrove College’s status change:




Public Disclosure:
Marygrove College status changed
from “Accredited” to “Accredited – Show-Cause”
Effective: September 25, 2017

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has placed Marygrove College in Detroit, Michigan, on a Show-Cause Order. HLC took this action because of concerns about the College’s financial issues and recent plans to terminate its undergraduate program. HLC determined, related to these issues, that the College does not meet HLC's Criteria for Accreditation to such an extent that HLC is asking that the College demonstrate why its accreditation should not be withdrawn.

While on Show-Cause, the College remains accredited.

What This Means for Students

A Show-Cause Order is a procedural order that provides institutions not more than one year to demonstrate that they should maintain their HLC accreditation. If the institution has not proven that it should maintain its accreditation after the period of Show-Cause has been completed, HLC will withdraw the College’s accreditation.

In most cases, other institutions of higher education will continue to accept the institution’s credits in transfer or for admission to a higher degree program while the College is on Show-Cause. All colleges and universities define their own transfer and admission policies. Current students should contact any institution they plan to attend in the future so they are knowledgeable about the admission and transfer policies for that institution.

Noted Criteria for Accreditation

HLC concluded that the College does not meet the following Criteria for Accreditation:

  • Criterion One, Core Component 1.A, “the institution’s mission is broadly understood within the institution and guides its operations”
  • Criterion One, Core Component 1.B, “the mission is articulated publicly”
  • Criterion Two, Core Component 2.B, ‘the institution presents itself clearly and completely to its students and to the public with regard to its programs, requirements, faculty and staff, costs to students, control, and accreditation relationships”
  • Criterion Two, Core Component 2.C, “the governing board of the institution is sufficiently autonomous to make decisions in the best interest of the institution and to assure its integrity”
  • Criterion Three, Core Component 3.C, “the institution has the faculty and staff needed for effective, high-quality programs and student services”
  • Criterion Three, Core Component 3.E, “the institution fulfills the claims it makes for an enriched educational environment”
  • Criterion Four, Core Component 4.C, “the institution demonstrates a commitment to educational improvement through ongoing attention to retention, persistence, and completion rates in its degree and certificate programs”
  • Criterion Five, Core Component 5.A, “the institution’s resource base supports its current educational programs and its plans for maintaining and strengthening their quality in the future”
  • Criterion Five, Core Component 5.B, “the institution’s governance and administrative structures promote effective leadership and support collaborative processes that enable the institution to fulfill its mission”
  • Criterion Five, Core Component 5.C, “the institution engages in systematic and integrated planning”

HLC also concluded that the College meets the following Criteria for Accreditation; however, there are concerns about its remaining in compliance in the future:

  • Criterion One, Core Component 1.D, “the institution’s mission demonstrates commitment to the public good”
  • Criterion Two, Core Component 2.A, “the institution operates with integrity in its financial, academic, personnel, and auxiliary functions; it establishes and follows policies and processes for fair and ethical behavior on the part of its governing board, administration, faculty, and staff”
  • Criterion Three, Core Component 3.D, “the institution provides support for student learning and effective teaching”
  • Criterion Five, Core Component 5.D, “the institution works systematically to improve its performance”

Next Steps

The College will file a report by January 1, 2018, to provide evidence that it has addressed the issues that led to the Show-Cause Order. For further verification, the College will host a Show-Cause Evaluation Visit on campus by HLC peer reviewers no later than February 2018.

In June 2018, the HLC Board of Trustees will determine whether the institution has demonstrated that it is in compliance with the Criteria for Accreditation and whether the Show-Cause Order can be removed.

About the Higher Learning Commission

The Higher Learning Commission accredits approximately 1,000 colleges and universities that have a home base in one of 19 states that stretch from West Virginia to Arizona. HLC is a private, nonprofit accrediting agency. It is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Questions? Contact info@hlcommission.org or call 312.263.0456.

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