HLC Accreditation

Marygrove College's Accreditation

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.

About HLC and Accreditation

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is a regional accreditation agency that accredits degree-granting colleges and universities that are based in a 19-state region of the United States.

Regional accreditation validates the quality of an institution as a whole and evaluates multiple aspects of an institution, including its academic offerings, governance and administration, mission, finances, and resources. HLC’s institutional accreditation includes all degree levels as well as onsite and online offerings. Institutions of higher education in the United States may also seek accreditation through national or specialized accreditation agencies. National accreditation associations, like regional accreditors, accredit the institution as a whole. Specialized accreditation agencies accredit programs, departments or schools within a college or university.

Regional accreditation agencies are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit degree-granting colleges and universities. There are six regions of the United States which regional agencies oversee. The regional accreditation agencies have similar standards for accrediting colleges and universities.

Institutions that HLC accredits are evaluated against its Criteria for Accreditation, a set of standards that institutions must meet to receive and/or maintain accredited status.

HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation reflect a set of guiding values. The accreditation process is based on a system of peer review. Approximately 1,600 educators from institutions of higher education serve as HLC peer reviewers conducting accreditation evaluations for other institutions. Peer reviewers also serve on committees that make up the decision-making bodies of the accreditation process.

Evaluation Process


HLC accreditation assures quality by verifying that an institution (1) meets standards and (2) is engaged in continuous improvement. In addition, all institutions are required to complete an annual filing of the Institutional Update, undergo annual monitoring of financial and non-financial indicators, and adhere to HLC policies and practices on institutional change.

Peer reviewers trained in HLC’s standards evaluate institutions’ demonstration of whether they meet the Criteria for Accreditation and make recommendations to HLC’s decision-making bodies.

Institutional Actions Council (Decision-Making Body)

The Board of Trustees appoints and authorizes members of the Institutional Actions Council (IAC) to conduct reviews and take actions on the majority of accreditation recommendations. IAC members consist of representatives of academic institutions accredited by HLC, as well as members of the public. Detailed information on IAC processes is found in HLC’s policies on decision-making.

Public Information

In the interest of being transparent, HLC is committed to providing information to the public regarding accreditation decisions made regarding individual institutions.

Actions that are taken by HLC regarding an institution’s accreditation status are disclosed to the public. Since July 2013, in all cases of issuing continued accreditation, placing an institution on or resolving a sanction, or withdrawing accreditation, the Action Letter issued to the institution is made available for viewing and the institution’s status in HLC’s online directory is updated. Public Disclosure Notices are also issued in cases of sanction and other HLC actions to provide the public insight into the issues regarding that institution.

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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