Published: Sept. 16, 2019

In September 2018, CU Boulder Today announced the university's next comprehensive evaluation for reaffirmation of accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), scheduled for 2019–20.

In December, a team of peer reviewers will visit campus to review the university’s continued compliance with the criteria for accreditation and to provide recommendations on the continued work of institutional improvement.

CU Boulder has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, one of six regional institutional accreditors for colleges and universities in the United States, since 1913. Accreditation by HLC provides quality assurance for students, parents and the general public by reviewing and verifying compliance with accreditation criteria and as well as other relevant federal regulations and requirements. Campus updates will be available on the accreditation website.

A draft of the university’s assurance argument is available on the accreditation website for campus review through Oct. 13. Input and comments will be reviewed and considered, and the final version of the report will also be posted on the website once the report has been delivered to the HLC.

The university’s assurance argument includes the contributions of faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students who worked together over the last year. The report is divided into five sections following the HLC’s five criteria for accreditation: 

  • Does the university follow its mission? 
  • Does the university act with integrity?
  • Does the university provide its students a high-quality education? 
  • Does the university systematically assess its programs and processes and seek to improve them?
  • Does the university have sufficient resources to offer its programs and plan for the future? 

Katherine Eggert, senior vice provost for academic planning and assessment, says the four-week campus review period is critical to the process because it provides the opportunity for all faculty, staff and students to review the report and provide feedback.

“First of all, we want to make sure that our self-evaluation report reflects the perspectives of as many people as possible,” Eggert said.

Eggert added that it is important for the general population on campus to be engaged in this process.

“When the Higher Learning Commission’s evaluation team visits campus on Dec. 9-10, they will ask to speak with particular people, such as the individuals who helped with this report. Additionally, they will engage a broad spectrum of faculty, staff and students on topics covered in the report, such as major campus initiatives like the IDEA Plan or the Academic Futures themes.”

Focus groups

In mid-October through mid-November, Eggert and the lead authors of the five report sections will host a series of town halls and focus groups, open to campus. This will provide an opportunity for campus to ask questions and/or get information on the accreditation process.

Eggert says that the accreditation process offers a welcome “stop and check” point for campus.

“The strength of this university is its faculty, its programs and its students,” Eggert said. “The accreditation process is an opportunity for individuals from all of our schools, colleges and programs to come together and demonstrate that the university is not just meeting expectations, but succeeding and exceeding on all fronts in advancing its mission, educating students and furthering the public good.”