Self-Study ReportVirtual Resource Room
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6
- Supplemental Materials
- Materials for Site Visit
- A - Z Subject Index
Frequently Asked Questions
What is accreditation and why should I care about it?
Accreditation "validates" or "certifies" the quality of higher education institutions and programs. In the United States, accreditation is a voluntary, non-governmental, peer-review process that determines if established quality standards are being met. Essentially, accreditation is a pre-condition for operation in today's educational environment.
Accreditation is important because it:
- Helps students choose quality college programs that qualify for federal financial aid.
- Enables employers to recruit graduates they know are well-prepared.
- Is used by registration, licensure, and certification boards to screen applicants.
- Gives colleges and universities a structured mechanism to assess, evaluate, and improve the quality of their programs.
What is the HLC?
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is the body that determines whether or not UND maintains its institutional accreditation. The HLC is the primary accreditor for higher educational institutions within a 19 state area.
The HLC is an independent corporation and one of two commission members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), which 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.
What does the HLC do?
An institutional accrediting body evaluates an entire organization and accredits it as a whole. It assesses formal educational activities and also evaluates governance and administration, financial stability, admissions and student personnel services, resources, student academic achievement, organizational effectiveness, and relationships with outside constituencies.
- HLC Handbook of Accreditation (third edition, page 1.1-1)
Why do a self-study?
UND's former Provost, Paul LeBel, answers this question as follows:
"The institutional self-study is the most valuable part of the regional reaccreditation process. It provides an occasion for all of us to examine where our university is, how we got here, where we aspire to be in the next 5-10 years, and what would be required for us to reach our goals.
The HLC self-study is particularly significant coming as it does soon after the "conversations about the future of UND" that occurred in 2010. Our self-study will enable us to drill down into the strategic priorities identified during those conversations, to benchmark and assess the progress that has been made, and to develop the initiatives that are critical to the on-going commitment to being an Exceptional UND.
While the self-study is required for reaccreditation, its principal beneficiaries are members of our own community: our students and others whom we serve. I am confident that we will emerge from the self-study having clearly articulated a compelling vision, claimed our distinctive identity, and set ambitious and achievable goals in all parts of our mission of teaching and learning, research, scholarly and creative activity, and service."
How often is UND accredited?
UND has been accredited by the HLC since 1913. UND's most recent accreditation was in 2003 and was historically conducted on a ten-year cycle. The 2013 site visit on October 28-30, 2013, marks the 100th anniversary of UND's initial accreditation.