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Institutional Reporting of Commission Actions

When an institution reports a Commission action regarding reaffirmed accreditation, it may simply state that accredited status has been continued. If it wishes to disclose additional details, such as the scheduled year of the next comprehensive evaluation, it should also disclose the other details, including any interim reports or monitoring required as part of the action. Phrases such as “accreditation has been continued for a ten-year period” should never be used. Accredited status is not for a specific period of time, but is a continuing relationship between the institution and the Commission that is subject to reconsideration periodically or when necessary. In fact, with the move to the new Pathways model for reaffirmation of accreditation, all institutions in the Standard and Open Pathways will be on a ten-year cycle with an Assurance Review or comprehensive evaluation in year four.

Publishing Affiliation Information

For accredited institutions, status should be stated as:

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

For candidate institutions, status should be stated as:

Candidate for accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission

The affiliated institution must use one of these statements when it refers to its status with the Commission in catalogs, advertisements, brochures, and other publications. An institution that is unaffiliated should make no reference to affiliation with the Commission until the Commission has granted accredited status or candidate status.

Should an affiliated institution be under a sanction by the Commission, the specific policies on that sanction dictate when and how it must be disclosed whenever the institution makes reference to its Commission status. In keeping with federal requirements, when a college or university makes reference to its affiliation with the Commission, it includes the Commission’s website address and telephone number. Commission Obligations of Affiliation also require that institutions display the Commission’s Mark of Affiliation on its website. The Commission strongly urges the careful placement of this information so as not to confuse the public about how to contact the Commission as contrasted with where to obtain information about the college or university.

Mark of Affiliation

Sample Mark of Affiliation

The Commission’s logos are not to be used for promotional or advertising purposes by affiliated institutions. The Commission's Mark of Affiliation is available for institutions to use to identify their affiliation status with the Commission.

The Mark leads an interested person to the institution's accreditation information on the Commission's website–Statement of Affiliation Status (SAS) and the Organizational Profile (OP). The Mark is a key component of the Commission's program to strengthen the provision to the public of information about the accreditation relationship between the Commission and its institutions.

Affiliated institutions can login to gain access to the Mark of Affiliation.