Understanding the Statement of Affiliation Status and Organizational Profile

The Statement of Affiliation Status (SAS) describes the accreditation relationship between the institution and the Higher Learning Commission. It identifies the nature of the institution and conditions of affiliation and provides a synopsis of Commission review and the status of the institution with the Commission (accredited or candidate, and sanctions, if any). It lists the institution’s legal status (public, private not-for-profit, or private for-profit) and the range of degree levels included in its accreditation (for example, associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s). Specific conditions on the accreditation relationship are also detailed, including permission (or lack thereof) for campus expansion or distance learning endeavors, and any required reports or visits to the institution.

The Organizational Profile (OP) provides information on programs, locations, and distributed education offerings. Most of this information is self-reported by the institution. Although the peer reviewers who visit the institution during an evaluation may verify the information, the Commission cannot vouch for the accuracy of self-reported information.

An institution’s combined SAS and OP may be viewed on the Commission’s Web site by searching for the institution at http://ncahlc.org/Directory-of-HLC-Institutions.html

Organizational Profile

The following terms may appear on the OP of an institution.

CIP Codes: Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) codes were established by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics as a way standardizing reporting. 

Correspondence Education: Education provided through one or more courses in which the institution provides instructional materials and examinations by mail or electronic transmission to students who are separated from the instructor. Interaction between the instructor and the student is not regular and substantive, and it is primarily initiated by the student. Correspondence courses are typically self-paced. Correspondence education is not distance education.

Distance Learning (Distance Education): Education that delivers instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and that supports regular and substantive interaction between students and the instructor synchronously or asynchronously using one or more of the following technologies: the Internet; one-way and two-way transmission through open broadcast, closed-circuit cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communication devices; audio-conferencing; or videocassettes, DVDs, and CD-ROMs used in conjunction with any of the other technologies. The programs are reported using CIP-defined fields of study and therefore do not reflect actual program names. CIP-2000 codes were used for the 2009–2010 reporting period.  


Enrollment: Enrollment reflects numbers reported by the institution to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) for the 2009–2010 reporting period.  


Locations: Locations are categorized as In-State, Out-of-State, and Out-of-U.S. Within each category, locations are reported as branch campuses, additional locations, and course locations.