Northland College Accreditation
Northland College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (formerly North Central Association).
In 1997, Northland College joined other educational institutions worldwide and signed the Talloires Declaration, a mandate of principle that guides campuses to be environmentally responsible places to live, work, and learn.
5 things you should know about Northland and accreditation
1. What is accreditation?
In the United States, schools and colleges voluntarily seek
accreditation from non-governmental bodies; for Northland College, this
is done by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central
Association. Besides assessing Northland's formal educational
activities, HLC will also evaluate such things as governance and
administration, financial stability, admissions and student services,
institutional resources, student learning, institutional effectiveness,
and relationships with internal and external constituencies.
Accreditation is periodically reviewed, generally on a ten-year cycle,
with the first step being a self-assessment prepared by the institution,
which is then followed up with a site visit by a team of consultant
evaluators. At Northland College, the site visit will be March 12 - 14,
2. Why is this important?
Accreditation provides both public certification of acceptable
institutional quality and an opportunity and incentive for
self-improvement in the accredited institution. The Higher Learning
Commission reaches the conclusion that a college or university meets the
criteria for reaccreditation only after the institution opens itself to
outside examination by experienced evaluators familiar with accrediting
requirements and with higher education. Only institutions accredited by
one of the regional accrediting agencies are eligible for certain
federal funding, including guaranteed student loans.
3. What is going to happen next?
A campus team worked for nearly two years on a self-study that has been
sent to the Higher Learning Commission. The next step is that a team of
consultant-evaluators will come to Northland to meet with faculty,
staff, and students. They will conduct public comment sessions and meet
with various groups and individuals. They will likely ask questions of
people they meet at random.
4. How can I help?
You can participate in an open session with a consultant-evaluator, if
you wish, and you should feel free to talk with a consultant-evaluator
if one approaches you. Be honest in your comments. You will not be
expected to know the details of the self-assessment report, but your
opinions will be welcomed by the consultant-evaluators.
5. What happens after the site visit?
The consultant-evaluators may request additional information; then they
will submit their findings to the Higher Learning Commission, who
reviews and then acts on the recommendations of the
consultant-evaluators. The Commission will then communicate its
decision to the College to renew its accreditation. The process takes
about two months after the consultant-evaluators visit the campus. The
HLC publishes the accreditation status of the institutions it reviews.