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Higher Learning Commission

Since 1916, the University of Northern Colorado has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), one of six regional accrediting bodies in the United States. UNC’s accreditation was reaffirmed by the HLC in June 2015, with the next reaffirmation of accreditation in 2024-2025.

HLC Quality Initiative

The HLC requires institutions to propose and complete a Quality Initiative between years five and nine in the 10-year accreditation cycle. UNC is accredited under the HLC’s Open Pathway option, which provides institutions broad latitude in determining the topic and design of its Quality Initiative.  The HLC established the Quality Initiative requirement to encourage institutions to take risks, innovate, take on tough challenges, or pursue unproven strategies. UNC’s Quality Initiative is embedded in Rowing, Not Drifting, Phase 2, with a specific focus on identifying barriers to academic success, improving curricular design, expanding inclusive and high impact pedagogy across the university, and increasing student sense of belonging and connection to their academic major and college. UNC’s Quality Initiative launched in Spring 2022 and will conclude at the end of Spring 2024.  Read more about UNC's HLC Quality Initiative.

2024-2025 HLC Self-Study

In 2024-2025, a review team from the Higher Learning Commission will visit UNC for the university’s ten-year reaffirmation of accreditation.  To assist with preparing for the review, the university is launching a campus-wide self-study in fall 2022.  The self-study will be conducted by committees assigned to evaluate how well UNC is currently meeting the Criteria for Accreditation and UNC’s policies and practices regarding distance education.  In addition to these committees, a communications committee will develop and implement a plan for educating all members of the campus community about the HLC criteria and the results of the self-study.  More details about each committee’s focus and responsibilities can be found here.

Call for Nominations

The HLC Steering Committee invites members of the campus community to nominate themselves or others for service on one of the seven committees leading UNC’s self-study. Committee members will make significant contributions to UNC’s efforts to strengthen the university and maintain accreditation.  Each committee will be co-chaired by one faculty member and one staff member, who will each receive a $1,500 stipend. To nominate yourself or a colleague, visit HLC Self-Study Nomination.   The nomination deadline is September 21, 2022.

HLC Steering Committee

  • Jennifer Almquist, Chief of Staff
  • Kim Black, Assistant Provost and HLC Accreditation Liaison Officer
  • Kirsten Fleming, Provost and Executive Vice President
  • Tobias Guzmán, Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Cedric Howard, Vice President for Student Affairs
  • Dale Pratt, Interim Vice President for Finance & Administration and Chief Financial Officer
  • Dawit Senbet, Faculty Senate Chair, Professor and Chair, Department of Economics
  • Allie Steg Haskett, Vice President for University Advancement

2015 HLC Self-Study