About Higher Learning Commission Accreditation
Accreditation is a voluntary process of external review that evaluates programs, colleges, and universities to ensure that they both provide high-quality education and services and continuously seek to improve. This process provides assurance to the public that UW-Platteville meets, and will continue to meet, clearly communicated criteria and regulations. Accreditation also ensures that faculty and students are eligible for federal grants and other funding.
The process of institutional accreditation includes annual oversight for compliance with state and federal government regulations and regular peer review, including an on-site evaluation. The peer review evaluates all aspects of the institution, including governance, business affairs, student affairs, teaching resources, and student learning. On-site review occurs in 10-year cycles. Our most recent review occurred October 24-25, 2016.
The HLC Open Pathway follows a 10-year cycle and separates the accreditation process into two components: Assurance Reviews and a Quality Initiative. Assurance Reviews occur in Year 4 and Year 10 of each 10-year cycle, with a comprehensive on-site evaluation in Year 10.
UW-Platteville completed its most recent Year 10 comprehensive on-site evaluation in October 2016. Due to UW System restructuring of former UW College campuses, UW-Platteville's next comprehensive on-site evaluation will be in 2021-22.
To learn more, download the HLC's Open Pathway 10-Year Cycle Transition Map.
How Accreditation Works
The reviewing bodies are federally-recognized national and regional private, non-profit accrediting agencies. Congress regulates accreditation through the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, which authorizes the Department of Education to implement the act and oversee disbursement of Title IV funding for financial aid.
As an institution, UW-Platteville is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The Platteville Normal School, one of the founding institutions of UW-Platteville, was initially accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) from 1918-1922. This accreditation relationship has been maintained continuously through several institutional name changes since 1951.
Criteria for Accreditation and Core Components
The HLC has adopted new Criteria for Accreditation, Assumed Practices, and Obligations of Affiliation, which went into effect January 1, 2013. There are five statements of Criteria for Accreditation, each with Core Components that identify specific areas of focus within the criterion. Institutions must provide specific evidence of continual improvement and aspiration in the following areas:
- Mission: The institution’s mission is clear and articulated publicly; it guides the institution’s operations.
- Integrity - Ethical and Responsible Conduct: The institution acts with integrity; its conduct is ethical and responsible.
- Teaching and Learning - Quality, Resources, and Support: The institution provides high quality education, wherever and however its offerings are delivered.
- Teaching and Learning - Evaluation and Improvement: The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs, learning environments, and support services, and it evaluates their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement.
- Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness: The institution’s resources, structures, and processes are sufficient to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its educational offerings, and respond to future challenges and opportunities. The institution plans for the future.
The Assumed Practices are defined by the HLC as practices that are shared by institutions of higher education in the United States. These practices have developed out of common experience over time and are considered to be basic to higher education.
The Obligations of Affiliation describe behavioral requirements of institutions that are members of the HLC, including that member institutions will abide by Commission policies. Of particular importance is the requirement for transparency with respect to specific outcomes of accreditation review, which are made available to the public.
UW-Platteville also has programs that are individually accredited: See program pages for details.
2016 Accreditation Cycle
To learn more about the 2016 accreditation cycle, please review the following documents:
- Executive Summary of Comprehensive Review
- Higher Learning Commission Report of Comprehensive Evaluation Visit - 2016
- Quality Assurance Argument (Sept. 26, 2016)
- Executive Summary of Quality Assurance Argument (Sept. 26, 2016)
- Quality Initiative Proposal
- Quality Initiative Report
2006 Accreditation Cycle
To learn more about the 2006 accreditation cycle, please review the following documents: