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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the North Central Association (NCA)?

The Higher Learning Commission is part of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The Association was founded in 1895 as a membership organization for educational institutions. It is committed to developing and maintaining high standards of excellence.

The Association is one of six regional institutional accrediting associations in the United States. Through its Commissions it accredits, and thereby grants membership to educational institutions in the nineteen-state North Central region: Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

The Higher Learning Commission is recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

What is accreditation?

Accreditation is a voluntary process of self-evaluation and peer review through which an institution is able to measure the quality of its programs. The results of which are summarized in a Self-Study Report and reviewed by an evaluation team visit made by expert and trained peers. The process provides MSUM with an opportunity for critical self-analysis leading to improvement in quality and performance.

Why is accreditation important?

Accreditation ensures the quality and integrity of MSUM's programs and services; it allows students to transfer credits to other accreditated institutions; it enables students to obtain financial aid and veteran's services; it allows MSUM to participate in federally-funded projects and grants; and it guarantees MSUM's ability to recruit and retain quality faculty and staff.

an equal opportunity educator and employer | Accessibility Questions? | smithm@mnstate.edu | Updated 01/12/07
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