UIS and HLC Accreditation: What You Should Know

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Crucial to the success of all higher learning institutions is the concept of regional accreditation. Put simply, accreditation is a review process that is administered by an outside board that gauges an institution’s quality across several factors.

   In the case of UIS, this process was administered by the Higher Learning Commission over a period of ten years and included a review of the university’s academic offerings, as well as its governance. Ultimately, the commission decided that UIS both met the commissions standards and displayed a continuous commitment to improvement. This marks the institution’s forty-third year as an accredited institution, but what does this mean to the students?

    As it relates to students, accreditation is an attempt to ensure educational accountability in public universities. By creating this standard, universities are adhering to certain standards of quality that ensure the value of our individual educations. While this may sound like a seal of approval for a degree, the implications are wider than that.

   This benchmark affects:

  •   Ability to transfer credits to other institutions; without accreditation.
  • The allotment of federal financial aid funds to students of a university.
  • Future employment opportunities.
  • Ability to pursue advanced degrees.

   Thankfully, the university has already received accreditation renewal and is planning on continued review of the institution throughout the next 10 years. This does bode well for the university’s quality, but it does not mean that students should not care. As this issue has the potential to alter their future education, it is the duty of the students to review this information further. Some changes are already being implemented.

   Be sure to investigate the interim report the University must release on January 30 to view a proposed plan for the implementation of a new protocol for processing submitted student complaints. The report will be released on the HLC institution database.

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