MSU Accreditation Criteria and Themes

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MSU Accreditation Criteria and Themes

Beginning in 2004-2005, the Higher Learning Commission will use a set of 5 new Criteria to determine whether a school should continue to receive accreditation. Each Criterion has 4-5 Core Components that must be supported by evidence provided by the university. Click on each Criterion listed below for an explanation, the Core Components, and examples of evidence cited by the HLC:

  1. Mission & Integrity
  2. Planning for the Future
  3. Student Learning & Effective Teaching
  4. Acquisition, Discovery, & Application of Knowledge
  5. Engagement & Service

The Commission has also traced out four Themes that cut across these Criteria and that chart out "primary attributes of effective and high-performing organizations valued by the Commission" and establish "broad benchmarks for evaluating the interpretation and application of the new Criteria."

Higher Learning Commission Cross-Cutting Themes in Accreditation

Theme One: The Future-Oriented Organization
  1. Engages in planning
  2. Is driven by the mission
  3. Understands social and economic change
  4. Integrates new technology
Theme Two: The Learning-Focused Organization
  1. Assesses student learning
  2. Supports learning
  3. Supports scholarship
  4. Creates the capacity for lifelong learning
  5. Strengthens organizational learning
Theme Three: The Connected Organization
  1. Serves the common good.
  2. Serves constituents.
  3. Creates a culture of service.
  4. Collaborates.
  5. Engages in healthy internal communication
Theme 4: The Distinctive Organization
  1. Has an unambiguous mission.
  2. Appreciates diversity.
  3. Is accountable.
  4. Is self-reflective.
  5. Is committed to improvement.

For more information, see the HLC Handbook of Accreditation (3.9MB) from the Higher Learning Commission