Urbana University Receives Continued Accreditation From HLC

“Congratulations (and thank you) to everybody at Urbana University!!!” With these words, President Stephen Jones informed the UU community that good news had arrived from the president of the Higher Learning Commission. The letter from Sylvia Manning states, “The Institutional Actions Council voted to continue the accreditation of Urbana University through the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) process with the next affirmation in 2018-19.” This decision is absolute, with no stipulations, conditions, or restrictions.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is one of six required agencies in the United States that provide institutional accreditation. Other entities, such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), are independent and discipline specific, ensuring the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs. CCNE accredits Urbana University nursing program. The Higher Learning Commission, authorized by the US Department of Education, accredits approximately 1,100 institutions of higher learning in a nineteen-state region.

In 2004, Urbana University entered into a partnership with the HLC to engage in a continuous improvement process, AQIP. AQIP’s goal is to help higher education institutions improve performance and maximize effectiveness while meeting accreditation requirements.

Urbana University welcomed an HLC Peer Review Team to campus for an on-site visit this past July. The team met with faculty, staff, students, board members, and administrators to assess whether the University was meeting the criteria for continued accreditation. Prior to the visit, the University invited public and alumni to submit comments regarding the University.

The reaffirmation letter signals Urbana University’s good standing with the Higher Learning Commission, and the agency’s confidence in our future. However this acknowledgement does not mean that the UU community can sit back and “relax for the next six years.” The advantage of AQIP is that the process of accreditation is continuous, the University engages the spirit to improve every day.

Our goal is to continue the upward momentum for current and future Blue Knights!

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