Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Program Review Criteria

The HLC's five criterion for the academic program review process.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is our regional accrediting agency and sets expectations for academic certificate and degree program review using five criteria as a mechanism to build awareness and develop strategies to increase proficiency and sustainability through continuous quality improvement.  


  • Criterion One - Mission
    • The institution’s mission is clear and articulated publicly; it guides the institution’s operations.  
  • Criterion Two – Integrity and Ethical & Responsible Conduct 
    • The institution acts with integrity; its conduct is ethical and responsible.  
  • Criterion Three - Teaching & Learning Quality, Resources, and Support
    • The institution provides high quality education, wherever and however its offerings are delivered.  
  • Criterion Four - Teaching & 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.  
  • Criterion Five - 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.