HLC Pathway Overview

Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Pathway Overview

M State is committed to continuously working and striving for the next level of educational excellence for students and stakeholders by participating in HLC's Open Pathway, which follows a 10-year accreditation cycle focused on quality assurance and institutional improvement.

The Open Pathway cycle includes:

Regular Monitoring

Annual submission of an Institutional Update, which is reviewed by HLC to monitor organizational health, comply with certain federal requirements and identify any changes that may require HLC follow-up.

Year 4 Assurance Review

M State will undergo an Assurance Review during the fourth year of the cycle to ensure the Criteria for Accreditation are being met and institutional improvement is being pursued.

Year 5-9 Quality Initiative

Institutions conduct a Quality Initiative project and report on the outcomes.

M State's next reaffirmation of accreditation will be in 2032-2033.



HLC Accreditation Pathway History

2023 - Reaffirmation of Accreditation (Standard Pathway)

M State's accreditation was reaffirmed in 2023 after HLC's review of the college's Assurance Argument and supporting evidence, Federal Compliance documentation, and conducted an on-site visit to meet with stakeholders. The process successfully resulted in illustrating how M State is advancing the college's mission and provided evidence of the college's commitment to continuous improvement.

M State's next reaffirmation of accreditation will be in 2032-2033 on the Open Pathway.

2018 - Comprehensive Quality Review (AQIP Pathway)
Quality highlights report title page

HLC had the option to conduct a Comprehensive Quality Review (CQR) in year four of the AQIP accreditation cycle to verify institutions met the Criteria for Accreditation. During M State's last CQR in April 2018, the peer review team conducted an on-site visit to review the following:

The CQR resulted in a continued focus on enhancing assessment and program review processes at M State. The college reported progress on these initiatives to HLC June 1, 2020, at which time it was determined no further reporting was necessary until the college's next scheduled comprehensive evaluation spring 2023.

2017 - Reaffirmation of Accreditation (AQIP Pathway)

AQIP Title pagePrior to the fall of 2018, M State followed HLC's AQIP Pathway (the AQIP Pathway was officially phased out by HLC at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year). 

The 2017 AQIP Systems Portfolio provided the framework for M State to examine key processes, results and continuous improvement efforts in the following categories:

  • Category 1: Helping Students Learn
  • Category 2: Meeting Student and Other Key Stakeholder Needs
  • Category 3: Valuing Employees
  • Category 4: Planning and Leading
  • Category 5: Knowledge Management and Resource Stewardship
  • Category 6: Quality Overview