Accreditation Cycle

NIU's HLC Open Pathway Timeline

NIU is currently within the quality initiative phase of the open pathway timeline, being completed during years 5-9 of the open pathway cycle:

July 2014: Reaffirmation of Institutional Accreditation Reaffirmation of Accreditation in 2023-2024
Years 1-3: Annual Assurance Updates Year 4: Assurance Review; Interim Monitoring Report Years 5-9: Quality Initiative Year 10: Assurance Review + Site Visit
2014-2017 June 2018 2018-2023 2023-2024
  • Contribute documents to Evidence File annually
  • Multi-location site visit
  • Assurance Argument and Evidence File
  • Assurance Review - no site visit
  • Interim Report on Budgeting and Planning
  • File Quality Initiative (QI) Proposal
  • Implement QI
  • Report QI results to HLC
  • Assurance Argument and Evidence File
  • Federal Compliance Requirements
  • Assurance Review
  • Comprehensive Evaluation with site visit
  • Multi-location site visit

Quality Initiative 2023-2024 Comprehensive Evaluation

Assurance Review 2018

The university was reaccredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) for 10 years (until 2024), the maximum period possible. Following that process in 2014, NIU transitioned into the least restrictive HLC pathway, called the open pathway, for maintaining accreditation.

NIU was required to complete an assurance review on June 25, 2018, which was to include documentation demonstrating how NIU fulfills each of the below five accreditation criteria and the associated 21 core components.

  1. Mission
  2. Ethical and Responsible Conduct
  3. Teaching and Learning–Quality, Resources and Support
  4. Teaching and Learning–Evaluation and Improvement
  5. Resources, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness

The NIU criteria groups collected evidence and developed the assurance narrative that covers the period from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2017. The project was supported by the resource group and facilitated by the oversight group.

The 2018 HLC assurance argument (PDF) was submitted on June 15, 2018.

NIU has successfully completed its 2018 mid-cycle assurance review, meeting all five of the above HLC criteria for accreditation. The HLC peer review team's final report (PDF) describing their findings is available to all campus constituents.

These findings were also presented to the NIU Board of Trustees (PDF) on September 13, 2018.

Contact Us

Accreditation, Assessment and Evaluation
Swen Parson 316
DeKalb, IL 60115

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