Universities and colleges in the United
States obtain accreditation from non-governmental bodies that are recognized by
the U. S. Secretary of Education as being reliable authorities to evaluate the
quality of higher education. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is one of six
regional associations recognized by the Department of Education that accredit
institutions of higher education. The Higher Learning Commission accredits
Northern Arizona University. Northern
Arizona University’s accreditation is extended through 2017-2018.
Currently, the Commission offers two
programs for maintaining accreditation: the Program to Evaluate and Advance
Quality (PEAQ) and the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP). In
September 2012, the Commission began a three-year transition during which PEAQ
will be replaced by two new Pathways:
The Standard Pathway and The Open Pathway. NAU is preparing to participate in the Open Pathway that offers greater value to institutions and
higher credibility to the public in its quality assurance.
Central to the accreditation process is
the new Criteria for Accreditation, Assumed Practices and Obligation ofAffiliation. Institutions are expected to provide evidence
that support the five criteria and offer an Assurance Argument organized by the
criteria and their core components.
In addition to providing evidence that
support the criteria and the Assurance Argument, institutions who participate
in the Open Pathways model are required to conduct a major Quality Initiative
designed to address present challenges or aspirations. The Quality Initiative can be a project the
institution has in progress or a new milestone they wish to achieve.
View the transition map for NAU’s reaccreditation timeline.
View the Academic Accreditations in the Academic Catalog.