Institutional Accreditation

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. 

Northern Arizona University participates in the HLC Open Pathways, which includes two processes: Quality Assurance and Quality Initiative. 

Quality Assurance

Central to the Quality Assurance process for accreditation process is the Criteria for Accreditation, Assumed Practices and Obligation of Affiliation. To reaffirm our accreditation, Northern Arizona University must provide evidence that demonstrates that we meet the five criteria and offer an Assurance Argument organized by the criteria and their core components.

Quality Initiative

Northern Arizona University is required to conduct a major Quality Initiative project that is designed to address present challenges or aspirations and to engage in continual improvement efforts. NAU’s Quality Initiative project’s desired long-term impacts are to improve retention rates and strengthen the culture of continual improvement across all student success programs. To do so, we are systematically analyzing the impact of two student success programs on the academic success of our first year students to identify efficient and effective approaches to program design and assessment that will increase the engagement of NAU’s other student success programs in these efforts.

View the timeline for Northern Arizona University’s re-accreditation efforts.

View the Academic Program Accreditations in the Academic Catalog.