NMU's Current Accreditation
Northern Michigan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Northern has been accredited by HLC since 1916.
The HLC has described foundational Assumed Practices that are shared by all accredited institutions of higher education and Criteria for Accreditation organized into five headings, each with multiple Core Components. All components of each criterion must be met in order to satisfy a Criterion for Accreditation and all Criteria must be met for an institution to remain in good standing.
NMU is currently in good standing with HLC. Accreditation was most recently reaffirmed in 2016-17.
NMU's Assurance Review was in 2020-21, year four of the accreditation cycle. On February 3, 2021, HLC notified NMU: "Northern Michigan University has successfully completed its Year 4 Assurance Review with no recommended monitoring." The finding was that all 18 Core Components of the 5 Criteria for Accreditation are "met."
A timeline of the process of preparing our 2020 Assurance Argument is available here.
Next in maintaining accreditation, NMU will propose and carry out a years-long Quality Initiative. This work will be designed by NMU to advance the institution toward aspirational goals.
NMU's upcoming Comprehensive Evaluation for reaffirmation is scheduled for 2026-27.
Accreditation is an ongoing process of meeting standards, continuously improving, and assuring quality demonstrated through internal and external review. Through the accreditation process, the University continuously reviews indicators against accreditation criteria to ensure that the standards are being met and to identify opportunities to strengthen or improve practices, processes, and policies. Regular accreditation review requires the University to identify data, information, and evidence and to document results that validate that we are meeting each standard.
NMU is accredited on HLC's Open Pathway, which is focused on quality assurance and institutional improvement. Fostering a culture of careful attention to quality and continuous quality improvement is essential to remaining a high-caliber university and meeting Open Pathway expectations. The Open Pathway allows more freedom for NMU than other HLC accreditation pathways.
Historical Institutional Accreditation Information
Previously, NMU adopted the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) method of accreditation formerly offered as an option by HLC. Information and resources from the period of NMU's accreditation under AQIP is available on our webpages at www.nmu.edu/aqip. When AQIP was a major HLC Pathway for accreditation, on a continuous basis, every participating institution had at least three Action Projects underway.
After the last System Portfolio review which led to reaffirmation of accreditation in 2016-17, NMU transitioned from the AQIP Pathway to HLC's Open Pathway.
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