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Accreditation Information

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For answers to the most frequently asked accreditation questions, click here.

Effective August 31, 2016, New Mexico Highlands University was placed on probation by our accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). This accreditation website will provide you with details about the HLC process, criteria for accreditation, and our plans to resolve each and every one of these probation areas. Highlands remains 100% committed to the accreditation process, and we look forward to working with the entire campus community to strengthen our University by resolving these issues.

About Probation

In their Public Disclosure letter, the HLC noted that Highlands has been placed on Probation because the HLC Board determined that the University was out of compliance with some of HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation. The Board took this action because of a number of concerns including those related to staffing and institutional support, assessment of student learning, student retention and completion rates, governance, and institutional planning. For more details, please see the HLC’s Action Letter and the Probation Areas section of this website.

Probation is a public status signifying that an accredited institution is no longer in compliance with one or more of HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation. The period of Probation is not more than two years from the date that the Board placed the institution on Probation. During the Probation period, the institution remains accredited and has the opportunity to remedy the concerns noted.

In most cases, because institutions on Probation remain accredited, other institutions of higher education will continue to accept the institution’s credits in transfer or for admission to a program at a higher degree level. However, students enrolled at an institution on Probation and interested in pursuing a higher degree or transferring should contact any institution they plan to attend in the future to confirm the institution’s admission and transfer policies.

Next Steps

The University is required to file an Assurance Filing no later than November 1, 2017 providing evidence that the University has resolved the concerns of the Board identified in the Probation action and evidence that it meets the Criteria for Accreditation.

The University will be required to host a comprehensive evaluation no later than December 2017 to determine whether the concerns of the Board identified in its action have been resolved and the Criteria for Accreditation have been met.

At its meeting in June 2018, the Board will review materials related to this evaluation and determine whether the University can be removed from Probation. If the University has not resolved the Board’s concerns that led to Probation, other action may be appropriate.

About the Higher Learning Commission

The Higher Learning Commission accredits approximately 1,000 colleges and universities that have a home base in one of 19 states that stretch from West Virginia to Arizona. HLC is a private, nonprofit regional accrediting agency.

HLC’s mission is to assure and advance the quality of higher learning. It is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The institutions HLC accredits include public, private not-for-profit, and proprietary institutions at degree levels from the associate’s through the doctoral degree level and from small, specialized institutions through large research universities.

Faculty, staff, students, parents, and others from the general public with questions regarding HLC’s work should contact the Higher Learning Commission by email at info@hlcommission.org or by phone at 312-263-0456.

For Highlands specific questions, please contact us at hlcinfo@nmhu.edu.