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Institutional Accreditation


HLC Newsletters and Updates

Timeline / Calendar

HLC Forums

Key HLC Documents

Evidence File for Focused Visit

HLC Focused Visit Report (final version January 2020)


Focused Visits

2020 Evidence File Focused Visit
2022 Evidence File Focused Visit


On July 9, 2018, Highlands University was formally removed from probationary status by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The entire Highlands community worked together to address the areas of concern specified by the HLC that led to our probationary status. The university used this  opportunity to develop new programs and initiatives to guide us into a new and positive future.

In their final report removing the university from probation, the HLC did however indicate three areas of continuing concern. In order to address these three areas of concern, the university hosted an HLC Focused Visit on October 5-6, 2020. This visit was rescheduled from the previously set date of June 30, 2020, due to the pandemic’s travel restrictions at the time. The Focused Visit basically consisted of a small team of peer reviewers who visited Highlands, three of whom did virtually with one on-campus, to determine whether the university had fully and appropriately addressed those three areas of concern. Along with the focused visit, the university was expected to produce an evidence report demonstrating that we have addressed each of the three areas of concern.

After the focused visit concluded, the peer reviewer sent their recommendations to Highland’s HLC Staff Liaison and the HLC Institutional Actions Council (IAC). The IAC is a 40-member review council that acts on all recommendations regarding HLC actions. Based on the recommendations of the peer reviewers the IAC found that Highlands had met all concerns in the three areas under review. As such, Highlands is fully accredited without concerns as of November 11, 2020.

The next scheduled reaffirmation visit, known as the 4-Year Review, will be in February 2022.

If you have any questions about HLC, please contact Keith Tucker, the Accreditation Liaison Officer for Highlands University, at

How You Can Help with the HLC Process: Highlands University, and all institutions overseen by the HLC, are on a continuous 10-year cycle for accreditation review. Certain reporting requirements continue during these timeframes meaning that we are under constant review.

So you can join at any time with a voluntary commitment in the HLC cycle:

We have 5 HLC Criterion committees: These committees will help to ensure that we have assembled adequate and appropriate documentation to demonstrate compliance in all areas of concern. The sub-committees will also help to prepare the written evidence report that will be submitted to the HLC.

Be informed! Try to be as informed as possible about the accreditation process. This helps to ensure that everyone is working towards a common cause and understands the importance of the accreditation process. A great way to stay informed is to attend HLC Forums, review videos and other material produced and sent to the campus periodically, and join a committee.

Provide support as appropriate in all areas of concern: Although we all have our own clearly defined responsibilities at HU, areas of concern are fairly general and touch on all aspects of institutional functioning. Any point of contact we make with potential students or with current students can help in our recruitment and enrollment efforts. We can all work together to help ensure fiscal responsibility in all areas of university functioning. Timely and thorough participation in institutional planning and assessment efforts will help with all areas of concern.

Communicate: Please let us know of any concerns, suggestions, or recommendations you may have with respect to the accreditation process. You can contact Keith Tucker, the Accreditation Liaison Officer for Highlands University, at

Accreditation Overview

Highlands University is again fully accredited by and in good standing with the Higher Learning Commission.

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 or by phone at 312-263-0456.

For Highlands-specific questions, please contact us at

For information about program level accreditation, please refer to the OIER web page.