St. Thomas Prepares for Higher Learning Commission Assurance Review

During the 2017-18 academic year, St. Thomas will finalize preparations for the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Assurance Review. HLC is one of six regional institutional accreditors for higher education recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.

Accreditation by a federally recognized accreditor allows St. Thomas students to participate in federal student aid programs. Institutional accreditation provides assurance to prospective students, their families, employers, and the public that course credits and degrees earned from the institution meet quality standards of higher education. In addition, institutional accreditation ensures quality by verifying that an institution is engaged in continuous improvement. HLC evaluates each institution on its academic offerings, governance and administration, mission, finances and resources.

The next accreditation task for St. Thomas is an Assurance Review, which is due on June 18, 2018. A Comprehensive Evaluation, which includes a site visit from HLC, is scheduled for 2023-24. For St. Thomas’ Assurance Review this year, HLC determines whether we meet the Criteria for Accreditation. An Assurance Review includes an argument that we fulfill each of the five criteria and evidence that supports our argument.

A group of faculty and staff will write the Assurance Argument with contributions from the St. Thomas community. The following faculty and staff are leading the construction of the Assurance Argument: Dr. Bernard Brady, Dr. Tonia Bock, Abigail Crouse, Dr. Erin Curran, Nora Fitzpatrick, Dr. David Landry, Dr. Agapitos Papagapitos, Dr. Fernando Sanchez, Dr. Richard Sathe, Sarah Smith and Father Larry Snyder. During the spring semester, the St. Thomas community will have the opportunity to review the Assurance Argument and provide feedback.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the upcoming HLC Assurance Review, please contact Tonia Bock, director of accreditation and assessment.