Assessment Brief #104 - Accreditation Update

Assessment Logo: assessment-revision-outcomes

April 2019

Accreditation Update

Why is accreditation important?
For millions of Americans, federal student loans and grants open the doors to a college education. To be able to grant federal aid to Miami students, we must earn the quality seal of approval by an "accrediting agency" recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Since 1913, Miami University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

In addition to allowing Miami to provide federal student assistance to students, accreditation is an important signal to students, families, and the general public that Miami offers a quality education to its students.

How does the process work?
HLC has multiple accreditation pathways. The Commission determines which pathway an institution may follow. Miami participates in the Open Pathway, which is granted to institutions with a strong accreditation track record and follows a 10-year cycle.

The Open Pathway separates the process into two components: the Assurance Review and the Quality Initiative.

  • Two Assurance Reviews take place in the 10-year cycle: one in Year 4 and one in Year 10.
  • The Year 4 review occurs asynchronously via an online reporting platform, called the Assurance System, but does not include an on-campus visit.
  • Between Years 5 and 9 of the 10-year cycle, the institution proposes and completes a Quality Initiative. The Quality Initiative is a major project that the institution undertakes to advance institutional innovation and improvement.
  • In Year 10, the institution undergoes a comprehensive evaluation, which includes an assurance review, site visit, multi-campus report, and federal compliance information.

Where are we in the process?
Miami is currently in Year 4 of the process. As a result, we will be submitting the Assurance Review materials via the online system in the summer of 2019. The Assurance Review consists of brief narratives as well as supporting evidence addressing each of the Accreditation criteria and their core components. Accreditation criteria and core components focus on mission, integrity (ethical and responsible conduct), teaching and learning (quality, resources, and support as well as assessment and continuous improvement), and planning and institutional effectiveness.

What can you do to support Miami's accreditation process?

  1. Respond promptly to any requests for information from the Office of the Provost.
  2. Make sure your websites are up to date. In particular, be sure that faculty are listed correctly (with their highest degree earned).
For more information, contact Carolyn Haynes, Associate Provost (