What is accreditation?
According to a 2008 report issued by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, Profile of Accreditation, the major types of accrediting organizations are institutional and programmatic as described below:
Institutional accreditationCampuses as a whole seek institutional accreditation from an regional or national accrediting organization. These organizations are voluntary associations of schools; the schools all pay membership dues and share in the governance of the accreditor. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools; its post-secondary accrediting arm is called the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). NCA members include schools roughly from Ohio to Colorado and from Minnesota to Arizona.
Who handles institutional accreditation at the University of Illinois at Urbana?The Office of the Provost is responsible for ensuring compliance with HLC rules and maintains a website on accreditation. That office also maintains a guide to levels of governance detailing what kinds of approvals are needed for certain changes in order to comply with UI Statutes, Illinois Board of Higher Education rules, and HLC rules.
Benefits of institutional accreditation
Accreditation standards and processesHLC lists its current criteria for accreditation on its website. Institutions are typically reviewed in depth every 10 years following an intensive self-study and a site visit by a team of accreditors. (This process is under review by HLC and may change). In between the site visits, HLC requires an annual data update and monitors significant changes at each institution.
The federal Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 mandated additional requirements for oversight by Department of Education - recognized accreditors. In part because of that act, and to ensure that members are maintaining standards, the HLC now requires approval in advance for some kinds of institutional changes. For other changes, HLC requires notification after the fact. Below are documents outlining the approval processes recently instituted by HLC.
Recent Illinois Institutional Accreditation information
2009 Accreditation Visit - October 12-16, 2009
1999 Accreditation Visit
Annual data updatesEach year, the campus submits responses to a set of queries from the HLC. Starting in 2004, Management Information was assigned responsibility for collating and submitting the information. In 2008, HLC split its data request into two parts, one related to Student data and one related to Financial data. The Office of Business and Financial Affairs now completes the Financial data section. Copies of the submitted information are below. (Note: Formats have changed over the years and some of the links in the pages below may be out of date).
2004 Student & Financial
2005 Student & Financial
2006 Student & Financial
2007 Student & Financial
2008 Student Financial
2009 Student Financial
2010 Student Financial
2011 Student Financial
2012 Student Financial
2013 Student Financial
2014 Combined - Student & Financial
2015 Combined - Student & Financial
2016 Combined - Student & Financial
Specialized Unit or program accreditationSome academic disciplines, especially those that are professional or pre-professional, have national accrediting bodies who monitor and accredit individual participating programs. Admissions to graduate schools and candidacy for licenses or other professional certifications may be limited to students who graduate from an accredited program.
In addition, various national professional organizations oversee accreditation bodies to ensure that standards in the professions are maintained. For example, museums may seek accreditation by the American Association of Museums; many museums will not loan materials to any museum not so accredited.
Unit/Program Accreditations for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:
2011 , 2012 , 2013 , 2014 , 2015 , 2016