The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), and was first accredited in 1921. The HLC is an independent corporation and one of two commission members of the NCA, which was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The HLC accredits, and thereby grants membership, in the Commission and in the North Central Association. In the United States, regional accreditors, such as the HLC, evaluate an institution’s effectiveness in fulfilling its educational mission using a set of quality standards, also known as criteria, evaluating and accrediting the institution as a whole. Along with assessing formal educational activities, the HLC also evaluates governance and administration, student services, student learning, financial stability and institutional resources, institutional integrity, and relationships with internal and external constituencies. Accreditation, then, is a key indicator of quality assurance, an important benefit to both prospective students and institutional stakeholders.
Loyola's accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission was last reaffirmed in August of 2005, following a successful comprehensive evaluation and site visit. The next comprehensive institutional evaluation is scheduled for the Spring of 2015, ten years from the prior evaluation, the longest period of time allowed between evaluations under current Commission policies.
In addition to comprehensive, institutional accreditation, specialized accreditors evaluate particular units, schools, or programs within an institution. Specialized accreditation, also called program accreditation, is often associated with national professional associations, such as those for medicine and law, or with specific disciplines, such as business, teacher education, psychology, or social work. Individual academic units and programs within the University have also achieved specialized accreditation.
- The School of Law is accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA),
- The Medical School is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME, jointly sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association)
- The School of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
- The Quinlan School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
- The School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
- The School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
A number of Loyola’s degree programs have specialized accreditation recognition, including Ph.D. programs in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, and school psychology, which are accredited by the American Psychological Association.
Open Pathway Process
In Fall of 2010, Loyola was one of twenty institutions invited by the Commission to participate as a Pioneer Institution for a new model of accreditation. The new model is referred to as 'Open Pathways' and Loyola's participation in the Pathways demonstration project is the means by which the University plans to achieve continued accreditation in 2014-15. Loyola University Chicago will undergo its comprehensive evaluation for reaffirmation of accreditation February 23-24, 2015. More information about the Open Pathway Process is given below. This new process includes both quality improvement and quality assurance components. Learn more
How to Participate in Accreditation
Students, Faculty, and Staff are invited to participate in the accreditation process, as well as provide feedback on the process. Our community is also encouraged to participate by providing comments about Loyola on the Higher Learning Commissions’ Website. Learn more
The Office of the Provost oversees the accreditation process, including keeping the Loyola University Chicago community informed about its progress and providing details about the site visit February 23-24, 2015. Following is the timeline for the full process.
- Spring 2014–Fall 2014: Final preparation of the Quality Improvement Project
- Summer 2014-Fall 2014: Preparation of the Federal Compliance Report
- Summer 2014-Fall 2014: Drafting and editing of the Quality Assurance Argument
- Fall 2014: Submission of the Quality Initiative Proposal
- January 2015 : Submission of the Quality Assurance Argument and Federal Compliance Report
- February 23–24, 2015: On-site visit by peer review team; review/follow-up regarding team report
Please direct any questions regarding the University’s accreditation to Dr. Marian Claffey (firstname.lastname@example.org), Associate Provost for Academic Administration, or Dr. Terri Pigott (email@example.com), Interim Dean of Education and Faculty Director of Accreditation.