University of Arkansas Reaccredited by Higher Learning Commission
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas continues to be an accredited institution of higher education, following a decision by the Institutional Actions Council of the Higher Learning Commission. That decision followed a visit in April by a peer review team from the commission.
“Everyone on campus has reason to be proud of this achievement,” said Chancellor Joe Steinmetz. “Reaccreditation is far from automatic. It is the result of hard work every day by our outstanding faculty and staff, it is the product of long range planning to make sure this institution continues to improve. It is a 10-year process intended to ensure the University of Arkansas is the best it can possibly be. And it’s a process we will continue for the next decade as we work to achieve our eight guiding priorities.”
The U of A has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission without interruption since 1924. Reaccreditation is essentially the result of a 10-year cycle of monitoring, goal-setting and evaluation performed by the university and the commission.
The process begins again almost immediately. There are three “pathways” an institution can choose toward reaccreditation. The University of Arkansas has once again selected the “Open Pathway,” which includes a separate Quality Initiative, an opportunity for the university to pursue an independent improvement project. The university will file periodic reports to the commission over the next 10 years to demonstrate that it is maintaining quality and making progress on its Quality Initiative.
The Higher Learning Commission is a regional accreditation agency that is responsible for higher education institutions in 19 states, including Arkansas. Institutions are evaluated to be sure they meet all federal requirements and also that they meet specific criteria developed from a set of guiding educational values.
These educational values are essentially basic and defining assumptions about higher education institutions:
- A focus on student learning
- Education seen as a public purpose
- Education intended to prepare students for a diverse, technological, globally connected world
- A campus culture of continuous improvement
- Evidence-based institutional learning and self-presentation
- Integrity, transparency and ethical behavior
- Leadership that promotes the well-being of the institution
- Sustainable management of the university’s resources
- Mission-centered evaluation
- Accreditation aimed at assuring and advancing quality of the institution
Find out more detail about the Higher Learning Commission’s guiding values.
These values are the foundation for the five criteria a university must satisfy to earn reaccreditation by the commission:
- Mission: It must be clear, publically stated, driving all programs and aimed at serving the public good
- Integrity: Ethical and responsible conduct
- Teaching and Learning: Quality, resources and support
- Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and improvement
- Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness: The institution’s ability to fulfill its mission, improve and plan for the future
Read detailed explanations of the criteria for accreditation.
About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.
Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
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