CSU maintains accreditation

Oct 142004
Authors: Kathryn Dailey

The Higher Learning Commission has renewed CSU’s as a university

for the next 10 years.

This accreditation provides public certification of acceptable

institutional quality as well as an opportunity and incentive for

self-improvement in the institutions accredited, according to the

HLC Web site, www.ncahigherlearningcommission.org.

Accreditation involves a complex and comprehensive examination

of everything the university does, said Tom Milligan, university


The university has been accredited through HLC since 1925.

“It wasn’t any great surprise that CSU was accredited again,”

Milligan said.

The accreditation process gives CSU a chance to take an internal

look at what practices and procedures the university is doing well

and where it faces challenges.

Continued accreditation is critical in the sense that CSU is

meeting appropriate criteria set forth by a national professional

organization, said Keith Ickes, interim vice president for

Administrative Services.

Many of the programs at CSU have an additional accreditation on

top of the accreditation that the university receives. Program

accreditation is often associated with national professional

associations or with specific disciplines. A student would normally

want to receive a degree from an accredited university and people

with a PhD searching for work would want to be on staff at an

accredited institution, Ickes said.

To gain accreditation, the HLC gives the university a set of

guidelines that they must follow in a self-study. The self-study

for CSU was a two-year process and involved about 80 people

including students, administrative officials, staff and faculty

that reviewed the procedures and programs of the university, said

Robert Jones, co-coordinator of the self-study and a professor in

the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology.

Prior to accreditation, a team of peer reviewers from comparable

academic institutions such as Kansas State University, Oklahoma

State University and Arizona State University visited CSU. The

three-day visit was to validate the self-study report and interview

staff, students and faculty. The team then wrote a review report to

recommend reaccredidation.

Having accreditation is also important for students, according

to the Higher Education Reauthorization Act. For example, an

institution is required to have some kind of accreditation for

students to receive student loans and financial aid from the


“Accreditation is an indication that the programs are meeting

the objectives they are designed for,” Jones said.


The self-study reviews five main

criteria set forth by the HLC. Those criteria are:

1. The institution has clear and

publicly stated purposes consistent with its mission and

appropriate to an institution of higher education.

2. The institution has effectively

organized the human, financial and physical resources necessary to

accomplish its purposes.

3. The institution is accomplishing

its educational and other purposes. (CSU broke this criterion into

four subcategories: undergraduate, graduate, research and


4. The institution can continue to

accomplish its purposes and strengthen its educational


5. The institution demonstrates

integrity in its practices and relationships.

For further information about


Colorado State accreditation page:


The HLC Web site:


The Department of Education and the

office of postsecondary education:


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