FAQ: Accreditation at the University of Minnesota

  1. What is accreditation?
  2. Who accredits higher education institutions and programs?
  3. Who accredits the University of Minnesota? 
  4. What is the accreditation status of University campuses?
  5. How does the traditional accreditation process work?
  6. What organizations provide specialized accreditation of University colleges and programs?
  7. What are the current policy and political issues related to accreditation?
  8. Where can I get more information on accreditation?

1. What is accreditation?

Accreditation is a process of external review used to scrutinize colleges, universities, and educational programs for quality assurance and compliance with external standards.

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2. Who accredits higher education institutions and programs?

In the U.S., higher education accreditation is carried out primarily by:

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3. Who accredits the University of Minnesota? 

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities and the Crookston, Duluth, and Morris coordinate campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.  The Rochester campus will seek separate accreditation by 2013.  Founded in 1895, the HLC is one of six regional accrediting associations in the U.S.  Through its commissions, HLC accredits educational institutions in the 19-state North Central region: Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming.  The Higher Learning Commission is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

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4. What is the accreditation status of University campuses?

All campuses are fully accredited.  The next HLC comprehensive accreditation reviews are: Morris in 2009-10, Twin Cities in 2015-16, Crookston in 2016-17, and Duluth in 2017-2018. Rochester campus programs are offered through other University of Minnesota campuses. Rochester will seek full accreditation as a separate campus by 2013.

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5. How does the traditional accreditation process work?

Traditional accreditation review is ongoing. Its four key features are:

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6. What organizations provide specialized accreditation of University colleges and programs?

Among the many specialized accrediting organizations in higher education affecting University colleges and programs are the following:

Field

Accrediting Body

Architecture

National Architecture Accreditation Board

Business

American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business

Accrediting Commission on Education for Health Services Administration

Communication Disorders

American Speech, Language and Hearing Association

Counseling/Clinical Psychology

American Psychological Association

Dance

National Association of Schools of Dance

Dentistry

Commission on Dental Education

Education

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Engineering (agricultural, aerospace, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, geological, materials, mechanical)

Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology

Food Science

Institute of Food Technologists

Forestry

Society of American Foresters

Interior Design

Foundation for Interior Design Education and Research

Journalism

Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications

Landscape Architecture

National Architecture Accreditation Board

Law

American Bar Association

Marriage and Family Therapy

Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy

Medical Technology

American Medical Association

Medicine and specialties

American Medical Association and many specific specialty accrediting organizations

Music

National Association of Schools of Music

Nursing

National League for Nursing

Nursing – Midwifery

American College of Nurse Midwives

Nutrition

American Dietetic Association

Occupational Therapy

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

Paper Science and Engineering

Society of Wood Science and Technology

Pharmaceutical Care Residency

Society of Health System Pharmacists

Pharmacy

American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists

Physical Therapy

American Physical Therapy Association

Psychology

American Psychological Association

Public Health

Accreditation Council on Education for Public Health

Recreation

National Recreation and Park Association

Social Work

Council on Social Work Education

Theatre

National Association of Schools of Theatre

Urban/Regional Planning

Planning Accreditation Board

Veterinary Medicine

American Council of Veterinary Medicine

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7. What are the current policy and political issues related to accreditation? 

Higher education accrediting agencies have come under increasing public criticism and pressure from federal and state legislators and agencies, higher education institutions and associations, various special interest groups, and consumers. While many colleges and universities assert that accreditors have become too intrusive and prescriptive in their processes, some policymakers are calling for accreditors and institutions to be “more accountable.”  Concerns about steady, often double-digit price increases have led many to insist that accrediting agencies and institutions demonstrate their value to consumers. 

These pressures have led the Higher Learning Commission over the past several years to overhaul its governance and operational systems and adopt new statements of mission, vision, and priorities.

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8. Where can I get more information on accreditation?

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