Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) is eagerly anticipating a visit on Oct. 25 and 26 from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Peer Review Team. It’s the final step in a 10-year process to reaffirm EMCC’s accreditation.
The HLC was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. It is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to accredit degree-granting colleges and universities. Accreditation is required for colleges and universities to offer federal financial aid to students, receive federal grants, and enable students to transfer credits between accredited institutions. Colleges and universities are evaluated on five Criteria for Accreditation: Criterion 1 - Mission; Criterion 2 - Integrity; Criterion 3 - Teaching and Learning; Criterion 4 - Evaluation and Improvement; and Criterion 5 - Resources and Planning.
EMCC has been accredited by the HLC since 1992 when it opened as a satellite campus for Glendale Community College (GCC) and shared accreditation. EMCC became a stand-alone, separately accredited institution in 1997. Since the first accreditation, EMCC has successfully undergone three comprehensive visits.
The 10-year accreditation cycle requires institutions to submit an annual Institutional Update, which is reviewed by the HLC to monitor organizational health, compliance with certain federal requirements, and identify any changes that may require HLC follow-up. In Year 4, the college must complete an Assurance Review to ensure it is continuing to meet HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation. During Years 5-9, the college must design and undertake a Quality Initiative project, and during Year 10, it must undergo a comprehensive evaluation to ensure it is meeting the Criteria for Accreditation, pursuing institutional improvement, and complying with certain requirements set by the U.S. Department of Education.
“We had an amazing 4-Year Assurance Argument,” said Librarian Nikol Price, who is on EMCC’s Reaffirmation of Accreditation Steering Team. “We received no reports or follow-ups and the HLC used it as an example in the annual conference the following year. We’re anticipating a good review.”
EMCC expects to receive the results of the comprehensive evaluation within two months after the Peer Review Team’s visit. Stay tuned ...
Visit https://www.estrellamountain.edu/hlc to learn more about EMCC’s reaffirmation of accreditation process.