Lansing Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a regional accreditation agency that accredits degree-granting institutions of higher education located in the 19-state North Central region of the United States. Regional accreditation validates the quality of an institution as a whole and evaluates multiple aspects of an institution, including its academic offerings, governance and administration, mission, finances, and resources. Institutions that the HLC accredits are evaluated against the Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation, a set of standards that must be met in order for the institution to receive and/or maintain accredited status. The HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation reflect a set of guiding values. Accreditation is largely a peer-based review and evaluation process. HLC decision-making bodies are comprised of institutional representation from colleges and universities accredited by the Commission; public members are also sometimes involved.
What is the Open Pathway?
Following the Higher Learning Commission's decision to terminate the AQIP Pathway, and the successful review of our final AQIP Systems Portfolio in 2019, LCC transitioned onto Year 5 of the Open Pathway. The Open Pathway follows a 10-year cycle, which is focused on quality assurance and continuing institutional improvement. The Open Pathway includes an improvement component called the Quality Initiative, which is intended to afford institutions the opportunity to address their current needs and aspirations.
Major components of the Open Pathway cycle include:
- Assurance Review due Year 4 (including the Assurance Argument and Evidence Files)
- Quality Initiative Proposal due in Years 5-7
- Quality Initiative Report due in Years 7-9
- Comprehensive Evaluation for Reaffirmation due in Year 10 (including an Assurance Review, Federal Compliance Review, and an on-site peer review visit)