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blog.pngWelcome to Tom's Accreditation blog!

I'll post accreditation news, tidbits, and maybe even videos every two weeks to keep you informed about accreditation and its importance to the College and our students.

So why a blog now? YC is scheduled to host an on-site reaccreditation visit on September 19th and 20th, 2022. So, now seemed a good time for an accreditation refresher and to keep everyone in the loop about our reaccreditation activities.

Have questions about accreditation? You don’t have to wait for the next blog posts. Reach out to me anytime at tom.hughes@yc.edu or (928)776-2250. I'll be happy to answer your questions. Thanks for reading! -Tom

Blog Entries

Sorry for the delay in posting. I got "blogged" down with some other activities! But I am back on track now. This post will introduce you to the HLC criteria for accreditation and explain the difference between institutional (HLC) accreditation and special program accreditation.

HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has standards of quality by which it determines whether an institution merits accreditation or reaffirmation of accreditation. Our visit is a reaffirmation visit as YC has been fully accredited since 1975. The five different criteria focus on:

Criterion 1 - Mission
The institution’s mission is clear and articulated publicly; it guides the institution’s operations.

Criterion 2 - Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct
The institution acts with integrity; its conduct is ethical and responsible.

Criterion 3 - Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support
The institution provides quality education, wherever and however its offerings are delivered.

Criterion 4 - Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement
The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs, learning environments, and support services, and it evaluates their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement.

Criterion 5 - Institutional Effectiveness, Resources, and Planning
The institution’s resources, structures, and processes are sufficient to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its educational offerings, and respond to future challenges and opportunities.

More details on each of the criteria will be in future blog posts. As promised in the last blog, I will share the difference between Institutional Accreditation and Special Program Accreditation.

Institutional vs. Special Program Accreditation

blog2.pngYou first need to know that an academic program cannot receive special program accreditation unless the college is accredited and in good standing with its institutional accreditor.

Institutional accreditation reviews the academic and organizational structures of the college as a whole, compared to Special Program accreditation which is focused on assuring that the program is meeting disciplinary, professional body, or state licensing requirements. For some programs like Nursing and Radiology, special accreditation is required so that our graduates can sit for licensing exams. At YC, the following academic programs have special accreditation.

The accreditation website has more information on each of our program’s specialized accreditor accreditation website.

FYI – The Radiology program has a specialized JCERT accreditation visit scheduled for this summer, July 14th & 15th.

In the next blog post, I'll focus on criterion one (Mission) and give you the nitty-gritty of what everyone should know. If you can't wait and want more info on the criteria, check out this link for more HLC's criteria for accreditation.

Tom’s top 10 reasons.

  1. Allows students to apply for federal grants and financial aid. No accreditation, no federal aid.
  2. Academic Quality—it helps ensure that YC meets or exceeds minimum quality standards.
  3. Ensures that we have qualified and credentialed faculty at all levels including dual enrollment.
  4. Helps students determine acceptable institutions for enrollment.
  5. The transferability of college credits. It is important because many students transfer to four-year schools, and their credits are accepted because YC is an accredited college.
  6. Helps employers determine the validity of programs and whether a graduate is qualified.
  7. Enables our graduates to sit for certification, licensing, and board exams.
  8. Student financial aid is an important source of revenue for the College.
  9. Accreditation is required for YC to apply for most state, federal, and private grants and is a prerequisite for programs seeking specialized program-level accreditation.
  10. Creates incentive and goals for institutional self-improvement.

What is Institutional Accreditation?

Accreditation is a process colleges and universities regularly undergo to ensure that the education provided meets acceptable levels of quality. It requires us to complete a rigorous self-evaluation through a written report called an Assurance Argument. The written report is then followed by an independent, objective peer review of Yavapai College’s overall educational quality measured against the accreditor’s standards of excellence. The U.S. Department of Education determines those accrediting organizations that are judged to be reliable authorities in measuring the quality of education and training of a program or institution.

Yavapai College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

In the next blog post, I’ll introduce you to HLC's criteria for accreditation, and discuss the differences and connections between institutional and special program-level accreditation.