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Accreditation

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accredits colleges and universities, including the University of Denver, in a 19-state region of the United States. DU will undergo its comprehensive evaluation in October 2020.

DU is on the “Open Pathway,” one of three options institutions have for maintaining HLC accreditation. It follows a 10-year cycle and is focused on quality assurance and institutional improvement. The Open Pathway is unique in that its improvement component, the Quality Initiative, affords institutions the opportunity to pursue improvement projects that meet their current needs and aspirations.

 

 

 

Timeline

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    Spring Quarter:

    HLC Steering Committee and Working Groups Compile First Draft of Assurance Arguments

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    Summer 2019: 

    Planning Committee Reviews First Draft and Writes Second Draft with Writing Team

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    Fall 2019 - Spring 2020

    Campus-Wide Engagement Activities and Events

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    Summer 2020

    Planning Team Finalizes Arguments with Stakeholder Input, Submits Final Arguments to HLC

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    Early Fall 2020: 

    Finalize Details for HLC Campus Visit

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    October 19-20, 2020:

    Campus Visit by HLC Peer Reviewers

The Open Pathway’s 10-year cycle includes the following institutional reviews:

  • Regular Monitoring

    Institutions submit an annual Institutional Update, which is reviewed by HLC to monitor organizational health, comply with certain federal requirements, and identify any changes that may require HLC follow up. HLC will also apply change processes as appropriate to planned institutional developments, and will monitor institutions through reports, visits and other means as it deems appropriate.

  • Year 4: Assurance Review

    Institutions complete an Assurance Review to ensure they are continuing to meet HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation. The institution provides documentation demonstrating how it fulfills each Criterion and Core Component. A peer review team evaluates these materials and recommends whether the institution should continue in the cycle or whether additional monitoring is required. HLC’s Institutional Actions Council (IAC) reviews and takes official action on the recommendation.

  • Years 5 - 9: Quality Initiative

    Institutions design and undertake a Quality Initiative project. HLC peer reviewers approve an initial project proposal, as well as a report on the outcomes of the project.

  • Year 10: Comprehensive Evaluation

    Note: This will occur at the University of Denver in October 2020.

    Institutions undergo a comprehensive evaluation to ensure they are meeting the Criteria for Accreditation, pursuing institutional improvement and complying with certain requirements set by the U.S. Department of Education. This review leads to an action regarding the reaffirmation of the institution’s accreditation.

    More About Comprehensive Evaluation:

    HLC conducts comprehensive evaluations of member institutions to confirm that the institution continues to meet the Criteria for Accreditation, is pursuing institutional improvement and complies with requirements sets by the U.S. Department of Education. Evaluations are conducted by teams of peer reviewers.

    The evaluation that occurs in the final year of each pathway cycle—Year 10 for Open Pathway—includes an action regarding the institution’s reaffirmation of accreditation.

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Assurance Argument Goals

HLC conducts an Assurance Review to determine whether an institution continues to meet the Criteria for Accreditation, every 4 and 10 years. The University of Denver is approaching our 10 year review and is currently drafting assurance arguments and collecting evidence for our comprehensive evaluation in 2020. The assurance arguments detail how the University is meeting the criteria set forth by HLC, using materials such as websites, policies, reports and more as evidence. The Criteria for Accreditation are as follows:

  • 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 high 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: Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness
    • 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. The institution plans for the future.

The University will submit both the assurance arguments with an evidence file, using HLC’S online Assurance System in the summer of 2020 after significant consultation with campus stakeholders, including faculty, staff and students. Prior to DU’s campus visit, a team of peer reviewers evaluates the assurance argument with corresponding evidence to provide a recommendation as to whether the institution meets the Criteria for Accreditation.

After the visit, a decision-making body within HLC reviews the University’s materials and the recommendation from the peer review team and takes official action.

Accreditation Committees

  • Gaps Analysis Group

    The Gaps Analysis group is reviewing all five criterion arguments and identify the gaps where content and/or evidence is missing and needed.

    Name Title
    Casey Dinger Interim Vice Provost of Internationalization 
    Adrienne Gonzales Director of the Center for World Languages and Cultures
    Clint Emmerich Assistant Provost, Budget and Analysis
    Keith Miller Interim Associate Provost of Graduate Education 
    Michele Hanna Associate Professor, Graduate School of Social Work
    Richard Colby Assistant Director, First Year Writing, and Teaching Professor, Writing Program
    Chip Reichardt Professor, Psychology 
    Christina Paguyo Director, Academic Assessment
    Allison Friederichs Associate Dean and Teaching Associate Professor, University College
    Sarah Hoffman Assistant Provost, Student Success
    Deigan Silver Associate Professor, Media, Film and Journalism Studies, Director, CILCA
    Kimberly Bender Interim Associate Provost for Research
    Lory-Ann Varela Interim Executive Director of Culture, Access and Transitions Program

     

  • Criterion 1: Mission

    The Mission Committee is responsible for ensuring the University's mission, which guides our operations, is clear and articulated publicly. Thank you to the following people for drafting the initial argument for Criterion 1:

    Name Title Unit
    Kristin Deal Interim Director Office of Diversity and Inclusion
    Cara DiEnno Associate Director Center for Community Engagement to advance Scholarship and Learning
    Allana Forte Assistant Vice Chancellor Enrollment
    Garret Glass Assistant Director, Production Newman Center
    Theresa Hernandez* Assistant Vice Chancellor, Campus Partnerships Information Technology
    Darrin Hicks* Professor, Communication Studies College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
    Madeline Phipps Sr. Media Relations Specialist Department of Marketing and Communications
    Audrey Schiavone Teaching Assistant Professor Writing Program

    * — Committee chairs

  • Criterion 2: Integrity

    The Integrity Committee is responsible for ensuring that the University acts with integrity and that our conduct is ethical and responsible. Thank you to the following people for drafting the initial argument for Criterion 2:

    Name Title Unit
    Sarah Buenavidez Associate Director, Graduate Enrollment Graduate Education
    Brian Gonzales Clinical Assistant Professor Graduate School of Social Work
    Niki Latino Associate Vice Chancellor Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence
    Jerron Lowe Director, Human Resource Partnerships Human Resources and Inclusive Community
    Timothy Sisk* Professor Josef Korbel School of International Studies 
    Tiffany Wen Director Internal Audit
    Paul Kosempel* Teaching Associate Professor, Pioneer Leadership Living and Learning Community Pioneer Leadership Program
    Audry LaCrone Communications Manager Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

    * — Committee chairs

  • Criterion 3: Teaching and Learning — Quality, Resources and Support

    The Teaching and Learning — Quality, Resources and Support Committee is responsible for ensuring the University provides high quality education, wherever and however our offerings are delivered. Thank you to the following people for drafting the initial argument for Criterion 3:

    Name Title Unit
    Ayla Engelhart Associate Director, Student Outreach Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence
    Brian Gearity* Director, MA Coach and Sport Ed Graduate School of Professional Psychology
    Anthea Johnson Rooen Director, College Access and Pipeline Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence
    Richard Colby Teaching Associate Professor Writing Program
    Luc Beaudoin Vice Chancellor for Internationalization Office of Internationalization
    Virginia Pitts Director, University Teaching Office of Teaching and Learning
    Adrienne Gonzales Interim Director World Languages and Cultures
    Ingrid Tague* Associate Dean College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

    * — Committee chairs

  • Criterion 4: Teaching and Learning — Evaluation and Improvement

    The Teaching and Learning — Evaluation and Improvement Committee is responsible for ensuring the University demonstrates responsibility for the quality of our educational programs, learning environments and support services. The committee also evaluates the effectiveness of those programs, environments and services for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement. Thank you to the following people for drafting the initial argument for Criterion 4:

    Name Title Unit
    Jennifer Anderson Associate Director, CPD Info and Systems Career and Professional Development
    Michael Brent Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
    Michelle Kruse-Crocker Teaching Associate Professor University College
    Christina Paguyo Director, Academic Assessment Office of Teaching and Learning
    Maggie Red* Associate Dean, Programs and Partnerships Colorado Women's College
    Nancy Sasaki Teaching Professor Natural Sciences and Mathematics
    Rachel Walsh Associate Professor, Languages and Literatures College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
    Kate Willink* Faculty Director Office of Teaching and Learning

    * — Committee chairs

  • Criterion 5: Resources, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness

    The Resources, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness Committee's responsibility is to ensure the University's resources, structures and processes are sufficient to fulfill our mission, improve the quality of our educational offerings and respond to future challenges and opportunities. Thank you to the following people for drafting the initial argument for Criterion 5:

    Name Title Unit
    Emily Allen Program Coordinator Pioneer Leadership Program
    Don Bacon Professor, Marketing Daniels College of Business
    Linda Kosten* Vice Provost Planning and Budget
    Leandra Martinez Assistant Controller Controller's Office
    Chip Reichardt* Professor, Psychology College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
    Keith Rhodes Teaching Assistant Professor Writing Program
    James Rosner Associate Vice Chancellor Facilities
    Shannon Seales Learning and Development Consultant Human Resources and Inclusive Community

    * — Committee chairs