Higher Learning Commission reaffirms UMSL accreditation for next 10 years

by | Jan 22, 2019

The regional accrediting organization requires regular evaluations to make sure the universities it governs are living up to standards of quality and continual improvement.
HLC accreditation

The Higher Learning Commission reaffirmed UMSL’s accreditation for 10 more years, without any follow-up evaluations necessary, after the university met all of the organization’s five criteria for accreditation. (Photo by August Jennewein)

The University of Missouri–St. Louis earned a reaffirmation of accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, extending the university’s accreditation for 10 more years.

UMSL met the five criteria of the HLC – mission; integrity: ethical and responsible conduct; teaching and learning: quality, resources and support; teaching and learning: evaluation and improvement; and resources, planning and institutional effectiveness – with no need for any follow-up evaluations before the next accreditation visit during the 2028-29 school year.

“This was a process that involved our entire campus community: faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends,” said Chancellor Tom George. “The HLC accreditation process affirmed that UMSL is an outstanding university committed to continually seeking ways to improve in its mission of transforming lives, and I’d like to thank everyone who helped our efforts shine through.”

Committee members worked for more than a year and a half holding interviews and stakeholder sessions and gathering information to demonstrate compliance with federal guidelines and the HLC’s criteria to prepare an Assurance of Learning document that served as the basis from which UMSL made its reaccreditation case to the HLC. Last May, a draft of the document was released to the campus community for feedback and open forums were held to hone the presentation. An HLC evaluation team came to campus for a comprehensive site visit on Nov. 5-6.

“Everyone had a hand in making this happen, from preparing the Assurance of Learning document to providing valuable input and direction during the refining process to putting our best foot forward during the evaluation team’s site visit,” Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Kristin Sobolik said. “This is truly a fantastic achievement by our entire campus community!”

Sobolik expressed special appreciation for the hard work of the members of the HLC 2018 Steering Committee: Special Assistant to the Provost and HLC Liaison Alan Heisel; Vice Provost for Student Affairs Curt Coonrod; Associate Teaching Professor and Department of Military and Veterans Studies Chair James Craig; Professor and Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy Erika Gibb; Center for Teaching and Learning Instructional Designer Michael Porterfield; Manager of Institutional Research Carol Sholy; Assistant Teaching Professor of Economics Brian Speicher; Professor of Chemistry Keith Stine; Academic Affairs Project Manager Bonnie Unal; and Associate Dean of the College of Education Shawn Woodhouse.

“UMSL has provided a convincing argument with sufficient data to demonstrate it adheres to federal compliance guidelines and that it meets all HLC core components, and therefore all criteria for accreditation,” the HLC concluded in its final review. “UMSL is a vital anchor institution to the St. Louis region and the successful implementation of its strategic plan should maintain that status for years to come.”

The HLC is an independent regional organization that determines the accreditation status of institutions in 19 states. More information about the accreditation process, the materials UMSL submitted to the HLC and the HLC’s conclusions about the state and direction of the university can be found at the Division of Academic Affairs HLC Accreditation 2018 website.

David Morrison

David Morrison