Institutional Accreditation

Casper College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) through a regular process of peer review of demonstration of commitment and evidence of practice of various criteria.

Reaffirmation of accreditation letter

What

The Criteria for Accreditation are the standards of quality by which the Commission determines whether an institution merits accreditation or reaffirmation of accreditation. They are as follows:

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

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

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

Criterion Four: 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 Five: 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.

Why

Why is institutional accreditation important?

  1. The accreditation process focuses attention and resources on continuous improvement of learning opportunities for all students.
  2. Regional accreditation ensures acceptance of earned credit and degree credential transfer to U.S. schools and work places.
  3. Regional accreditation is necessary to ensure that institutions are eligible for federal financial aid.

How

How are Institutions Accredited?

Institutions of higher education in the United States seek accreditation through two types of accreditation agencies, institutional and specialized. Institutional accreditation agencies are classified as regional and national.  Regional accreditation agencies are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit degree granting colleges and universities. The Higher Learning Commission is a regional accreditation agency that accredits degree granting institutions of higher education that are based in the 19-state North Central region of the United States. Institutions that the Commission accredits are evaluated against the Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation, a set of standards that institutions must meet to receive and/or maintain accredited status. The accreditation process is based on a system of peer review. Approximately 1,300 educators from institutions of higher education serve as peer reviewers conducting accreditation evaluations for other institutions.

Casper College was first accredited by the North Central Association (now known as HLC) in 1960. Casper College has remained continuously accredited to the present with the last formal peer review and accreditation statement in 2019.

Who

Casper College has organized a HLC steering committee with representatives from each of the five academic schools and each of the working associations.  The HLC steering committee’s mission is proactively to advise the College on all significant matters related to maintaining institutional accreditation by the HLC.  The group meets monthly.

History

Leading up to the October 2018 HLC comprehensive campus visit, Casper College worked for several years to draft a narrative–the Assurance Arguement–describing how HLC’s criteria for accreditation are met at the college.  A team of  peer reviewers visited the campus on behalf of HLC in late October 2018 and submitted a team report in December 2018.

2018 Assurance Argument Introduction

2018 Assurance Argument

2018 Comprehensive Campus visit team report