Accreditation provides both public certification of acceptable institutional quality and an opportunity and incentive for self-improvement in the accredited organization. The Commission reaches the conclusion that a college or university meets the Criteria only after the organization opens itself to outside examination by experienced evaluator’s familiar with accrediting requirements and with higher education. The process of accreditation provides the accredited organization with an opportunity for critical self-analysis leading to improvement in quality and for consultation and advice from persons from other organizations.

The HLC is the accrediting agency for many colleges and universities in the Midwest region of the country. Its role is to ensure students are receiving a high-quality education and that the institution is operating within the boundaries of its stated mission.