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The 2021 HLC Site Visit

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American Public University System has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 2006. HLC is one of several regional accreditation agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Learn more about APUS accreditation.

APUS is preparing for a comprehensive reaffirmation of accreditation in spring 2021, demonstrating our institutional effectiveness and providing evidence through an Assurance Argument that will meet the HLC Criteria for Accreditation. Our internal review process will culminate in a site visit of peer evaluators April 26-27, 2021, where they will verify evidence presented in the Assurance Argument. Their team report will be submitted to HLC for review. The process concludes with the Institutional Actions Council voting on the reaccreditation decision.

Accreditation within higher education is a voluntary, nongovernmental process that gives public recognition to institutions that meet established quality standards. The purpose of accreditation is to assure the public as to the quality of an institution and its commitment to high standards through a system of continuous improvement. The U.S. Department of Education (ED) formally recognizes accrediting commissions that meet all federal standards and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) extends recognition to accrediting bodies and their institutions that meet these established standards.

American Public University System (APUS) has obtained accreditation through:

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604

HLC Assurance Review Process Description

Two evaluations take place in the standard ten-year accreditation cycle. During these evaluations, APUS is required to conduct a self-study style process in preparation for an Assurance Review by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The components of an evaluation in the Assurance Review Process are as follows:

  1. An Assurance Review (Self-study) data collection period
  2. Submittal of an Assurance Filing --arguments and evidence in defense of the University are presented
  3. An on-site visit
    1. Prior to the site visit, the evaluation team will read the Assurance Filing.
    2. During the site visit, evaluators will meet with various groups of faculty, staff, and students representing university activities, services, and program areas.
    3. After they have completed their visit, the team will provide a report of their findings to the Higher Learning Commission.

As a University, APUS will need to address both assurance and improvement requirements in the Assurance Argument and Evidence File. The purposes of the campus visit are to validate claims made in the Assurance Filing, to evaluate the required improvements made, and to compare those facts and details with what the team finds during planned activities while on site. All evaluations include a review of whether APUS meets the Federal Compliance requirements, Assurance Guidelines, and Obligations of Affiliation as presented by The Higher Learning Commission.

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