The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is a regional accreditation agency that accredits degree granting institutions of higher education. Accreditation assures quality by verifying that the institution meets standards and is engaged in continuous improvement.

Illinois Valley Community College has been accredited by the HLC since 1929, with reaffirmation of accreditation in 2016-2017. As of 2017, Illinois Valley Community College participates in the Open Pathway toward accreditation, focusing on quality assurance and institutional improvement.

More information on the accreditation process and the HLC is available through their website.

Open Pathway

The Open Pathway toward accreditation is designed for institutions that consistently meet the accreditation criteria and do not require extensive monitoring by the HLC in order to maintain their accreditation status. Each accreditation cycle is ten years.

Institutions document their adherence to the Criteria for Accreditation in their Assurance Review, which is completed during the fourth and ninth years of the 10-year cycle and is reviewed by trained HLC peer reviewers. 

In addition to meeting the Criteria for Accreditation, institutions are required to submit and implement a Quality Initiative. The Quality Initiative is a multi-year institutional project designed to promote quality improvement within the institution. The Quality Initiative is reviewed, approved, and evaluated by trained peer reviewers during years five through nine of the ten-year accreditation cycle.

Finally, in year 10, institutions are visited by trained peer review teams who verify the institution's compliance with federal mandates as well as the evidence documenting that the institution meets the Criteria for Accreditation.

For more information on IVCC's Open Pathway, please contact:
Gary Roberts
Vice-President for Academic Affairs