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Since 1913, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) has accredited all institutions in the CU system. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the NCA is one of six regional accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Regional agencies provide accreditation at the insitution-wide level.
The HLC/NCA evaluates the university in terms of its mission and the agency's standards or criteria. It assesses formal educational activities, governance and administration, financial stability, admissions and student servies, institutional resources, student learning, institutional effectiveness, and relationships with internal and external constituencies. The university's status as fully accredited allows students to receive federal financial aid and facilitates transfer of credit to other institutions. Accreditation is ongoing, and must be renewed every 10 years.
The self-study report is intended to assist the HLC/NCA Site Team visiting CU Denver in April 2021. It summarizes the findings of the university's self-study evaluation process and is organized according to the criteria established by the HLC/NCA.
The self-study report describes much of what CU Denver learned about itself and its potential during the conception and evolution of the strategic plan during 2007-08.
Every 10 years, a team of external colleagues from other accredited universities around the country visits the university campus to evaluate the institution as a whole and provide recommendations for continued improvement. The previous accreditation visit to UCHSC occurred in 1998 and the previous visit to the Denver campus of the University of Colorado (CU) at Denver occurred in 2001. Following the consolidation, the HLC conducted a visit that focused on the consolidation in 2005.
The university views this process as a unique opportunity for focused introspection about its strengths and challenges--and a chance to gain thoughtful feedback from this team of consultant-evaluators from the HLC/NCA.
The Site Team is scheduled to visit the university April 26-28, 2021 and will spend time meeting with university leadership, faculty, staff, and students, among others.
The Site Team will be gathering perspectives on many aspects of the university from students, staff, faculty, and leadership, and they will likely ask questions about individuals' experiences at the university, as well as questions relevant to individual roles, responsibilities, and expertise. The Site Team will also help advance the university by providing advice and advocacy relevant to its future challenges.
The university will look to the HLC/NCA Site Team for guidance on many of the same challenges faced by peer institutions, including issues such as helping constituencies understand and value the quality of the faculty and programs and CU Denver, sustaining that quality with limited state funding, and identifying and recruiting the appropriate advocates for achieving the institutions' vision and potential as a comprehensive public research university.
The CU Denver accreditation website has further details, including links to:
Descriptions of institutional accreditationThe history of accreditation for CU Denver, the Self-Study Process, and a list of members of UPACA list of the HLC/NCA Site Review TeamThe Self-Study Report (PDF download) and the electronic resource room (some of which is password-protected)The Chancellor's MessageNews & engagement events
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