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Accreditation Process

WVU last completed a comprehensive evaluation for reaccreditation through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) in 2014. WVU is currently on the Standard Pathway for reaffirmation of accreditation. This model has a ten-year cycle and integrates quality assurance with quality improvement. Quality assurance means that the institution satisfies the HLC’s five Criteria for Accreditation. The HLC also encourages a commitment to continual improvement.
Accreditation process diagram

Standard Pathway Cycle

The Standard Pathway includes the following institutional reviews:

Years 1-3 (2014-2017): Regular Monitoring

WVU submits annual Institutional Updates, which are reviewed by HLC to monitor organizational health, comply with certain federal requirements, and identify any changes that may require HLC follow up.

Year 4 (2018): Comprehensive Evaluation

In March of 2018, WVU will undergo a Comprehensive Evaluation to ensure it is meeting the Criteria for Accreditation, pursuing institutional improvement, and complying with certain requirements set by the U.S. Department of Education. As part of this evaluation, WVU is reviewed by a team of peer reviewers. For all HLC institutions, a comprehensive evaluation includes the following components:

  • Submission and review of institutional materials demonstrating compliance with HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation;
  • Federal Compliance Review demonstrating WVU’s eligibility for Title IV program support, including a third-party comment process;
  • Student Opinion Survey conducted by the HLC two months prior to the on-site visit;
  • On-site peer review visit including 1 ½ days of meetings with WVU’s leadership, as well as open forums; and
  • Evaluation of any institutional change requests, if applicable.

Following the on-site peer review visit, the review team drafts a report within four to six weeks. WVU may review the report and recommendations for errors of fact before the team submits it to the HLC. WVU may also submit a response to the report. Both the report and response are then sent to the Institutional Actions Council for review and action. A Year 4 evaluation may include a determination that interim monitoring is necessary.

Years 5-9 (2019-2023): Regular Monitoring

A visiting team of peer reviewers reads WVU’s self-study report and conducts a comprehensive site visit in March 2018. The site visit includes a combination of formal meetings, forums, and informal conversations with faculty, staff, students, administration, and alumni. During this time, the peer reviewers evaluate WVU’s fulfillment of the criteria of accreditation and provided consultation for improvement.

Year 10 (2024): Comprehensive Evaluation

WVU will undergo a second Comprehensive Evaluation that includes the same components as the evaluation conducted in Year 4. The Year 10 evaluation leads to an action regarding the reaffirmation of the institution’s accreditation.

Click the below image for a Standard Pathway Diagram:

Standard Pathway Cycle diagram