The Importance of Accreditation


January 2014

Colorado State University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) (and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools) since 1925.

Institutional accreditation by the HLC, also known as regional accreditation, provides assurance to prospective students and other constituents that course credits and degrees earned from the institution meet quality standards of higher education. Accreditation is a requirement for federal financial aid and may be a requirement for some employment opportunities, professional licensure, and graduate education.

Letter from President Frank regarding Accreditation

Colorado State University places high priority on excellence and accountability in all areas of the institution – and accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission is one of the most important tools we have for measuring our success. This website is designed as an overview of Colorado State’s ongoing accreditation activities leading up to our 10-year evaluation by the HLC in 2013. This comprehensive process engages our entire campus community in exploring areas of progress and opportunities for improvement. The resources and information available through this website provide a guide to help you to stay involved and informed about the process as it moves forward.

Since 1870, Colorado State has been dedicated to its mission of providing widespread access to a world-class education – and meeting the needs of our society and our world through advanced research and targeted outreach. The past 10 years have been a time of record-setting achievements in student success, enrollment, fundraising, and faculty research, even as we’ve grappled with budget constraints and the worst economic downturn of most of our lifetimes. What we learn and discover through this reaffirmation will help prepare CSU for a new era of achievement over the next 10 years and beyond.

Thanks for taking the time to visit and learn more about our accreditation process.

Dr. Tony Frank

Maintaining Accreditation

To ensure continued academic excellence, accreditation requires periodic institutional and program reviews. The accreditation process also provides an opportunity to the University to assess our own successes and challenges over time, see how we compare to our peers, and make better decisions when allocating resources. Besides assessing formal educational activities, the HLC evaluates such things as governance and administration, financial stability, admissions and student services, institutional resources, student learning, institutional effectiveness, and relationships with internal and external constituencies.

Program Accreditation

In addition to institutional accreditation, many programs at Colorado State University have received specialized accreditation, also called program accreditation, which is often associated with national professional associations or with specific disciplines. These program accreditations are also subject to periodic review.