CMU campus
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association reaffirmed Colorado Mesa University’s accreditation


CMU’s accreditation reaffirmed by Higher Learning Commission

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association reaffirmed Colorado Mesa University’s accreditation on March 24, completing the final stage of the university’s self-study process. The institution met 20 of the 21 criteria for reaffirmation, as well as the components required by the U.S. Department of Education.

The HLC evaluation team that visited CMU in November 2013 concluded that the sole criteria that was partially met is that of ongoing assessment of student learning and general education outcomes. The university will submit an interim report to the HLC in January 2016 on progress made in that area.

“While the university has made significant progress in this area in recent years, the team observed that a fuller commitment to assessment is needed in order to fully meet the component’s expectations,” President Tim Foster said in a message to faculty and staff.

The evaluation team agreed with the recommendations for improvement identified by the institution during the self-study process. These included:

• Appointing a working group representing the stakeholders of CMU, Western Colorado Community College and the Grand Valley Board of Cooperative Educational Services to evaluate and develop a strategic plan for the future of WCCC.
• Balancing the needs for additional staff positions, resulting from the recent significant growth of the institution, with those for faculty members.
• Implementing a process for evaluating and prioritizing technology investments using a business model that leverages campus-wide solutions.

According to the HLC’s website, the commission is presently transitioning to a new structure for institutional reviews in an effort to reduce the burden on institutions, enhance rigor with regular check-ins and ensure a comprehensive reaffirmation process by collecting as much data as possible.

CMU has been placed on a “standard pathway” within this structure. The move will change the traditional self-study model to an annual institutional update that must address the criteria and components. Although the university’s next reaffirmation of accreditation is scheduled for the 2023-2024 academic year, the new process requires a site visit in four years, and another six years later.

Colorado Mesa University has been continuously accredited by the HLC since 1957. Reaffirmation means that the institution is recognized as a university that meets certain
high quality standards, the degrees conferred are competitive and the general public is assured that its money is being well spent.

Foster thanked the HLC steering committee for its leadership and those who participated in the self-study process. “The work reflected by the self-study document and site visit is an effort in which we all can take pride,” he said.

CMU’s self-study report, containing the objectives for improvement identified by the steering committee, is available at

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