Henry Ford College: Institutional Accreditation

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by Colleges and Universities meets acceptable levels of quality.

Henry Ford College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The Higher Learning Commission is a regional accreditation agency. While it is not directly affiliated with the federal government, it is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a body qualified to accredit degree-granting colleges and universities in the North Central region of the United States.

HLC accreditation brings students, faculty, and staff several benefits:

  1. Students can afford to study here. Perhaps the most significant benefit of accreditation is that it allows students to use federal financial aid to fund their education at HFC. Students cannot use federal financial aid (including Pell grants) to pay for their education at non-accredited institutions.

  2. Students can transfer. Another benefit is accreditation also helps facilitate transfer opportunities. Most accredited colleges and universities will only accept transfer credits from other accredited institutions. HFC’s accredited status helps students to achieve their goal of transferring to earn more advance degrees.

  3. It makes us think about what’s important. One benefit that is often overlooked is that accreditation encourages us to pause and evaluate our successes, challenges, opportunities for change, and possibilities for improvement.

  4. It is cause for celebration and collaboration. Accreditation is an occasion for celebrating what we are doing well and for learning about the ways in which different areas of the College intersect and contribute to our successes. Completing the accreditation review process means learning more about the institution and the commitment of our colleagues and students.

In order to maintain this accreditation, the College is required to submit an Assurance Argument (formerly called a Self Study) and host a site visit from the HLC every 4th and 10th year of HLC’s Standard Pathway 10-year cycle. The Assurance Argument describes how the College meets the HLC’s criteria for accreditation and provides extensive documentation that supports the Argument. Our next HLC Accreditation visit is scheduled for November 18-19 of 2019.

The five criteria for HLC accreditation:*

  1. Mission
    The institution’s mission is clear and articulated publicly; it guides the institution’s operations.

  2. Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct
    The institution acts with integrity; its conduct is ethical and reasonable.

  3. Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support
    The institution provides high quality education, wherever and however its offerings are delivered;

  4. Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement
    The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs, learning environments, and support services, and it evaluates their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement; and

  5. Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness
    The institution’s resources, structures and processes are efficient to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its educational offerings, and respond to future challenges and opportunities. The institution plans for the future.

* Please note that the Criteria for Accreditation are being revised by the HLC, with an effective date of September 2020.

2015 Accreditation Documents

Academic Program Accreditation

In addition to the College and all HFC programs receiving the highest level of accreditation from the HLC, many of our individual programs are accredited by the premier professional organizations in their field.

Visit HFC Program Accreditations for detailed information regarding individual program accreditation.

HFC faculty and staff login for Accreditation.

HLC News - Why does our 2019 Accreditation matter?

Assessment of Student Learning