UW-River Falls earns reaccreditation from Higher Learning Commission


January 16, 2019 - The status of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls as an accredited institution of higher education has been reaffirmed by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Accreditation is a process used to evaluate the quality of post-secondary educational institutions and to ensure certain standards are met. 

“We are delighted that the university has earned reaccreditation through the rigorous review process of the Higher Learning Commission,” said UW-River Falls Chancellor Dean Van Galen. “This speaks to the excellence of our faculty, staff and students and our strong commitment to providing a high-quality educational experience.” 

The reaccreditation process entailed a rigorous review of all operational aspects of the university, including academics, governance, administration and resources. HLC evaluated UW-River Falls according to criteria in five key areas: 1) mission; 2) ethical and responsible conduct; 3) quality of resources and support for teaching and learning; 4) evaluation and improvement of teaching and learning; and 5) resources, planning and institutional effectiveness. To demonstrate fulfillment of these criteria, UWRF submitted several reports, including a quality initiative report, a federal compliance report, and an assurance report, followed by a campus visit by a team of HLC peer reviewers last fall.

"Preparing for the HLC visit was a campus-wide commitment,” said Associate Provost Wes Chapin, chair of UWRF’s reaccreditation committee. “Bringing together faculty and staff from every discipline to demonstrate UWRF’s commitment to excellence was a tremendous source of pride.”

Aligned with its mission, UW-River Falls chose "Comprehensive Internationalization" as its quality initiative. The commission's review was very positive and accepted the report as a genuine effort to internationalize the institution, stating, “It is clear that UW-River Falls has created a lasting change in the campus culture by thoroughly integrating internationalization into the fabric of the campus."

UW-River Falls is on HLC’s “Open Pathway,” one of four possible pathways for accreditation which follows a ten-year cycle. This latest reaffirmation of accreditation stands until the next HLC Assurance Review which occurs in year four of the cycle, or in 2022-23.

HLC is an independent organization that accredits degree-granting colleges and universities in a 19-state region. In the United States, universities must be accredited in order to access certain federal benefits, such as financial aid.

UW-River Falls has been accredited by HLC since 1935.

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