Open Pathway to Accreditation
In April 2009, the Higher Learning Commission introduced the Open Pathway as a proposed new model for accreditation with the goal of creating more value for institutions, reducing the burden of repetitive data and reporting, and enhancing rigor in ways that testify to the quality of higher education.
In 2010 IECC had the honor of being one of the few invited to participate as a "pioneer institution" in the new Open Pathway Demonstration Project. IECC has assisted with testing and refining the Open Pathway Assurance Process and we are excited to have this unique opportunity to transform the Commission's Academy into an accrediting pathway focused on what and how well students learn.
The new Open Pathway model of accreditation involves two major components:
- Quality Initiative – IECC’s Students First! Project
- Assurance Argument – an electronic portfolio documenting how IECC meets the five HLC Criteria for Accreditation.
IECC is one of 20 pioneer institutions who were selected to pilot and test the new Open Pathway model for continued accreditation.
The Open Pathway requires an institution to designate one major improvement effort it has undertaken as its Quality Initiative for reaffirmation of accreditation. IECC's Quality Initiative is our Students First! Project.
All institutions in the Standard Pathway and Open Pathway will use the Commission’s online Assurance System to upload and link evidentiary materials to their Assurance Arguments, which make the case for how the institution meets the Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation.
Click here for the HLC Open Pathway Booklet containing complete information about the Open Pathway Process and the Transition to the Open Pathway.