What is accreditation?
Riverland Community College is authorized by the State of Minnesota to offer postsecondary education degrees, diplomas, and certificates. There are two sources of authorization:
In this age of accountability, higher education institutions are obligated to prove the quality of their programs and services.
The accreditation process can demonstrate how higher education institutions meet official requirements of academic excellence, curriculum, facilities, personnel, etc. Colleges and universities are accredited on regional and professional or specialized levels.
Regionally, Riverland is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. According to the Higher Learning Commission Web site, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation and one of two Commission members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), which was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The HLC accredits two and four-year degree-granting institutions in the 19-state North Central region.
Riverland is evaluated on the same standards and elements of accreditation that four-year colleges and universities must perform under in the North Central Association.
HLC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which serves as a primary national voice for voluntary accreditation and quality assurance to the U.S. Congress and U.S. Department of Education.
Our regional accreditation applies to our entire institution. This accredited status assures students that the credits they earn at Riverland are transferable throughout the country. It also qualifies our students for federal financial aid.
Under HLC Policy 1.C.2.b, Commission approval is required to extend accreditation when there is a change in an educational offering, including degree programs offered though distance delivery methods.
To ensure we maintain our regional accreditation, Riverland participates in the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP). AQIP applies the principles of total quality management and continuous quality improvement in a higher education environment.
Specialized accreditation demands that a program meet more rigorous standards above regional accreditation. This accreditation ensures that the curricula and qualifications of the program in a specific field are aligned with industry standards.
"The National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) works to ensure that college courses offered by high school teachers are as rigorous as courses offered on the sponsoring college campus. As the sole accrediting body for concurrent enrollment partnerships, NACEP helps these programs adhere to the highest standards so students experience a seamless transition to college and teachers benefit from meaningful, ongoing professional development." Riverland is committed to helping secondary students successfully transition to college, beginning as early as high school, by participating in the Post-Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO/Concurrent) program. Through this program high school students can receive both high school and college credit for college-level courses completed at their high school, taught by select high school teachers. Riverland is proud that our Post-Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO/Concurrent) program is accredited by the NACEP. For more information about NACEP go to http://nacep.org/.