Importance of Accreditation
Text explaining why accreditation is important.
Colorado State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) , a historically regional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Institutional accreditation by the HLC provides assurance to prospective students and other constituents that course credits and degrees earned from the institution meet quality standards. Accreditation is a requirement for federal financial aid and may be a requirement for some employment opportunities, professional licensure and graduate education.
CSU participates in the Open Pathway: one of three options institutions have with HLC to maintain accreditation. It follows a 10-year cycle and, like all pathways, is focused on quality assurance and institutional improvement. The process includes regular monitoring, an assurance review in year four, completion of a quality initiative in years five through nine and a comprehensive evaluation in year 10.
All academic/professional degrees and all course credits earned at CSU are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. In addition, many of CSU’s academic programs are accredited through professional organizations in their disciplines.
The Specialized Accreditation Schedule provides a listing of accredited programs as well as the corresponding dates for reaccreditation. Disciplinary accreditation can be important for future employment or admission to graduate school.
Specialized accreditation is especially common if the program is intended to prepare graduates for an occupation requiring licensure. Before enrolling in such a program, students should verify the program actually meets the requirements of the state in which they intend to practice.
2024 Institutional Reaccreditation
Process & Timeline
Colorado State University is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
The HLC is an independent corporation that was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The HLC is governed by a Board of Trustees elected by the membership and administered by a president selected by and accountable to that Board. It accredits degree-granting post-secondary institutions and may be contacted at:
CSU has begun the process of preparing for university reaccreditation in 2024, and we will be embarking on an intensive self-study in order to meet the requirements and rigorous evaluation process by the HLC. The President’s Operational Leadership Team will serve as the Steering Committee to lead the process of accreditation, and we have hired a University Fellow, Susan Matthews, to assist Vice Provost for Planning and Effectiveness Laura Jensen, including preparing the self-study drafts and final report.
CSU’s Self-Study Report
Due to HLC Accreditation Team
HLC Accreditation Team
Sept. 18-19, 2023
HLC On-Site Visit
As we embark on our process of reaccreditation, we are guided in principle, vision and values by the high-level blueprint of CSU’s Courageous Strategic Transformation (CST), which launched in March 2022 and lays the groundwork for carrying us forward to build on the future of our institution, students, community and planet. We have identified four core themes to align our pursuit of reaccreditation with the roadmap of the CST. The themes, as derived from among four strategic imperatives (People, Operations, Innovation, Impact) and 21 accompanying priorities in CSU’s 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, are: Education that Evolves, Ensure Student Access and Success, Critical Thinking for Life and Everyone Belongs.
Education that Evolves
We will craft and implement a dynamic Academic Master Plan that will establish CSU as a leader in higher education providing critical knowledge, skills and competencies, and we will build the infrastructure to rapidly adjust curricular and educational and delivery approaches to allow our learners to thrive in the 21st-century workforce.
Ensure Student Access and Success
We will provide access to educational excellence and opportunities that arise from it. We will offer all of Colorado’s students access to a high-quality university education, regardless of their financial situation, and provide all learners with the tools to thrive in the 21st-century workforce.
Critical Thinking for Life
We will prepare future generations of leaders, change makers and global citizens through a rigorous and distinctive program of general education that fosters self-knowledge and innovation across all programs of study.
We will cultivate an inclusive climate conducive to the recruitment, retention and success of our students and employees.
— Courageous Strategic Transformation
The Colorado State University 2022-2026 Strategic Plan
Years 5-7 (Quality Initiative Proposal)
Quality Initiative Proposal (2020)
Year 4 (Assurance Review)
Years 1-3 (Prepare Assurance Filing)
How to Participate
As opportunities for community participation arise, they will be posted here.
Please submit the form below with any feedback, questions, etc.
Kauline Cipriani, Lead
Ryan Barone, Lead
Research and Creative Artistry
Christa Johnson, Lead
Teaching and Curriculum
Allison Penfield & Katy Little, Co-Leads
Assessment of Student Learning
Stephanie Foster, Lead
Operations and Planning
Scott Shrake, Lead