Northern Michigan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, located at 230 South LaSalle St. Suite 7-500 Chicago, Illinois. The HLC has Criteria for Accreditation organized into five headings and a separate section on Assumed Practices. All components of each criterion must be met in order to satisfy a Criterion for Accreditation.
Accreditation is an ongoing process of meeting standards, continuous improvement and quality assurance demonstrated through internal and external review. Through the accreditation process, the university continuously reviews the standards and indicators to ensure that the standards are being met and to identify areas that the school may need to strengthen or improve. This review requires the university to identify the data, information, evidence and documented results that validate that it is meeting each standard.
NMU adopted the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) method of accreditation used by HLC. With AQIP, an institution demonstrates it meets accreditation standards and expectations through sequences of events that align with those ongoing activities that characterize organizations striving to improve their performance.
Every four years NMU submits a Systems Portfolio - a sort of procedures and evidence manual - with a question and answer approach based upon the HLC Criteria. A team of accreditation reviewers evaluates the Systems Portfolio and provides detailed feedback in a Systems Appraisal. The following spring, NMU participates in an AQIP Strategy Forum with other AQIP institutions at AQIP centers in Illinois. NMU chooses its own focus based upon the Systems Appraisal and current quality culture needs.
On a continuous basis, every AQIP institution has at least three Action Projects underway.
Annually, service units and academic departments submit outcomes assessment reports and plans.