Yes. NC is still fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and has been since 1997. NC’s status changed from Accredited to Accredited on Probation on June 23, 2022.
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation that was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the United States.
Probation affords an institution a reasonable period to address HLC’s concerns. While on Probation, the institution remains accredited, and it has the opportunity to remedy the issues that led to the sanction. NC will submit an assurance filing in October 2023 to demonstrate compliance and will host another visit with HLC in November of 2023. HLC will review all materials submitted and the Board of Trustees will make a determination whether probation can be removed.
Among 18 Core Components, the HLC’s review indicated that NC met 14. Two of the components are met with concerns and two are not met (out of compliance). NC faculty, staff, and its Board of Directors have already taken substantive steps to address these concerns and will continue to work to ensure we are in compliance with requirements prior to the next HLC review.
Does NC’s accreditation status, Accredited On Probation, negatively affect my status as a student or graduate of NC?
No. NC is still fully accredited. Accredited On Probation status does not affect students’ grades, degrees, or eligibility for any state or federal programs. This action is based on accreditation standard issues and is not a reflection on the quality of NC’s academic programs, faculty, or staff. This status also has no impact on the commitment that the NC faculty and staff have to serving students in alignment with our mission. All degrees awarded by NC prior to and during this status change timeframe always will carry the authority of being granted by an accredited university.
No. Our programmatic accreditation is not impacted by our status with HLC.
NC’s President, Board of Directors, Executive Team, and faculty leadership have already taken several steps to address HLC’s concerns, and we will continue working closely with the HLC during this period to make certain that we have addressed the areas of concern. We will also keep the NC community informed of our progress.
The initial period for Probation is up to two years. Institutions on Probation undergo a comprehensive evaluation, which requires an Assurance Filing, Federal Compliance Filing and on-site visit, to provide evidence that the areas of concern have been ameliorated. NC will submit an Assurance Filing to HLC in October of 2023 and will undergo a Comprehensive Evaluation by HLC in November of 2023.
Northwestern College is approved by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, 1 N. Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 333, Springfield, Illinois 62701-1377, (217) 782-2551, https://www.ibhe.org/. Complaints can be filed at https://complaints.ibhe.org.
The Associate in Applied Science Degree program in Nursing is approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Professional Regulation, Illinois State Board of Nursing. This program is currently on probation due to first-time pass rates of the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX).
Northwestern College is approved by the United States Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service as an institution of higher education for training international students.
Northwestern College is approved for veterans training under the GI Bill® for Veterans Educational Assistance. GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.