NMSU Assurance Argument Review Feedback

NMSU’s Assurance Argument (formerly called the self-study)  for re-affirmation of accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is available for review by Criterion. This document applies to the Las Cruces and Grants campuses only, as the Alamogordo, Carlsbad and Doña Ana community colleges are each independently accredited by HLC. 

In total, there are 5 Criteria, and a 6th section that specifically addresses Federal Compliance. As each draft Criteria is ready for review and feedback by the NMSU-Las Cruces and Grants communities, they will be posted on this website. 


  1. Click the “DOWNLOAD” button next to the Core Component
  2. Open the downloaded word doc, and turn on “Track Changes”
  3. Using “Track Changes” include your edits directly into the word document. 
  4. Use the comment tool to insert comments linked to specific places in the text.
  5. Upload your edited file and any supporting documents using the File Upload button. 

If you have additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Shelly Stovall at sstovall@nmsu.edu or 646-5095 or Laura Grant at lgrant@nmsu.edu.

Criterion 1 – NMSU’s mission is clear and articulated publicly; it guides the institution’s operations.

Includes the following Core Components:

Core Component A – NMSU’s mission is broadly understood within the institution and guides our operations.

Core Component B – Our mission is articulated publicly.

Core Component C – NMSU understands the relationship between our mission and the diversity of society.

Core Component D – NMSU’s mission demonstrates commitment to the public good.

Criterion 2 – NMSU acts with integrity; our conduct is ethical and responsible.

Includes the following Core Components:

Core Component A – NMSU operates with integrity in our financial, academic, personnel, and auxiliary functions; we establish and follow policies and processes for fair and ethical behavior on the part of our governing board, administration, faculty, and staff.

Core Component B – NMSU presents itself clearly and completely to our students and to the public with regard to our programs, requirements, faculty and staff, costs to students, control, and accreditation relationships.

Core Component C – The governing board of NMSU is sufficiently autonomous to make decisions in the best interest of the institution and to assure its integrity.

Core Component D – NMSU is committed to freedom of expression and the pursuit of truth in teaching and learning.

Core Component E – NMSU’s policies and procedures call for responsible acquisition, discovery and application of knowledge by our faculty, students, and staff.

Criterion 3 – NMSU provides high quality education, wherever and however our offerings are delivered.


A. NMSU’s degree programs are appropriate to higher education.

B. NMSU demonstrates that the exercise of intellectual inquiry and the acquisition, application, and integration of broad learning and skills are integral to our educational programs.

C. NMSU has the faculty and staff needed for effective, high-quality programs and student services.

D. NMSU provides support for student learning and effective teaching.

E. NMSU fulfills the claims we make for an enriched educational environment.

Criterion 4 – NMSU demonstrates responsibility for the quality of our educational programs, learning environments, and support services, and we evaluate their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement.


A. NMSU demonstrates responsibility for the quality of our educational programs.

B. NMSU demonstrates a commitment to educational achievement and improvement through ongoing assessment of student learning.

C. NMSU demonstrates a commitment to educational improvement through ongoing attention to retention, persistence, and completion rates in our degree and certificate programs.

Criterion 5 – NMSU’s resources, structures, and processes are sufficient to fulfill our mission, improve the quality of our educational offerings, and respond to future challenges and opportunities. NMSU plans for the future.

Includes the following Core Components:

Core Component A – NMSU’s resource base supports our current educational programs and our plans for maintaining and strengthening their quality in the future.

Core Component B – NMSU’s governance and administrative structures promote effective leadership and support collaborative processes that enable us to fulfill our mission.

Core Component C – NMSU engages in systematic and integrated planning.

Core Component D – NMSU works systematically to improve our performance.