NMSU Seeks Reaffirmation of HLC Accreditation

CHEA Mark of Affiliation
Higher Learning Commission Mark of Affiliation

Schedule for HLC Accreditation Site VisitNovember 13-14, 2017

Participate in the Site Visit

Part of the accreditation review process includes on-sight meetings with various constituents across campus. There are three Open Forum Meetings and four Drop-In Sessions for broad campus participation. Faculty, staff and students are invited to attend any of the Open Forums. There are designated Drop-In Sessions for faculty, staff, students and structures.

Faculty, Staff and Students are encouraged to attend Open Forums with HLC Reviewers


Open Forum Schedule

Open Forum* on Criteria 1 & 2 – Monday, Nov. 13 at 3:45pm

  • Dominici Building, Yates Auditorium – Room 109
    • Criterion 1 relates to the mission of the institution, including how the institution acknowledges and lives out its mission.
    • Criterion 2 relates to the integrity of the institution’s operations, and how it ensures conduct is ethical and responsible, particularly in regard to research and freedom of speech.

Open Forum* on Criteria 3 & 4 – Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 9:00am

  • Corbett Center East Ballroom (3rd floor)
    • Criterion 3 is concerned with teaching and learning, and particularly with how the institution ensures that all of its programs are of high quality, including online and distance education programs. Criterion 3 includes the examination of student support services, as well as the qualifications of faculty and academic support staff.
    • Criterion 4 is also concerned with teaching and learning, and focuses on evaluation and continuous improvement through program review, student learning assessment, and student outcomes such as graduation, retention and placement.

Open Forum* on Criterion 5 – Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 10:30am

  • Corbett Center East Ballroom (3rd floor)
    • Criterion 5 focuses on resources, planning and institutional effectiveness. This includes fiscal and human resources, governance structures, and how the institution engages in systematic and integrated planning to continually improve its performance.


*Those unable to attend an open forum but wanting to speak to an HLC reviewer may attend a Drop-In session at 8:00am on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 8:00am in Milton Hall:

  • System Structure – Room 85
  • Faculty – Room 50
  • Staff – Room 81

Complete Las Cruces Campus Schedule

Complete Grants Campus Schedule

Read the Assurance Argument

In preparation for NMSU’s reaffirmation of accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), over the past couple of years many individuals have spent time creating an “Assurance Argument” (formerly known as a self-study), that provides evidence that NMSU meets the accreditation criteria of the HLC. NMSU submitted the Argument on Oct. 14, and it will be reviewed by a group of peer reviewers from seven different higher education institutions, who will spend time on the Las Cruces and Grants campuses on Nov. 13-14.

Read NMSU’s Assurance Argument Read NMSU’s Branch Campus Report – NMSU Grants


Accreditation is a process that evaluates the quality of an institution’s academic programs, operations, and support services and provides a road map for improvement. At NMSU many units, including colleges and programs, are accredited by specialized accreditation agencies. As a whole, NMSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). For more information about the HLC, you can go to the HLC website at hlcommission.org or call 800.621.7440.

NMSU’s relationship with the HLC goes back a long time and as a result of the last successful review and subsequent reaffirmation of accreditation the Las Cruces campus was put on the Open Pathways option. Open Pathways has many benefits, including the independence to engage in a project geared toward campus needs and aspirations, referred to by the HLC as the Quality Initiative. Through some reflection, the decision was made to focus on student writing as NMSU’s project, which increased efforts and placed a greater focus on existing resources that had a positive impact on student writing.

In the United States, the accreditation process is organized through regional accrediting commissions and member institutions. Accreditation is critical not only to the institution, but also to our students. Information about accreditation in the United States and other avenues for institutions to receive Title IV funding can be found on the following websites.

NMSU Office of Accreditation

NMSU’s Office of Accreditation provides oversight and support for accreditation activities on the Las Cruces campus and across our NMSU-system two-year campuses. Specific functions include:

  • Serving as Las Cruces campus liaison to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). This includes ensuring NMSU’s compliance with HLC requirements and facilitating HLC approval of program and institutional changes as required.
  • Assisting colleges and academic programs in their efforts to achieve and sustain accreditation by specialized accrediting agencies.

Protocol for Communicating NMSU’s Affiliation with HLC

  • The NMSU website (https://www.nmsu.edu/about.html) is compliant with HLC requirements to reflect our current accreditation status.
  • NMSU is not required to reference our affiliation or accreditation status on published marketing or promotional material, or on websites other than the one identified above.
  • IF and WHEN NMSU’s affiliation and accreditation status is referenced on published materials, we must also include HLC’s website address and telephone number. In doing so, we must ensure that placement of this information does not confuse the public about how to contact HLC as opposed to how to obtain information from NMSU. Such statements should read as follows:

NMSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

HLC website:  hlcommission.org

HLC phone:  800.621.7440

  • NMSU may not use HLC’s logos for promotional or advertising purposes.


For information about Accreditation at other NMSU-System campuses:

NMSU Carlsbad

NMSU Grants

NMSU Doña Ana Community College

NMSU Alamogordo

US Department of Educations renews HLC’s Recognition as a National Accrediting Agency