2012-13 HLC Accreditation

On Site Campus Visit

Colorado School of Mines
HLC Site Visit Schedule (updated 4/8/13)
April 22-23, 2013

Visitation Schedule:  HLC Visitation Schedule

Supporting Documents

Invitation for Public Comment

GOLDEN, Colo., Jan. 17, 2013 – Colorado School of Mines invites comments from the public about the university in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency.

Mines will host a visit April 22-23, 2013, with a team representing the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. Colorado School of Mines has been accredited by the Commission since 1960. The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet the Commission’s Criteria for Accreditation.

The public may submit written comments regarding Mines to:
Third-Party Comment on Colorado School of Mines
The Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1411

The public may also submit comments through the Commission’s website at www.hlcommission.org. A direct link to the third-party comment page is: https://www.hlcommission.org/Student-Resources/third-party-comment.html.

Comments must be in writing and address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. All comments must be received by March 22, 2013.

On Site Accreditation

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation and one of two commission members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), which was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The Higher Learning Commission accredits and thereby grants membership in the Commission and in the North Central Association, degree-granting postsecondary educational institutions in the North Central region.

More information

2012-2013 Accreditation
Campus Leadership Team

Institutional accreditation is a campus-wide effort and individuals from various areas of the institution have worked hard to maintain our HLC accreditation. The HLC Leadership Accreditation Team was formed in January 2012 and consists of the following individuals.

  • Dr. Tom Boyd – Associate Provost
  • Dr. Barb Moskal – Director of the Trefny Institute
  • Tricia Douthit – Director of Institutional Research
  • Vicki Nichol – Director of Budget and Financial Planning
  • Derek Morgan – Associate Dean of Students
  • Dr. John Speer – Associate Vice President for Research

2012-2013 Timeline

April 2009 HLC announces new Open Pathways Model at the HLC Annual Meeting
 August 2009 Colorado School of Mines is invited to become a Pioneer Institution in the Open Pathways model
 December 2009 President Scoggins accepts invitation to become a Pioneer Institution for Pathways Model
 December 2009 “Developing a Unified Approach to Assessment at Colorado School of Mines” was selected as the Quality Initiative project.
 August 2011 Quality Initiative Project submitted to HLC
 Spring 2012 Campus Leadership Team is assembled and begins preparing the Assurance Argument
 March 2013 Assurance Argument and Federal Compliance finalized and submitted to HLC
 Spring 2013 On-site campus visit on April 22-23, 2013
 Summer 2013 HLC final report regarding status of reaffirmation of accreditation

Pathways Response

Colorado School of Mines will participate in the reaffirmation of the accreditation process that has been outlined by the Higher Learning Commission. The accreditation campus leadership team has been assembling an official response for the review by the Higher Learning Commission.

Reaffirmation of Accreditation

Regional accreditation assures quality by verifying that an institution (1) meets threshold standards and (2) is engaged in continuous improvement. Both the Standard and Open Pathway feature: a ten-year cycle, a focus on assurance and improvement, Assurance Reviews in Years 4 and 10, and the use of the HLC electronic Assurance System. All Commission Pathways require: annual filing of the Institutional Update, annual monitoring of financial and non-financial indicators, and adherence to Commission policies and practices on institutional change.


The Open Pathway separates the continued accreditation process into two components: the Assurance Review and the Quality Initiative.
  • Two Assurance Reviews take place in the ten-year cycle; one in Year 4 and one in Year 10. The Year 4 review occurs asynchronously via the Commission’s online Assurance System and without a visit. The Year 10 review also is conducted with the Assurance System but includes a visit to the campus, as noted below. No change requests may be combined with the Year 4 review; all change requests at Year 4 are evaluated separately through the Commission’s change process.
  • Between Years 5 and 9 of the ten-year cycle, the institution proposes and completes a Quality Initiative. The Assurance Reviews free the Quality Initiative to focus on institutional innovation and improvement. The institution undertakes a Quality Initiative as something it elects to suit its own purposes. Its timeframe is flexible to accommodate the amount of time necessary to complete or make substantial progress toward completion.
  • In Year 10, the institution undergoes a comprehensive evaluation.


As a federally recognized accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is required to assure that all its member institutions are meeting their Title IV program responsibilities as well as complying with the expectations of specific regulations accreditors must enforce as a part of their recognition by the U.S. Department of Education. Compliance with these requirements by both institutions and HLC is necessary to ensure that institutions accredited by the HLC are eligible for federal financial aid.


The components of the comprehensive evaluation in the Open Pathway are these:

  • An Assurance Review
  • A review of Federal Compliance
  • An on-site visit
  • If applicable, a multi-campus review

In the comprehensive evaluation, peer reviewers determine whether the institution continues to meet the Criteria for Accreditation by analyzing the institution’s Assurance Filing; a preliminary analysis is followed by a campus visit. The purposes of the visit are to validate claims made in the institution’s Assurance Filing and to triangulate those materials with what the team finds during planned activities while on site.

Contact Information

Institutional Research
304 Guggenheim Building
1500 Illinois St.
Golden, CO 80401

Tricia J. Douthit

Morgan Cassimus
Data Scientist

Scott Harper
Data Scientist

Jennifer Haynes
Data Scientist