Northland College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. In 1997, Northland College joined other educational institutions worldwide and signed the Talloires Declaration, a mandate of principle that guides campuses to be environmentally responsible places to live, work, and learn.
In the United States, schools and colleges voluntarily seek accreditation from non-governmental bodies; for Northland College, this is done by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Besides assessing Northland’s formal educational activities, HLC evaluates such things as governance and administration, financial stability, admissions and student services, institutional resources, student learning, institutional effectiveness, and relationships with internal and external constituencies.
Accreditation is periodically reviewed, generally on a ten-year cycle, with the first step being a self-assessment prepared by the institution, which is then followed up with a site visit by a team of consultant evaluators. At Northland College, the site visit was March 12 – 14, 2012.
Accreditation provides both public certification of acceptable institutional quality and an opportunity and incentive for self-improvement in the accredited institution. The Higher Learning Commission reaches the conclusion that a college or university meets the criteria for reaccreditation only after the institution opens itself to outside examination by experienced evaluators familiar with accrediting requirements and with higher education. Only institutions accredited by one of the regional accrediting agencies are eligible for certain federal funding, including guaranteed student loans.