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General Institutional Requirements

An institution affiliated with the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools meets the following General Institutional Requirements:


  • It has a mission statement, formally adopted by the governing board and made public, declaring that it is an institution of higher education.
  • It is a degree-granting institution.


  • Is has legal authorization to grant its degrees, and it meets all the legal requirements to operate as an institution of higher education wherever it conducts its activities.
  • It has legal documents to confirm its status; not-for-profit, for-profit, or public.


  • It has a governing board that possesses and exercises necessary legal power to establish and review basic policies that govern the institution.
  • Its governing board includes public members and is sufficiently autonomous from the administration and ownership to assure the integrity of the institution.
  • It has an executive officer designated by the governing board to provide administrative leadership for the institution.
  • Its governing board authorizes the institution's affiliation with the Commission.


  • It employs a faculty that has earned from accredited institutions the degrees appropriate to the level of instruction offered by the institution.
  • A sufficient number of the faculty are full-time employees of the institution.
  • Its faculty has a significant role in developing and evaluating all of the institution's educational programs.

Educational Program

  • It confers degrees.
  • It has degree programs in operation, with students enrolled in them.
  • Its degree programs are compatible with the institution's mission and are based on recognized fields of study at the higher education level.
  • Itsdegrees are appropriately named, following practices common to institutions of higher education in terms of both length and content of the programs.
  • Its undergraduate degree programs include a coherent general education requirement consistent with the institution's mission and designed to ensure breadth of knowledge and to promote intellectual inquiry.
  • It has admission policies and practices that are consistent with the institution's mission and appropriate to its educational programs.
  • It provides its students access to those learning resources and support services for its degree programs.


  • It has an external financial audit by a certified public accountant or a public audit agency at least every two years.
  • Its financial documents demonstrate the appropriate allocation and use of resources to support its educational programs.
  • Its financial practices, records, and reports demonstrate fiscal viability.

Public Information

  • Its catalog or other official documents includes its mission statement along with accurate descriptions of its educational programs and degree requirements; its learning resources; its admissions policies and practices; its academic and non-academic policies and procedures directly affecting students; its charges and refund policies; and the academic credentials of its faculty and administrators.
  • It accurately discloses its standing with accrediting bodies with which it is affiliated.
  • It makes available upon request information that accurately describes its financial condition.

The Commission provides a fuller explanation of its expectations for each GIR through an accompanying explication, published in the Handbook of Accreditation, available from the Commission office.


For questions, please contact one of the co-chairs:

Linda Elliott-Nelson (928) 344-7516

Bryan Doak (928) 344-7617



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