St. Olaf is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), one of six federally recognized accrediting organizations. Accreditation assures prospective students, their families, their future employers, and the public of an institution’s academic quality, institutional effectiveness, and fiscal stability. It is also a prerequisite for an institution’s students to be eligible for federal student aid, and for institutional access to other forms of federal and state financial support, which together amount to millions of dollars annually in student and institutional resources. To maintain its accreditation, St. Olaf participates in a ten-year cycle of institutional reporting and rigorous reviews established by the Higher Learning Commission, keyed to the Commission’s five Criteria for Accreditation.
The HLC’s ten-year accreditation cycle is anchored by an extensive decennial Comprehensive Evaluation that involves both an internal and external review of the entirety of an institution’s programs and operations. St. Olaf’s accreditation was reaffirmed by the Higher Learning Commission in February 2023, following the completion of the college’s ten-year comprehensive evaluation in Fall 2022. Below are links to the key documents associated with the reaffirmation of St. Olaf’s accreditation and the 2022-23 Comprehensive Evaluation that preceded it.
HLC Notice of the Reaffirmation of St. Olaf’s Accreditation, March 3, 2023 – A copy of the letter to St. Olaf from the Higher Learning Commission, indicating that the Commission’s Institutional Actions Council had acted to continue the accreditation of St. Olaf College following the Council’s review of the College’s Comprehensive Evaluation materials and the findings and recommendations of the College’s HLC Peer Review Team.
HLC Peer Review Team Final Report, December 1, 2022 – The Peer Review Team determined that St. Olaf continues to meet all the HLC’s criteria for accreditation and all applicable federal regulations. Its final report provides the team’s detailed analysis of the college’s performance in relation to both HLC and federal standards, based on evidence provided in the college’s Assurance Argument and Federal Compliance Filing (see below) and on conversations with faculty and staff during the team’s campus visit.
HLC Peer Review Team Report Thematic Summary, December 8, 2022 – A description of the key commendations and recommendations in the Peer Review Team’s final report, prepared by St. Olaf’s Accreditation Liaison Officer in consultation with the rest of the St. Olaf Accreditation Team.
St. Olaf College Assurance Argument, October 10, 2022 – The college’s 35,000-word document “assuring” the Higher Learning Commission that the college continues to meet the five Criteria for Accreditation, accompanied by an extensive Evidence File of web pages, policies, governance documents, financial statements, reports, and other documentation.
St. Olaf College Federal Compliance Filing, September 19, 2022 – The college’s required documentation demonstrating that it meets applicable regulations for higher education established by the U.S. Department of Education.
St. Olaf Accreditation Team:
- Jo Beld, Vice President for Mission and St. Olaf Accreditation Liaison Officer (convener)
- Susan Canon, Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment
- Karil Kucera, Professor of Art and Art History & Asian Studies; Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary and General Studies; Director of the Center for Integrative Studies
- Steve McKelvey, Professor of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science
- Ericka Peterson, College Registrar
- Kelsey Thompson, Assistant Director of Assessment
- Colin Wells, Professor of English; Associate Dean of Humanities; Faculty Director of Assessment