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Northwestern Prepares for Accreditation Team Visit in April

University under review by Higher Learning Commission, seeking community comments

  • Regular re-accreditation review culminates with on-site evaluation April 27-28
  • Provost office gathering feedback from students, faculty, staff and wider community
  • Commission conducting Student Opinion Survey about student experience
  • Northwestern accredited by the commission for more than a century

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University will undergo an institutional re-accreditation review by the Higher Learning Commission this spring, culminating with a campus visit April 27 and 28 by an evaluation team representing the commission.

Northwestern has been accredited by the commission since 1913.

Preparations for the review by a seven-member evaluation team from the commission continue to move forward under the direction of the office of Northwestern Provost Daniel Linzer.

As part of this cycle’s comprehensive evaluation, Northwestern is required to submit two key reports to the evaluation team in advance of the site visit:

  • Articulation of how Northwestern meets the commission’s Criteria for Accreditation
  • Compilation of federal compliance data

Over the last year, the Office of the Provost has engaged with numerous members of the campus community in collecting materials to incorporate into these reports. 

Assisting in this process is the Assessment/Accreditation Council -- comprised of staff and faculty from across Northwestern schools, undergraduate and graduate students, members of the Faculty Senate and senior administrators -- and additional members of the campus community. The Office of the Provost is currently finalizing all submission materials.

During the two-day site visit in April, the evaluation team will meet with students, faculty and staff to validate the data submitted in the University’s materials. 

Members of the campus community also will be able to visit with team members during open sessions. More information regarding the meeting schedule during the site visit should be available in early spring.

In an effort to further engage students in the review process, the Higher Learning Commission is conducting a new Student Opinion Survey about the student experience. Northwestern students will have the opportunity to participate in the survey beginning next week. 

The Office of the Provost will send all registered students a link to the survey Feb. 9, and the link will remain active through Feb. 18. Participation is completely voluntary. Responses will be submitted directly to the commission and will be anonymous.

The public also is invited to submit written comments regarding Northwestern to:

Third Party Comment on Northwestern University
The Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1411

The public also may submit comments on the commission’s website at Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. All comments must be received by March 27.

The Office of the Provost will keep the Northwestern community informed throughout the re-accreditation process.

Please direct all questions to Jake Julia, associate vice president and associate provost for academic initiatives, or Jenny Puchtel, manager of the accreditation process.

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