​HLC Accreditation

Higher Learning Commission Accreditation

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The HLC assures and advanced the quality of higher education by conferring accreditation on degree-granting, post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region of the United States. 

Ridgewater College maintains accreditation with the HLC through the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) Pathway option. The AQIP Pathway follows an eight-year accreditation cycle and is focused on quality assurance and institutional improvement through continuous improvement. 

Key activities that the college engages in as part of AQIP include:  

  • Annual institutional Update: Reviewed by HLC to monitor organizational health.

  • Annual Action Projects: Ridgewater College maintains three Action Projects, short-term projects that impact quality improvement. At least one of these projects focuses on student learning.

  • Systems Portfolio: This written document provides HLC with evidence on how Ridgewater plans, implements, reports and utilizes data for the AQIP Pathway and includes evidence related to the Criteria for Accreditation. A peer review team conducts a Systems Appraisal to evaluate these materials. 

More information on the AQIP Pathway and cycle can be found on the HLC website.


Dr. Betty Strehlow
Vice President of Academic Affairs and Student Services
(320) 222-5203

Ridgewater College is an equal opportunity employer and educator.