Coronavirus Information:
Bradley University will continue on-campus, in-person classes for the spring 2021 semester with limited restrictions.

Higher Learning Commission Visit

The University Community worked hard for over two years to develop our Assurance Argument.  The Assurance Argument was submitted to The HIgher Learning Commission on March 22, 2021, and it is available here for your review.

When is Bradley’s Next Accreditation Visit?

Bradley’s next comprehensive visit is scheduled for April 19-20, 2021. Given the current environment, the visit will be conducted predominately virtually. One individual will travel to campus.

Bradley has been accredited since 1913.

What is the Higher Learning Commission?

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is a regional accreditation agency that accredits degree-granting colleges and universities that are based in a 19-state region of the United States. HLC accredits the entire University, as opposed to individual programs. More information is available at:

Why is Accreditation Important?

Regional accreditors are responsible for assuring and advancing the quality of higher education. They serve as gatekeepers for the federal government and access to federal financial aid. Regional accreditation also impacts the transferability of credits, with institutions accepting transfer credits from other accredited institutions.

How is the Review Structured?

First, Bradley files the Assurance Argument, Federal Compliance documents, and COVID addendum with HLC by March 22, 2021. The goal of the Assurance Argument is for Bradley to provide evidence of meeting the Criteria for Accreditation. In February, a Student Opinion Survey will also be sent to all degree-seeking students. Next, a team of six reviewers will review our documents. They may ask for additional information prior to April 19. After they review the information submitted, the team will meet with members of the University community from April 19-20, 2021 in order to ask any additional questions they may have or validate the information filed as part of the Assurance Argument. One member will physically visit the campus to review the physical structures in place, per federal guidelines. The team files a report within a month of the visit conclusion regarding Bradley’s ability to meet the Criteria.

The Assurance Argument is a 35,000-word document that describes how Bradley meets each of the five Criteria for Accreditation. A draft of the document, as of January 2021, is available at the top of this page for you to review.

The Federal Compliance Filing proves that Bradley follows U.S. Department of Education requirements and best practices in operating an institution of higher education.

Similar to the Federal Compliance Filing, we will also be filing a COVID-19 addendum, describing how Bradley has continued to operate during the pandemic.

The Student Opinion Survey will be sent to all degree-seeking students in February 2021, asking them to provide feedback about the University.

What are the Criteria for Accreditation?

All accredited schools are assessed on five criteria, which are:

  1. Mission
  2. Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct
  3. Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support
  4. Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement
  5. Institutional Effectiveness, Resources and Planning

How has Bradley prepared for the HLC Visit?

Preparations have been underway for over two years. Faculty and Staff have been working on teams focused on each of the five Criteria for Accreditation, as well as Federal Compliance. This work has involved drafting the Assurance Argument, reviewing existing documents, collecting evidence, and recommending improvements as needed. Presentations about the process have been happening at the Fall and Spring forums since 2018.

How can I prepare for the visit?

You may be asked to attend meeting with the reviewers. Before the meeting, anticipate questions as they relate to your work and helping Bradley meet the Criteria for Accreditation. Some sample questions are linked from the menu bar. The campus community’s knowledge of who we are as an institution and how your unit contribute is important. Please review the University’s mission statement.

You will be asked to participate in open forums. You are not required to attend forums, but if you choose to attend, be prepared to describe how Bradley meets its mission and how your unit assesses its efforts. How do both of these things support a quality learning environment?