The Higher Learning Commission (HLC/Commission) is one of six regional institutional accreditation agencies in the United States. The HLC accredits, and thereby grants membership in the Commission, to degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions located in the North Central region of the U.S.
The Commission, like other voluntary higher education accrediting agencies, evaluates an entire institution and accredits it as a whole. The evaluation covers formal educational activities, student academic achievement, governance and administration, financial stability, resources, admissions and student personnel services, organization effectiveness, and relationships with outside constituencies. The HLC can be contacted at the following:
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, Illinois 60604-1413
CCA has been accredited by the HLC since 1988. Over the last five years, the Commission has changed its processes for maintaining accreditation. For a number of years, CCA participated in the Commission's Program to Evaluate and Advance Quality (PEAQ), one avenue for maintaining accreditation. PEAQ has been replaced by two new pathways for accreditation with CCA in the Standard Pathway. In addition to regular interim reports that the college sends to the HLC, participation in the Standard Pathway requires two comprehensive evaluations each ten years, the first of which was in 2016 and with a second to come in 2022-23. These evaluations include short visits to CCA by an HLC team and the submission of an electronic "Assurance Argument" and related documents including a Federal Compliance report that provide evidence that CCA continues to meet the HLC criteria for accreditation.
In preparation for the Commission's 2016 comprehensive evaluation, the College submitted its Assurance Argument, Federal Compliance report, and supporting documents in September and the evaluation team visited in late October. Based on the team's recommendation, the Commission continued CCA's accreditation with a required focused visit on assessment of student learning by the spring of 2019.
Institutions such as CCA which have multiple locations (physically separate locations where students can enroll in 50 percent or more of the courses needed for a degree or certificate) have an HLC visit every five years to show that the institution is providing the necessary level of oversight. For CCA, these locations are primarily the concurrent enrollment high schools. In 2015, the College submitted a required report prior to a successful multi-location team visit.
The Commission must also evaluate and approve substantial changes the College proposes such as new degrees, certificates, and locations.
To directly access CCA's specific accreditation information on the HLC website, please click on the Mark of Affiliation:
All affiliated institutions complete and submit the Commission's Annual Report on Organizational Information and Operational Indicators. The report provides the Commission with up-to-date information so it can understand and respond to significant shifts in an institution's capacity and/or scope of activities.
The College has submitted a number of reports to the Commission since 2000 including two monitoring reports included along with the 2016 Assurance Argument.
All were accepted by the Commission.
The College discloses accurately to the public and the Commission its relationship with any specialized, professional, or institutional accreditor and with all governing or coordinating bodies in states in which CCA has a presence. The Community College of Aurora does not hold any specialized accreditation with a single agency that covers one-third or more of either the college’s offerings or its students.
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