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Purpose

Accreditation scrutinizes institutions for quality assurance and institutional improvement. The US Department of Education (USDE) relies on this process to ensure federal student aid funds are being used toward quality courses and programs. Only those institutions that are accredited by a USDE-recognized accrediting organization are eligible to receive federal financial assistance for its students.

Along with enabling students to receive federal financial assistance for their education, accreditation also:

  • Allows for credits earned at South Mountain to be transferred to other higher education institutions.
  • Confirms the rigor and quality of South Mountain courses to ensure that students are receiving a quality education.

In the past, South Mountain would engage in the process of reaffirming accreditation by participating in a self-study and campus visit process once every 10 years. This process was recently updated by the HLC, moving South Mountain to what is known as the HLC Open Pathway, which now requires multiple touch points in each 10-year cycle.

To learn more about the Open Pathway to Accreditation, visit the Process link.