University Accreditation

What is Accreditation?

According to the U.S. Department of Education, accreditation is defined as "the recognition that an institution maintains standards requisite for its graduates to gain admission to other reputable institutions of higher learning or to achieve credentials for professional practice. The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality." 

Grand Valley ensures that all educational programming provided by the University meets or exceeds the levels of quality prescribed by national and regional accrediting bodies. The Office of the Provost oversees accreditation processes to ensure new accreditations are secured and existing accreditations are maintained on a timely, efficient basis, including monitoring institutional compliance with accreditation requirements on an ongoing basis.

Like many other academic institutions of higher learning, GVSU is responsible for maintaining both program-level accreditations by way of each program's governing body as well as university accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission. Ultimately, accreditation is a promise to students that our programs are high quality and always improving. 

GVSU Accreditation Timeline

Grand Valley is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), having undergone a successful Year 4 Assurance Review in June 2023. The HLC is one of seven regional accreditors in the United States. The HLC accredits degree-granting postsecondary educational institutions in the United States using five main Criteria for Accreditation, which contain a set of standards that institutions must meet to receive and/or maintain accredited status. The assurance review argument addresses the following core components:

Every single claim made in the assurance argument requires links to evidence supporting the claim. Our 35,000-word argument had hundreds and hundreds of pieces of evidence. The most recent argument was submitted in early June of 2023. By July, an HLC peer review team provided GVSU with a 43 page report. The summary included the following snippet: Grand Valley State University presented an excellent assurance argument and sufficient evidence to show convincingly that the institution met all core components.

Grand Valley follows the HLC Open Pathway, which is a 10-year cycle focused on quality assurance and institutional improvement. The Open Pathway is the highest level of good standing that a program can achieve. The cycle includes:

GVSU Accreditation Timeline

Page last modified March 18, 2024