The responsibility for assuring the quality of an institution rests first with the institution itself. Institutional accreditation assesses the capacity of an institution to assure its own quality and expects it to produce evidence that it does so.
Institutional accreditation is granted by regional and national agencies such as the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) which are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit degree granting colleges and universities. Institutional accreditation validates the quality of an institution and evaluates multiple aspects of an institution ranging from its academic offerings, governance and administration, mission, finances, and resources. Institutional accreditation encompasses the institution as a whole, including all academic programs, all degree levels and both onsite and online course delivery.
The accreditation process is based on a system of peer review. Approximately 2,000 educators from institutions of higher education serve as peer reviewers conducting accreditation evaluations for other institutions. Peer reviewers also serve on decision-making committees of the accreditation process. Institutions that HLC accredits are evaluated against their Criteria for Accreditation, a set of standards that institutions must meet to receive and/or maintain accredited status.
Kent State University has maintained accreditation through HLC since 1915. Find additional information concerning Kent State University's accreditation process the HLC Open Pathway.