3.43 Accreditation

Responsible Position



Minnesota State Board Policy

Minnesota State System Procedure

Higher Learning Commission Policy: Criteria for Accreditation



To establish accreditation requirements for Alexandria Technical and Community College.


Higher education institutions demonstrate that they and their educational programs meet minimum standards through accreditation. Accreditation can be attained at the institutional or programmatic level. Once achieved, accreditation must be renewed periodically to ensure that the quality of the institution and educational programs is maintained.

In order for students to receive student aid from the U.S. Department of Education for postsecondary study, the institution must be accredited by a federally recognized accreditor.



A process and a status that assures higher education institutions and programs meet a set of standards developed by peers.

  1. Institutional accreditation
    Accreditation of an entire institution determined by national accreditors, indicating that each of an institution’s parts is contributing to the achievement of the institution’s mission and objectives.
  2. Program/specialized accreditation
    Accreditation of an institution’s programs that involves examination of individual academic units, programs, or disciplinary offerings to ensure they are providing students with a quality education in a particular area of study. Programmatic accreditation may be required in some fields for graduates to seek licensure or certification. Programmatic accreditation in other fields serves to provide a recognition of quality.
Higher Learning Commission

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation that is one of the institutional accreditors in the United States. HLC accredits degree-granting postsecondary educational institutions and is recognized as an accreditor by the United States Secretary of Education.

National Accreditation

The accreditation process used or status granted by one of the federally recognized national accreditors in the United States.


Institutional Accreditation

ATCC shall achieve and retain institutional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission. If ATCC does not maintain an accredited status with the Higher Learning Commission, the college may be subject to loss of degree granting authority.

Program Accreditation

For programs that have an accreditation and for which people working in that field must be licensed or certified for employment, ATCC shall achieve and maintain accreditation for those programs (e.g., police training and education, nursing, etc.).

ATCC is encouraged, though not required, to obtain voluntary program accreditation where appropriate and aligned with the mission of the college.

Report to the Chancellor

The ATCC president shall provide an annual update to the Minnesota State System chancellor, or chancellor’s designee, on the status of the college’s institutional accreditation.

Related ATCC Documents:


Approved by: Leadership Council

Effective Date: 10/23/2023

Next Review Date: October 2026

Archive: 3.2 Accreditation and Affiliations