College of DuPage (COD) is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). COD is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an independent corporation and one of two commission members of the NCA.
HLC is one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Regional accrediting agencies provide the most highly respected type of accreditation for colleges and universities, and are recognized by both the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Some of the benefits of regional accreditation include eligibility to offer federal financial aid, acceptance of transfer credits by other regionally accredited schools, and assurance that the education is of a high-quality.
In 2000, COD was one of the first institutions in the NCA to adopt the HLC's Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) model for reaffirmation of accreditation. AQIP infuses the principles and benefits of continuous quality improvement into the culture of an institution.
With AQIP, an institution demonstrates it meets accreditation standards and expectation through a sequence of events that align with ongoing activities which characterize organizations striving to improve performance.
In 2010, COD was one of seven Midwest colleges approved by the HLC to pilot the innovative AQIP-Baldrige Option for reaffirmation of accreditation. In May 2012, COD submitted a Baldrige-based quality application Illinois Performance Excellence (ILPEx). The ILPEx application described how COD's plans and implements processes related to leadership, strategic planning, student focus, knowledge management, workforce focus, and operations focus, as they lead to performance results.
James Benté, Vice President
Planning & Institutional Effectiveness
2014 College of DuPage