HLC Standard Pathway for Accreditation

Last Spring, Malone’s accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) completed a comprehensive review of the university and confirmed that Malone continues to meet the five Criteria for Accreditation.

Results were very positive in four out of five areas, including the key areas of Academic Quality and Student Learning Assessment/Improvement. However, Criterion 5, “Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness,” was judged as “met with concerns,” leading the Commission to place Malone on Notice until Malone demonstrates that its Strategic Plan continues to produce positive results. Malone University remains accredited, in compliance with HLC standards, and more convinced than ever of its bright future guided by its strategic plan.

Comments from the HLC report:

Malone University has clearly articulated Student Learning Outcomes that are appropriate for the degrees offered. Malone University maintains a comprehensive assessment plan for curricular and co-curricular programs, and several programs maintain relationships with professional accrediting organizations. To support student learning, Malone University has clear processes for developing and monitoring faculty effectiveness. This includes such efforts as mentoring new faculty, updated criteria for promotion and tenure (and post-tenure review), and funding support for faculty development and scholarship.

Co-curricular programs in spiritual formation, service learning, project based community projects, and athletics round out learning experiences for students at Malone University. There is a wide range of support services available to students.


Evidence indicates that program reviews result in changes in curriculum and program design. A comprehensive assessment plan has been implemented, and there appears to a culture of using assessment to improve student learning. Programs at Malone have clear student learning outcomes. Student learning is assessed through a variety of measures. 

Assessment was noted in previous reviews as an area of concern; it is now an area of strength for the university.

Based on review of the Assurance Argument and interactions with students, faculty, and staff during the site visit, it is evident that Malone University takes its obligation to act with integrity very seriously. This commitment is clearly identified in key institutional documents and processes, with several showing direct integration with the stated mission of the university.

The focus on mission is strong at Malone. The university clearly states who they are and where they plan to be in the future. The team affirms that there is a clear understanding across the campus of the mission and Foundational Principles of Malone.

For more information on the Higher Learning Commission accreditation process, visit https://www.hlcommission.org/About-HLC/contact-us.htmlor write to:

Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, Illinois 60604-1411