Loyola University Chicago

Open Pathways Process

Open Pathway Process

Since late 2010, Loyola University Chicago has been serving as a Pioneer Institution in the new Open Pathway process for maintaining accreditation. This new process includes both quality improvement and quality assurance components as well as submission of a Federal Compliance Report.

Quality Improvement Project

Over the past three years, Loyola University Chicago (LUC) has been engaged in a Commission-facilitated improvement project, or Quality Initiative, focused on assessing the student learning that takes place in senior level capstone courses. The goals of LUC’s initiative, “A Case Study of Senior Level Capstone Courses at Loyola University Chicago,” included a look at various capstone courses to identify common themes to inform the development of an assessment for all capstone courses.

Loyola University Chicago completed the Quality Initiative through participation in HLC’s Academy for the Assessment of Student Learning. The University team worked with an Academy mentor throughout the development of the study, and submitted the final report to the HLC in Fall 2014. The formal results of the Quality Initiative were reported at the Assessment Academy Results Forum in St. Charles, IL on November 19, 2014. Results were shared in a poster session and through an Executive Summary. The team is currently working on a final internal report that will be submitted to the Provost’s Office by the end of 2014. In addition, the work initiated in the Quality Initiative will form the basis for future projects on assessment of student learning.

Quality Assurance

The HLC's comprehensive evaluation includes three components:

     1.  An Assurance Review:  Peer reviewers determine whether an institution continues to meet a set of quality standards known as the Criteria for Accreditation.  The criteria for accreditation include:

  • Mission
  • Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct
  • Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support
  • Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement
  • Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness

The assurance review is based on an Assurance Filing, a web-based report that includes both a narrative of how Loyola University Chicago fulfills the criteria for re-accreditation along with many examples of evidence supporting the argument in the narrative. This document will be submitted in January of 2015 after extensive review by our core accreditation team members.

For a full list of the criteria for accreditation, as well as explanations of their 21 sub criterion, please see the Higher Learning Commission’s website. Teams of Loyola’s faculty, administrators and staff collected the evidence to address each of these criteria through Assurance Argument teams

     2.  A Federal Compliance Review: An examination of federal compliance data; and

     3.  An On-Site Visit: A team of 7 peer reviewers will visit LUC on February 23-24, 2015 to confirm the claims made in the assurance review and federal compliance review and integrate these reports with knowledge gained from observations and meetings during their visit.  The reviewers will produce a comprehensive report for submission to the Higher Learning Commission, along with a recommendation regarding our accreditation status. The HLC will then make a final determination regarding our continued accreditation.

     4.  A Multi-Campus Review:  Team members will visit Loyola's Lake Shore, Water Tower and Health Science Campuses.

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