Higher Learning Commission


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Master Chart of the AQIP Pathway Eight-Year Cycle

To determine where an institution is in the eight-year cycle, find the date of its next reaffirmation in the institution's Statement of Affiliation Status. This date is Year 8, and the preceding academic years correspond to the previous years of the cycle. If you have questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Cycle Year

Institutional Activities

Peer Review

HLC Decision Making1

Year 1

Attend one Strategy Forum2 Annual Action Project Updates   Annual Action Project Reviews  

Year 2


Year 3

Submit Systems
Conduct Systems Appraisal  

Year 4

Possible Comprehensive Quality Review3 Conduct possible Comprehensive Quality Review (with visit) Action on possible Comprehensive Quality Review

Year 5

Attend one Strategy Forum    

Year 6


Year 7

Submit Systems
Conduct Systems Appraisal

Year 8

Submit Comprehensive Quality Review materials4 Conduct Comprehensive Quality Review (with visit) Action on Comprehensive Quality Review and Reaffirmation of Accreditation5

HLC will continue to review data submitted by affiliated institutions through the Institutional Update, will apply change processes as appropriate to planned institutional developments and will monitor institutions through reports, visits and other means as it deems appropriate.

2 All new AQIP Pathway institutions will participate in their first Strategy Forum during their first spring. During the second and subsequent AQIP Pathway cycles, the first Strategy Forum may be completed in either Year 1 or Year 2.

3 This Comprehensive Quality Review will occur only if significant concerns arise during the prior Comprehensive Quality Review in Year 8, or from the Systems Portfolio and Appraisal processes in Year 3, or upon institutional request or HLC staff determination.

4 Materials submitted in Year 8 for a Comprehensive Quality Review include a Quality Highlights Report and Federal Compliance Filing. Some institutions will also file materials for a multi-campus review. HLC will provide the results of the institution’s Student Opinion Survey to the institution and peer review team. In addition to these materials, the peer review team conducting the evaluation will review the institution’s latest Systems Appraisal and will have the institution’s entire record of AQIP Pathway activity over the preceding seven years.

5 Year 8 includes HLC action regarding reaffirmation of accreditation. Action on the Year 8 review will also determine the institution’s future pathway eligibility.


Color Key

  Required institutional activities
  Optional institutional activities
  HLC decision-making actions
  Peer review activities
  Possible peer review activities and HLC decision-making actions


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