Higher Learning Commission


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Master Chart of the Open Pathway Ten-Year Cycle

This chart outlines the cycle for the major components of the Open Pathway—Assurance and Improvement.1 The chart does not reflect any monitoring that may be required by some component of the Assurance Review, by Commission policy, or by institutional change requests. To create a personalized chart, enter the date of the institution's next reaffirmation of accreditation in the Year 10 column, then enter each preceding year in the previous columns. Use academic years.



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Enter Years







Institution may contribute documents to Evidence File

Assurance Filing (Assurance Argument and Evidence File)2

Institution may contribute documents to Evidence File

Assurance Filing (Assurance Argument and Evidence File); Federal Compliance Requirements2

Assurance Review (no visit3)

Assurance Review and Comprehensive Evaluation
(with visit)


The Quality



Quality Initiative Proposal Filed (window of opportunity to submit)


Quality Initiative Proposal Reviewed


Quality Initiative Report Filed


Quality Initiative Report Reviewed




Action to Accept Assurance Review

Action on Comprehensive Evaluation and Reaffirmation of Accreditation5


Other Monitoring

The Commission 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.



1 the chart applies to institutions eligible for the Open Pathway

2 some institutions will also file materials for multi-campus review

3 team may require a visit to explore uncertainties in evidence that cannot be resolved at a distance

4 certain team recommendations may require IAC action

5 action on the Year 10 review will also determine the institution’s future Pathway eligibility