Higher Learning Commission


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Master Chart of the Open Pathway 10-Year Cycle

To determine where an institution is in the 10-year cycle, find the date of its next reaffirmation in the institution's Statement of Affiliation Status. This date is Year 10, and the preceding academic years correspond to the previous years in the cycle.

Cycle Year

Institutional Activities

Peer Review

HLC Decision Making1

Year 1

Institution may contribute
documents to Evidence File

Year 2


Year 3


Year 4

Submit Assurance Filing (Assurance Argument and Evidence File) Conduct Assurance
Review (no visit)2
Acceptance of
Assurance Review3

Year 5

Institution may contribute documents to Evidence File Period to submit Quality
Initiative Proposal

Year 6


Year 7

Period to submit Quality Initiative Report Review

Year 8


Year 9


Year 10

Submit Comprehensive Evaluation
Conduct Comprehensive
Evaluation (with visit)
Action on
Evaluation and
Reaffirmation of



1 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 Team may require a visit to explore uncertainties in evidence that cannot be resolved at a distance

3 Certain team recommendations may require IAC action.

4 Materials for a comprehensive evaluation include an Assurance Filing (Assurance Argument and Evidence File) 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.

5 Year 10 includes HLC action regarding reaffirmation of accreditation. Action on the Year 10 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

Transition Maps

Transition maps for institutions with reaffirmation visits in the following years:


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