Accreditation is voluntarily sought by institutions and is conferred by non-governmental bodies. An institutional accrediting agency evaluates an entire institution in terms of its mission and the agency’s standards or criteria. It accredits the institution as a whole. It assesses the formal educational activities of the institution and also evaluates governance and administration, financial stability, admissions and student personnel services, institutional resources, student academic achievement, institutional effectiveness, and relationships with constituencies inside and outside the institution. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation which holds membership in the North Central Association (NCA). Accreditation is important to Black Hawk College to remain competitive with other learning institutions ,as it provides assurance to the public, in particular to prospective students, that an institution has been found to meet the agency’s clearly stated requirements and criteria and that there are reasonable grounds for believing that it will continue to meet them.
The process involves a self-study, a visit by a team of consultant-evaluators appointed by the Commission who examine records and documents of the college, as well as solicitation to community members to offer their evaluation of the institution. It is a very intensive process which normally begins several years prior to the actual visit and involves many in the institution. Visits are normally scheduled every 10 years with the Black Hawk College’s most recent visit occurring in 2003.
Black Hawk College is accredited by the following organizations:
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Institution of Higher Education Higher Learning Commission. Black Hawk College has chosen the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) Pathway leading to reaffirmation of accreditation with the HLC.
- Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
- Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN)
Black Hawk College is recognized and certified by the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB). The ICCB is the state coordinating board for the Illinois community colleges and administers the Public Community College Act. Certification status affirms the district’s eligibility to receive state grants appropriated to the ICCB.