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Accreditation Facts Sheet

What you need to know about Probation.

MacMurray College, accredited since 1913, is committed to student success and to meeting accreditation criteria. This FAQ gives information to commonly-asked questions regarding the recent placement of MacMurray College under Probation by our accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

All of the issues identified by the HLC are in the process of being addressed or have been addressed through changes in policy, procedure, and resource alignment.

During the probation period, MacMurray College remains fully accredited and is confident that the Probation status will be removed upon the next HLC review which culminates in June 2018.

Q: What does Probation mean for current student's degrees?

A: MacMurray College remains fully accredited during the Probation period. Students who graduate while MacMurray is on Probation graduate from a fully-accredited institution. Nothing concerning the student experience or outcome has changed. The Nursing and Social Work programs are also fully accredited through their programs' accrediting agencies. Education majors will still be eligible for teaching licenses. Probation has no impact on federal funding, including financial aid available to students. As has always been the case, other institutions of higher education make the final decision whether to accept MacMurray College credits for transfer or admission to a program at a graduate level. Students planning on graduate school should speak directly to the desired institutions individually about their specific cases.

Q: I want to go to grad school after I graduate! How does Probation affect graduate school?

A: You will graduate from a regionally-accredited institution, even if MacMurray remains on Probation when you graduate because MacMurray remains accredited while on Probation. You should consult with the graduate school you wish to attend to find out their requirements for GPA, GRE, or other test scores, and undergraduate courses. You will also want to find out the deadlines for application. The graduate school has the ultimate decision, which is highly dependent on individual student performance to meet requirements related to grades, courses, test scores, and timely material submission prior to graduate school deadlines.

Q: What happens to my financial aid for this year?

A: Your financial aid remains in place. MacMurray College remains fully accredited while on Probation and students remain eligible for Title IV funds. Contact One-Stop Student Services if you have a specific question about your package.

Q: Who is the HLC and what is accreditation?

A: The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is one of six regional organizations that accredit colleges and universities. It is a private educational association, not a government agency. Accreditors provide a gatekeeper function for the US Department of Education by agreeing to fulfill specific federally-defined responsibilities related to assuring quality education. Being accredited by HLC makes MacMurray eligible to administer federal financial aid.

Contact information for the HLC:
The Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500, Chicago, Illinois 60604-1413
Phone: 800-621-7440 / 312-263-0456
Fax: 312-263-7462

Q: What prompted the review of MacMurray?

A: The HLC has established regular comprehensive evaluations for all institutions accredited by HLC according to standard timelines. Academic year 2015-16 was a regularly scheduled comprehensive evaluation at the end of the 10-year cycle that requires two comprehensive evaluations during the cycle — one at the end and one in the middle. MacMurray's previous regularly scheduled comprehensive evaluation was in academic year 2010-11.

The comprehensive evaluation is a review of the College's activities since the previous comprehensive evaluation that includes a lengthy written report and a site visit.

MacMurray was praised for progress on evaluating student learning since 2010. MacMurray met all the Core Components related to the mission of the College, both criteria on teaching and learning, as well as ethical and responsible behavior.

Q; Why is MacMurray College on Probation?

A: At its July 1, 2016 meeting, the Board of Trustees for the Higher Learning Commission placed MacMurray College on probation because it found the College to be out of compliance with two of the Core Components of Criteria for Accreditation. MacMurray did not submit sufficient evidence for Criterion Five for Accreditation, which involves learning from the past for systematic improvement, planning for the future, and allocating resources. Under President Tierno's guidance, MacMurray had already prioritized planning with a draft three-year plan for significant change which was in place prior to the HLC site visit. However, change takes time. Many of the positive changes that occurred in 2015-16 were after the report was submitted and the site visit occurred. Consequently, the HLC requires MacMurray to submit more evidence related specifically to engaging in systematic and integrated planning along with working systematically to improve our performance.

The HLC has also asked for additional information related to concerns about written rules about what trustees' roles are, implementing the co-curricular assessment plan we have, and resources including enrollment.

Q: What is Probation?

A: According to the HLC, Probation is a public status signifying that an accredited institution is no longer in compliance with one of more of HLC's Criteria for Accreditation. The period of Probation is not more than two years, commencing with the date that the Board placed the institution on Probation. During the Probation period, the institution remains accredited and it has the opportunity to remedy the concerns that led to the Probation sanction. MacMurray College accreditation remains in effect during the Probation period, during which time we will address the HLC's recommendations. MacMurray College will provide evidence that we have corrected the deficiencies identified as part of the Probation decision. Once we document that we have corrected the deficiencies and complied with the HLC criteria, MacMurray College will return to normal accreditation status with no lapse in accreditation. The HLC's Board of Trustees will review extensive documentation and results of a campus visit to make a determination at its June 2018 meeting.

Q: What if the HLC revokes MacMurray College's accreditation upon the next review?

A: In the extremely unlikely event that the HLC withdraws accreditation from an institution, the institution is typically required to prepare a teach-out plan and, as needed, teach-out agreements with other institutions that will enable students to graduate from an accredited institution, despite the withdrawal of accreditation. Institutions also typically provide transfer assistance to students who do not avail themselves of teach-out arrangements.

Additional Questions or Concerns

If you have additional questions or concerns about MacMurray College's accreditation status, please contact us using the form below. We will do our best to respond to you as soon as we are able.

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