DePaul University Center for Teaching & Learning > Assessment > Additional Resources > Accreditation


Accreditation by one of the 6 regional accrediting bodies is required for colleges and universities to offer federal financial aid to their students. This requirement is defined by the Higher Education Opportunity Act.

Regional accreditation by state
Map of United States showing regional accreditation by state. Source: Wikimedia Commons

DePaul University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) .

Why is Accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission Important?

  • Regional accreditation agencies are tasked with ensuring the quality of higher education programs nation-wide by the Higher Education Opportunity Act.
  • Our accreditation status is made public and speaks to our institution’s overall educational quality.
  • Regional accreditation is required for our students to receive federal financial aid.
  • Regional accreditation is required for our students’ credits to transfer to almost any reputable higher education institution.
  • In most fields, regional accreditation is required for our students’ degrees to be recognized in the workplace.
  • Institutional accreditation is required by many employers to provide tuition compensation to their employees to attend DePaul University

HLC Criteria for Assessment of Student Learning

Criterion 4 of HLC’s accreditation criteria “Evaluation and Improvement of Teaching and Learning” provides standards and criteria for assessing student learning. Specifically, Criterion 4b asks that “the institution demonstrates a commitment to educational achievement and improvement through ongoing assessment of student learning.” This criterion is broken into 4 core components:

  1. The institution has clearly stated goals for student learning and effective processes for assessment of student learning and achievement of learning goals.
  2. The institution assesses achievement of the learning outcomes that it claims for its curricular and co-curricular programs.
  3. The institution uses the information gained from assessment to improve student learning.
  4. The institution’s processes and methodologies to assess student learning reflect good practice, including the substantial participation of faculty and other instructional staff members.

Read the full accreditation criteria and core components from HLC.

Professional Accreditation

Certain colleges and programs at DePaul have their own professional accreditation organizations. These groups have their own standards and requirements for professionals within their fields. In some cases, affiliation with these organizations is voluntary. However, in other cases, affiliation is required for graduates to be certified to practice within their particular fields. Learn more about DePaul’s affiliations with accrediting bodies.

Other Standards

Teacher preparation programs are under the purview of the state in which they operate. In the state of Illinois, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) defines standards for all teacher preparation programs. ​​​