KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney aced its most important test.

After two years of on-campus preparation and an extensive external review, the Higher Learning Commission gave final approval last month to UNK’s reaccreditation.

“UNK is accountable to the people of Nebraska, and to ensure the quality of our operations we go through regular external reviews,” said Chancellor Doug Kristensen. “We hold ourselves to the highest standards, and feedback from experts is an important part of continuous improvement.”

UNK has been continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) – and its forerunner, the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools – since 1916. HLC is an institutional accreditor recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation to accredit degree-granting colleges and universities.

The 10-year reaccreditation – lasting until the 2033-34 academic year – recognizes UNK’s ongoing commitment to academic quality, student success and public service.

Institutional accreditation validates the quality of a university’s academic programs at all degree levels while also examining areas such as governance and administration, financial stability, stewardship of resources, and support for students, faculty and staff. The review ensures institutions remain true to their mission and engage in continuous improvement.

Accreditation can also impact eligibility for faculty and staff to receive grants; students to receive federal and state financial aid or transfer credits to another institution; and graduates to sit for licensing exams or pursue graduate-level education.

The reaccreditation process consists of four components: a self-study, federal compliance review, student opinion survey and on-site visit from a peer review team. UNK met all criteria and core components within the review – mission, integrity, teaching and learning quality, resources and support, teaching and learning evaluation and improvement, and institutional effectiveness, resources and planning.

“I would like to congratulate the UNK team who compiled information and wrote our HLC report. The excellent teamwork and clear vision of our campus were on display and recognized by the HLC reviewers. Their approval was a significant accomplishment and demonstrates the great things that are happening on campus,” said Julie Shaffer, interim senior vice chancellor of academic affairs.