Higher Learning Commission's New Model
After WMU's 2010 comprehensive visit, HLC adopted a new model of accreditation. This model includes a new set of Criteria for Accreditation, Assumed Practices, Guiding Values and Obligations for Affiliation, as well as new required activities for member institutions that occur between reaffirmation visits. This model is called "Pathways" and there are two designations: Standard and Open. WMU is now an Open Pathway institution. Additionally, the model requires assurance reports (formerly self-study reports) in years four and 10 of the decennial cycle, with reaffirmation visits occurring in year 10. During the last five years of the cycle, a large-scale quality initiative is also a newly required component of the model. This increases the amount of contact between HLC and member institutions while emphasizing assessment, integrated planning and quality improvement.