compassThe Criteria for Accreditation are the standards of quality by which the HLC determines whether an institution merits accreditation or reaffirmation of accreditation. Each criterion is made up of Core Components and Sub-Components. The institution will be reaffirmed for accreditation if they are found to meet Core Components.

Criterion 1: Mission

The institution’s mission is clear and articulated publicly; it guides the institution’s operations.

Core Components:

1.A. The institution’s mission is broadly understood within the institution and guides its operations.

1.B. The mission is articulated publicly.

1.C. The institution understands the relationship between its mission and the diversity of society.

1.D. The institution’s mission demonstrates commitment to the public good.


The mission of SCC centers on students. We know this is what drives how we approach our jobs every day, and we want you to share that with us in your own words. Check out the link below to find out how you can create a video that shows how you live the mission of SCC.

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Gia Taylor and Marsha Ballard

Criteria Champions

Gia Taylor, Dean of Enrollment Services

Marsha Ballard, Library Faculty

Criterion 2: Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct

The institution acts with integrity; its conduct is ethical and responsible.

Core Components:

2.A. The institution operates with integrity in its financial, academic, personnel, and auxiliary functions; it establishes and follows fair and ethical policies and processes for its governing board, administration, faculty and staff.

2.B. The institution presents itself clearly and completely to its students and to the public with regard to its programs, requirements, faculty and staff, costs to students, controls, and accreditation relationships.

2.C. The governing board of the institution is sufficiently autonomous to make decisions in the best interest of the institution and to assure its integrity.

2.D. The institution is committed to freedom of expression and the pursuit of truth in teaching and learning.

2.E. The institution ensures that faculty, students, and staff acquire, discover, and apply knowledge responsibly.


Watch for more information to come regarding activities centered on this criterion!

Nancy Neff and Miguel Lucas

Criteria Champions

Nancy Neff, Executive Director Institutional Advancement and Community Engagement

Miguel Lucas, Counseling Faculty

Criterion 3: Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support

The institution provides high quality education, wherever and however its offerings are delivered.

Core Components:

3.A. The institution’s degree programs are appropriate to higher education.

3.B. The institution demonstrates that the exercise of intellectual inquiry and the acquisition, application, and integration of broad learning and skills are integral to its educational programs.

3.C. The institution has the faculty and staff needed for effective, high-quality programs and student services.

3.D. The institution provides support for student learning and effective teaching.

3.E. The institution fulfills the claims it makes for an enriched educational environment.


Watch for more information to come regarding activities centered on this criterion!

Stephanie Fujii and Lisa Young

Criteria Champions

Stephanie Fujii, Dean of Instruction

Lisa Young, Library Faculty, Center for Teaching and Learning

Criterion 4: Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement

The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs, learning environment and support services and it evaluates their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement.

Core Components:

4.A. The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs.

4.B. The institution demonstrates a commitment to educational achievement and improvement through ongoing assessment of student learning.

4.C. The institution demonstrates a commitment to educational improvement through ongoing attention to retention, persistence, and completion rates in its degree and certificate programs.


Watch for more information to come regarding activities centered on this criterion!

Terri Blau and Eric Haas

Criteria Champions

Terri Blau, Coordinator Enrollment Services

Eric Haas, Social and Behavioral Sciences Faculty

Criterion 5: Resources, Planning, and Institutional Effectiveness

The institution’s resources, structures, and processes are sufficient to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its educational offerings and respond to future challenges and opportunities. The institution plans for the future.

Core Components:

5.A. The institution’s resource base supports its current educational programs and its plans for maintaining and strengthening their quality in the future.

5.B. The institution’s governance and administrative structures promote effective leadership and support collaborative processes that enable the institution to fulfill its mission.

5.C. The institution engages in systematic and integrated planning.

5.D. The institution works systematically to improve its performance.


Watch for more information to come regarding activities centered on this criterion!

Colleen O'Neill and Jim Simpson

Criteria Champions

Colleen O’Neill, Director College Business Services

Jim Simpson, Computer Information Services Faculty