University of Missouri - Kansas City

The Higher Learning Commission

HLC mark of accreditationThe University of Missouri-Kansas City is regionally accredited, which means the University carries the highest level of accreditation available in the United States. UMKC is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges. To ensure academic excellence and fiscal stability, this accreditation requires an institutional review at a minimum of every ten years.

All academic degrees and credit courses offered online, at a distance, and off campus are UMKC programs taught by UMKC faculty and thus have the same accreditation. HLC Guidelines for Distance Education are listed below. More information can be found on UMKC’s Institutional Accreditation page.

NC-SARA Membership

NC-SARA approved institution badgeAs of June 30, 2016, the University of Missouri-Kansas City is a participant in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education, aimed at making the effort to obtain state authorizations more efficient for institutions and to make it easier for students to enroll in distance education programs outside of the states in which they reside.

For more information about the SARA initiative and progress of state and institutional membership, please visit

HLC Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education (On-line Learning)

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See also: HLC Definitions for On-Line Courses and Programs

The HLC Guidelines for the Evaluation of Distance Education (On-line Learning) have been developed by the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC) to assist institutions in planning distance education and to provide an assessment framework for institutions already involved in distance education and for evaluation teams.

They are based on a 2006 report prepared by the General Accounting Office, Evidence of Quality in Distance Education drawn from Interviews with the Accreditation Community and the “Best Practice Strategies to Promote Academic Integrity in Online Education,” prepared by WCET. They replace the 2001 Statement of Best Practices for Electronically Offered Degree and Certificate Programs, and are intended to be used in conjunction with the relevant standards and policies of each accreditor.

The Guidelines comprise nine hallmarks of quality for distance education. In their discussions of how their distance education programming fulfills their accreditor’s standards, institutions are asked to include evidence of the extent to which they meet these hallmarks. Examples of the types of evidence that institutions might use are given below. These lists are not meant to be exhaustive; it is likely that institutions will include additional types of evidence in their reports.

1: On-line learning is appropriate to the institution’s mission and purposes.
2: The institution's plans for developing, sustaining and, if appropriate, expanding on-line learning offerings are integrated into its regular planning and evaluation processes.
3: On-line learning is incorporated into the institution’s systems of governance and academic oversight.
4: Curricula for the institution's on-line learning offerings are coherent, cohesive, and comparable in academic rigor to programs offered in traditional instructional formats.
5: The institution evaluates the effectiveness of its on-line learning offerings, including the extent to which the on-line learning goals are achieved, and uses the results of its evaluations to enhance the attainment of the goals.
6: Faculty responsible for delivering the on-line learning curricula and evaluating the students’ success in achieving the on-line learning goals are appropriately qualified and effectively supported.
7: The institution provides effective student and academic services to support students enrolled in on-line learning offerings.
8: The institution provides sufficient resources to support and, if appropriate, expand its on-line learning offerings.
9: The institution assures the integrity of its on-line learning offerings.