Accreditation, About-Dev | Earlham College


Earlham is accredited, since 1913, by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. In 2014, Earlham received a full 10-year renewal of its accreditation.

The Association is one of six regional institutional accrediting associations in the United States, granting membership to a 19-state North Central region. 

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The Accreditation Process

During the year preceding the 2014 accreditation visit, a faculty committee led by the Provost, conducted a thorough and critical study of its academic, student life and administrativeprocesses. This study identified the strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments and strategic plans for the future.

Widely consultative in nature, the committee reviewed extensive empirical data and evaluative reports from each academic department, student life and administrative unit. The resulting Institutional Self-Study summarizes Earlham’s progress toward fulfilling its mission since its 2004 accreditation review.

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Accreditation

The Accreditation Report

NCAlogoThe North Central Association assigned a team to conduct a Comprehensive Evaluation Visit February 8-11, 2004. While on campus, the Evaluation Team reviewed many documents and interviewed many members of the College community. The team’s report, provided here in its entirety, is divided into two parts:

  • an Assurance Section (pdf) that reviews Earlham’s accomplishment of the five criteria for accreditation and
  • an Advancement Section (pdf) that offers overall observations, reviews procedures and various areas of the college, and encourages future action.

In general, the Evaluation Team’s 2004 accreditation report is very complimentary of Earlham, stating that the College “meets the General Institutional Requirements and satisfies all five criteria for accreditation. We believe that Earlham College is doing an excellent job in fulfilling its mission and in educating its students” (Assurance Section, page 9). The report commends the scholarship and dedication of the faculty, the engagement of the students, the breadth of academic programming, the beauty of the campus and the fulfillment of the College’s mission through consensus-based governance, and a wealth of international study and service learning opportunities.

The Evaluation Team concurred with future institutional priorities that Earlham had already identified through various planning processes. These priorities include increasing our financial base to sustain the diversity that is a hallmark of our curriculum and approach to a liberal arts education, and re-evaluating the ambitiousness of our curriculum in light of the pressure it exerts on our human and financial resources.

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Accreditation

Excerpts from the Accreditation Report

  • NCAlogoThis review team regards the written self-study as an exemplary piece. It focuses clearly on the important issues for Earlham College, presents the evidence needed to satisfy the criteria for reaccreditation, is probing and thoughtful, as well as clearly and concisely written. We congratulate all involved at Earlham College for doing a fabulous job. (Assurance, page 1)
  • Earlham has demonstrated that college decision-making by consensus at several levels is not only possible, but also effective and satisfying. (Advancement, page 9)
  • Earlham has been remarkable by accomplishing, within a short period of its recent history, both a change in its academic calendar (1996) and a new General Education program (2003). (Advancement, page 9)
  • Earlham’s results in the National Survey of Student Engagement demonstrate the success of the institution’s approach to hands-on learning. Moreover, Earlham’s high standing in the baccalaureate origins of Ph.D.s illustrates that graduates have been intellectually challenged and motivated towards academic careers. (Assurance, page 6)
  • The impressive array of international and off-campus programs, both institutionally and consortially sponsored, continues to support the institution’s global mission and provide outstanding faculty development opportunities. (Assurance, page 7)
  • Earlham College has a beautiful campus. In the last ten years the College has substantially enhanced the physical plant, most notably through the addition of the Wellness Center and the Landrum Bolling Center. (Assurance, page 5)
  • Earlham students are bright and are actively engaged in the educational process —curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular — and in the governance of the College. Recent efforts have improved the size and quality of the applicant pool. (Assurance, page 5)
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