Accreditation

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 the provost conducted a thorough and critical study of its academic, student life and administrative processes 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 and administrative unit. The resulting Institutional Self-Study summarized Earlham’s progress toward fulfilling its mission since its 2004 accreditation review.

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Accreditation

The Accreditation Report

Higher Learning Commission Mark of Affiliation

The North Central Association assigned a team to conduct a Comprehensive Evaluation Visit on March 3-5, 2014. While on campus, the Evaluation Team reviewed many documents and interviewed many members of the College community.

In general, the Evaluation Team’s 2014 accreditation report is very complimentary of Earlham. The strengths noted by the team are significant. Earlham’s mission is clear and woven throughout the academic and co-curricular life of the community. Our Quaker and liberal arts identity is well reflected in current programs and practices as well as in the 2012 strategic plan. The College follows ethical principles in its governance policies, academic practices, and co-curricular life. Earlham has a strong faculty that creates a rich academic program with an effective infrastructure to support learning and teaching. A variety of student organizations serve student interests and institutional values.

The College has built a solid foundation for the assessment of student learning in relation to goals that reflect the mission of the institution. There are some strategies in place that should lead to improved retention, including enhanced admissions selectivity and more integrated efforts to help enrolled students to succeed. Earlham has created and employed a variety of reviews of personnel and programs to promote continuous improvement. Earlham has a solid resource base that includes financial, physical and human resources and engages in systematic planning to guide the institution into the future.

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Accreditation

An excerpt from the team’s report that sums up their reasoning and their conclusions:

Higher Learning Commission Mark of Affiliation“Earlham College’s resources, structures, and processes are mature and are effectively and sufficiently directed toward the fulfillment of its mission and the improvement of the quality of its educational offerings. While the college has had a couple of years of enrollments and associated revenues below anticipated levels, strong and responsible fiscal management combined with an inherently stable fiscal foundation has allowed the College to make 'an investment' in its future by sustaining annual operating deficits so that resources can be directed at repositioning and strengthening the College’s enrollment and market position as a selective national liberal arts college. This decision and action is being done intentionally and with forethought and involvement of the board, president, administration, and campus community. The college’s demonstrated ability to do so, without incurring a significant crisis, illustrates the strength and effectiveness of its resources, organizational structures, and processes in support of its mission and educational offerings.

The college recognizes that to operate for a number of years with successive operating deficits, increased draws from unrestricted endowment, increased capital spending, and increased debt all carry significant risk of eroding the institution’s fiscal health. The board and senior administration acknowledge this risk and are taking steps to continuously monitor progress and have stated a willingness to alter plans as needed to both ensure long-term fiscal health and to optimize the mission of the college. The team commends the college for building a strong fiscal foundation from which a plan such as this could be possible and strongly encourages the college to closely monitor progress and to sustain or alter plans as appropriate to both ensure long-term fiscal health and to optimize its mission.

The college has a history of robust and effective comprehensive planning which is effectively integrated with the allocation of resources and institutional action. This allows for an effective response to future challenges and opportunities. The new plan and direction for the college is broadly understood and embraced and now guides effective institutional action and the realignment of resources toward optimal support of the college’s mission and educational programs.”

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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts, including the sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
47374-4095
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admissions