Information Literacy in the Disciplines: Regional Accreditation Standards

The ACRL IS Information Literacy in the Disciplines Committee has gathered together links to information literacy standards and curricula developed by regional accrediting organizations.

Updated July 2019

1. Regional Accrediting Organizations

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation recognizes these seven regional accreditation organizations.

Accrediting Commission For Community and Junior Colleges, Accreditation Standards

  • Standard II – Student Learning Programs and Support Services, Section A. – Instructional Programs, criterion 11

Higher Learning Commission, Criteria for Accreditation

  • Criterion 2 – Integrity, Ethical and Responsible Conduct, criterion 2.E.2
  • Criterion 3 – Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support, criteria 3.B.3 and 3.D.5

Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

  • Standard III – Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience, Criterion 5b

New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

  • Standard 4 – The Academic Program, criteria 4.12, 4.15, and 4.19
  • Standard 7 – Institutional Resources, criteria 7.21 and 7.22

Northwest Commission on Colleges, and Universities (NWCCU).

  • Standard Two – Resources and Capacity, Section 2.C – Education Resources, criterion 2.C.6
  • Standard Two – Resources and Capacity, Section 2.E. Library and Information Resources, criterion 2.E.3

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)

  • Section 11 – Library and Learning/Information Resources, criterion 3, page 26

Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)

  • Handbook of Accreditation 2013 Revised
    • Standard 2 – Achieving Educational Objectives through Core Functions, criterion 2.2a
    • Standard 4 – Educational Quality: Student Learning, Core Competencies, and Standards of Performance at Graduation

2. Related Research

Gratch-Lindauer, Bonnie. 2002. Comparing the regional accreditation standards: Outcomes assessment and other trends. Journal of Academic Librarianship 28(1/2): 14.

Malone, Debbie and Nelson, William Neal. 2006. A Library compliance strategy for regional accreditation standards: Using ACRL Higher Education Standards with the Middle States Commission. College & Undergraduate Libraries 13(1): 89-105.

Nelson, William N. 2004. SACS Standards 2004: A Compliance strategy for academic libraries. Southeastern Librarian 52(3): 9-16.

Ratteray, Oswald M. T. 2002. Information literacy in self-study and accreditation. Journal of Academic Librarianship 28(6): 368.

Rockman, Ilene F. 2003. Integrating information literacy into the outcomes of academic disciplines. College & Research Libraries News 64(9): 612-615.

Saunders, Laura. 2007 “Regional accreditation organizations’ treatment of information literacy: Definitions, collaboration, and assessment.” The Journal of Academic Librarianship 33, no. 3: 317-326.

Sowell, Cary. 2005. Accrediting agencies still value libraries. Community & Junior College Libraries 13(2): 3-4.

Thompson, Gary B. 2002. Information literacy accreditation mandates: What they mean for faculty and librarians. Library Trends 51(2): 218-41.

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