Open Pathway

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions through the Standard or Open Pathways.

Contact Us

For more information about Accreditation and Open Pathway, please contact Judith Tomasson

Through the Open Pathway, CNM demonstrates that it meets the Higher Learning Commission's criteria for accreditation while focusing on quality assurance and institutional improvement throughout the College.

The Open Pathway follows a 10-year cycle that includes reviews as well as continuous monitoring that occurs through The Higher Learning Commission's annual Institutional Update, substantive change requests, and any necessary interim monitoring. 

The Open Pathway's five core processes are a sequence of events that are an integral part of CNM's Reaffirmation of Accreditation:

  • Years 1-3: Prepare Assurance Filing
  • Year 4: Assurance Review (2017-18)
  • Years 5-7: Quality Initiative Proposal (2018-21)
  • Years 7-9: Quality Initiative Report (2020-23)
  • Year 10: Comprehensive Evaluation (2023-24)

CNM received Reaffirmation of Accreditation through 2023. 

Comprehensive Evaluation

Every 10 years, CNM prepares for the comprehensive evaluation, which includes assurance arguments, federal compliance reviews, a student opinion survey, and on-site visit by HLC Peer Reviewers. 

Assurance Argument

CNM prepares an extensive report to describe and provide evidence of how the College meets HLC’s criteria for accreditation. HLC Peer Reviewers review this argument and the evidence CNM provided to determine if the College meets criteria 

Federal Compliance Review

CNM provides evidence of compliance with federal requirements related to the Title IV program and additional regulations by the U.S. Department of Education.   

Student Opinion Survey

The HLC conducts a student opinion survey to solicit student feedback about CNM. Students also have an opportunity to attend public forums during the site visit to describe their experiences at CNM.  

HLC In-Person Visit

Five HLC peer reviewers visited CNM on October 30 - 31 and met with members of the CNM community as they reviewed the assurance argument and evidence provided by CNM. Peer Reviewers held forums to meet with faculty, staff, students as well as the CNM Governing Board and leadership.