Wyoming Catholic College is pleased to announce that it has been granted candidacy status by the Board of Directors of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) on October 30, 2014.“It’s an understatement to say that this is an exciting day in the history of the College,” said President Roberts. “HLC’s decision is the fruit of a lot of hard work and sacrifice by the College’s faculty, staff, and students. This is yet another milestone for Wyoming Catholic, and confers a stamp of legitimacy that is so important to any institution of higher learning.”
A Long And Productive Journey
When the College opened its doors in 2007, the Founders knew that obtaining accreditation was an important next step. Gaining initial accreditation is a long and involved process requiring the college or university to submit a detailed self-study, host a site visit with peer reviewers, and be approved by the accrediting institution’s board of directors. Faced with a decision to pursue national accreditation through the American Academy of Liberal Education (AALE) or regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the College decided to first pursue accreditation with AALE.
On September 1, 2010, during Wyoming Catholic College’s first year with all four classes of students, the College was granted Institutional Preaccreditation by AALE. While this gave the College a much-welcomed legitimacy with its constituents, AALE was subsequently delisted by the Department of Education on January 1, 2011, preventing us from having full access to accreditation and its benefits.
Consequently, the College's leadership decided to pursue regional accreditation through HLC. On October 30, 2014, HLC’s Board of Directors granted Wyoming Catholic College candidacy status.
What Candidacy Status Means
This status, which must be undertaken by every institution seeking accreditation, confers the benefits of accreditation to the candidate while the accrediting institution continues to monitor its progress. In this phase, our credits will be accepted at other colleges, universities, and graduate programs (both public and private).
The College will also be recognized by insurance and other employer programs that require an “accredited” status.
Additionally, we will now have the ability to apply for federal financial aid programs including grants and student loans, though our Board of Directors has yet to decide whether we will participate in those programs.
In the coming months, we will be sharing details of the timeline for the next stage of the
accreditation process. These stages, which are required of all candidate-colleges during the process, will culminate in 2018. We look forward to our ongoing relationship with the
Higher Learning Commission, as each step with them has helped us to hone many
aspects of the College's programs and operations; we know the subsequent steps
will inspire us to do Everything in Excellence.