On June 23, 2022, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) granted initial accreditation to Catholic Distance University for its undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs.
Accreditation by the HLC provides assurance that an institution meets high standards in all aspects of educational quality, institutional capabilities, and governance, with a commitment to continuous improvement. HLC is the largest of six historically regional accreditors in the United States recognized by the Department of Education to accredit the nation’s institutions of higher education. In response to new regulations from the Department of Education, several of the historically regional accreditors have recently eliminated their geographic boundaries, expanding their accreditation service area to the entire United States.
President Dr. Marianne Evans Mount, who has served as president since 2008, lauded the landmark accomplishment. “Catholic Distance University celebrates with joy our welcome as an accredited member of the Higher Learning Commission and the broader higher education community of accredited schools. The hard work and adherence to high academic accrediting standards and practices have strengthened CDU and given further assurance to our students and graduates of the value of their educational credentials. We look forward to the witness of their service to the Catholic Church and the world, as they strive to serve the common good and especially the underserved.”
“CDU is now recognized with the same accreditation as many of the most prestigious brick and mortar universities in the U.S.,” said Board Chairman Steve Pryor. “This major milestone marks the beginning of the next stage of CDU’s mission: to communicate the mind and heart of the Church to a wider audience. As trustee Sr. Mary Brendon Zajac observed, this should be viewed ‘…as a Commencement rather than a Graduation….the real work is just beginning.’”
University Chancellor Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, who heads the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, said, “The news that the Higher Learning Commission has accredited Catholic Distance University offers a significant recognition to the commitment of the CDU community to academic excellence. I hope that this decision will be an impetus for the growth of the university and one more sign of its role in forming committed scholars especially in the theological sciences.”
Students will benefit in newfound ways from HLC accreditation, which ensures a quality of education that the general public has the right to expect and that the educational community recognizes widely.