President's Office
(505) 792-2976

SIPI's Accreditation Information

Accreditation within higher education is a voluntary, nongovernmental process that gives public recognition to institutions that meet published standards. The purpose of accreditation is to assure the public as to the quality of an institution and its commitment to these high standards through continuous improvement. Two major types of accreditation include regional accreditation which is granted to an entire institution versus specialized accreditation which focuses on a specific program. Most specialized accrediting agencies require regional accreditation as a foundation for their reviews.

SIPI is currently accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), one of six regional accrediting bodies that accredit entire institutions. To achieve institutional accreditation from the HLC, SIPI underwent a comprehensive evaluation in October 2013. SIPI successfully demonstrated that it met established standards. As a result, the HLC Board of Trustees voted to grant regional accreditation to SIPI on February 27, 2014. Subsequently, on May 23, 2014 the Commission of Opticianry Accreditation (COA) informed SIPI that their Commissioners voted to approve the reinstatement of the Vision care Technology and Optical Technology/Lab programs to their list of COA accredited programs. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) withdrew specialized accreditation on August 18, 2010; in order to regain accreditation by the ACBSP SIPI must reapply for accreditation. SIPI plans to reapply for this specialized accreditation in the near future.

As a regionally accredited institution SIPI is eligible to participate in Title IV federal financial aid and Department of Veteran’s Affairs assistance programs. Regional accreditation status also facilitates the transfer of college credits to other regionally accredited institutions.

Further information on the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and the Criteria for Accreditation is available at:

The Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604

The Commission on Opticianry Accreditation (COA) accredits the Vision Care Technology A.A.S. degree program and the Optical Laboratory Technology Certificate program.
Commission on Opticianry Accreditation
Debra White, Director of Accreditation
P.O. Box 592, C
Canton, NY 13617

Public Comments Invited on SIPI Accreditation   (posted on July 5, 2013

Higher Learning Commission Letter dated July 25, 2011   (posted on August 23, 2011)

Comprehensive Evaluation Visit Report March 21-23, 2011  (posted on August 23, 2011)

Strategic Plan   (posted on March 3, 2011)

HLC Notification Letter   (posted on July 2, 2010)

Letter of support from the New Mexico Council of University Presidents   (posted on July 19, 2010)

Letter from the New Mexico Secretary of Higher Education  (posted on July 21, 2010)

Letter of support from New Mexico Independent Community Colleges (NMICC)  (posted on July 28, 2010)

Letter of support from the New Mexico Association of Community Colleges (NMACC)  (posted August 16, 2010)

Accreditation Status Letter to Tribal Leaders  (posted on August 26, 2010)

Echo Hawk Addresses SIPI's Change in Accreditation Status  (posted on September 2, 2010)

SIPI's Accreditation Updates

COA reinstatement letter dated May 23, 2014 (PDF format)

News Release - Office of the Assistant Secretary, Indian Affairs
SIPI Awarded “Initial Accreditation” Status By The Higher Learning Commission
  (posted on March 13, 2014)

HLC Action Letter to SIPI granting initial accreditation  (posted on March 13, 2014)

Higher Learning Commission (HLC) - Letter to SIPI President dated December 23, 2013   (posted on January 14, 2014)

Higher Learning Commission (HLC) - IAC Hearing Committee Report dated December 16, 2013  (posted on January 14, 2014)


October 2013 Newsletter  (posted on October 22, 2013)

September 2013 Newsletter  (posted on September 26, 2013)

July-August 2013 Newsletter  (posted on July 29, 2013)

Accreditation Council for Business School and Programs (ACBSP) Letter  (posted on July 29, 2013)

May-June 2013 Newsletter  (posted on June 11, 2013)

April 2013 Newsletter  (posted on April 24, 2013)

March 2013 Newsletter  (posted on March 22, 2013)

February 2013 Newsletter  (posted on February 20, 2013)

Commission on Opticianry Accreditation Letter  (posted on October 31, 2012)

HLC Visit - 2013  (posted on October 16, 2012)

September Newsletter - 2012  (posted on October 31, 2012)

August Newsletter - 2012  (posted on October 31, 2012)

July Newsletter  (posted on October 31, 2012)

March Newsletter - 2012  (posted on March 29, 2012)

April Newsletter  (posted on April 8, 2011)

March Newsletter  (posted on March 3, 2011)

February Newsletter  (posted on February 7, 2011)

January Newsletter  (posted on January 12, 2011)

December Newsletter  (posted on December 30, 2010)

November Newsletter  (posted on December 30, 2010)

October Newsletter  (posted on November 20, 2010)