Accreditation at Kennedy-King College

Institutional Accreditation

Kennedy-King College is institutionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The Higher Learning Commission is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. The Higher Learning Commission last reaffirmed Kennedy-King College’s institutional accreditation in 2016, following a comprehensive site visit. During this visit the college received the maximum ten year reaffirmation of accreditation. The next comprehensive site visit will take place in spring of 2026.

Institutional Accreditation Assurance Argument Process

​Kennedy-King College’s Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs oversees and is responsible for the college’s institutional accreditation processes. This includes coordinating self-study activities and maintaining communication mechanisms with both the campus community and the public in preparation for the Higher Learning Commission’s team visit to the campus in November 2025.

Collaborating across the college, District administration, and with the public, the college is engaged in ongoing comprehensive institutional continuous improvement efforts. Kennedy-King College’s assurance argument reviews all campus programs and processes and presents evidence to demonstrate to the Higher Learning Commission and to all stakeholders that the college is achieving its stated mission and that its culture of student learning, assessment, and continuous improvement processes appropriately support that mission.


Please direct questions regarding Kennedy-King College’s institutional accreditation to:
For additional information about the regional accreditation of Kennedy-King College, contact the Higher Learning Commission at:
230 South LaSalle, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1411
Phone: 1-800-621-7440
Fax: 312-263-7462

Accreditation Overview

​There are three types of accreditation that exist in the United States: National, Regional, and Specialized. National associations accredit single-focused institutions (e.g. a faith-based institution).
The Higher Learning Commission is one of eight regional accrediting associations. It accredits over 1,000 institutions of higher education across nineteen states, including Illinois. Specialized accrediting associations do not accredit institutions; they accredit professional or specialized programs (e.g., engineering, allied health, nursing, child development, medicine, law, psychology).
Enrolling in and graduating from an accredited university or community college, such as any one of the seven City Colleges of Chicago (CCC), is critical to CCC students for a number of reasons. For example, in Illinois:

U.S. Department of Education:

  • Provides federal financial aid (e.g., PELL grants) for students enrolled in institutions accredited by the Higher Learning Commission;
  • Considers requests for grants from institutions that are regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
State Regulatory Agencies: 
  • Provide State grants (e.g., MAP) for students who are enrolled in institutions that are regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission;
  • Allow students who have graduated from programs accredited by the appropriate specialized accrediting association to sit for national licensure exams.
Universities and Four-Year Colleges:
  • Accept transfer credit for the Associate Degree and IAI approved courses from Illinois community colleges that are regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
  • Evaluate transcripts from applicants who are enrolled in or have graduated from Illinois community colleges and universities that are regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Kennedy-King College State Recognition and Specialized Accreditation

The City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) and Kennedy-King College (KKC) are recognized by the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB).  At least once every five years, ICCB conducts a recognition visit for various community college districts. CCC and KKC are officially​ “recognized” as an institution which meets the ICCB standards. Please click the file below for v​erification of the current ICCB recognition status.
KKC has three academic programs that are fully accredited by specialty accreditors.  Specialized accreditation demonstrates the programs listed below meet academic and industry standards prescribed by their respective accreditors.


Academic Program​ ​Program Accreditor ​Status Last Comprehensive Visit​/Review Next Comprehensive Report and Visit
​Addictions Studies ​Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association (IAODAPCA) Accredited​ ​October 2023 January 2025
Automotive Technology National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) Accredited ​January 2024 ​May 2029
Child Development​​ ​National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Accredited​ ​March/April 2021 ​May 2029