Salaam, dear sisters, brothers, colleagues, friends:
These are trying times for us all, with news of infections, quarantines, closures, shortages, and tumbling markets coming to us from every part of the world. As we face the fear, panic and rapidly changing realities with faith, wisdom, and creative adaptation, we must also continue to practice gratitude and celebrate all that is worthy of celebration.
So I reach out to you with the blessed news that American Islamic College has achieved a major milestone in our journey toward realizing the dream of becoming a full-fledged, fully accredited university grounded in Islamic values and in the rich intellectual traditions of Islam. At the end of February, our regional accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Region, granted AIC “Candidacy” Status, which means that AIC is now a formal Candidate for Accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission, al-hamdulillah.
This is a formal step – equivalent to pre-accreditation – signaling the fact that AIC’s academic programs, along with other aspects of the college, have been scrutinized by the Higher Learning Commission (recognized by the US Department of Education as one of the major accrediting agencies in the US) and judged to be eligible for advancing a formal application for initial accreditation.
For our current and prospective students, achieving “Candidacy Status” means that the credits and degrees that AIC students earn will now carry greater legitimacy and will be, in most cases, transferable to other accredited institutions across the United States and the world. Pending the status of full recognition, credit acceptance will still remain at the discretion of each institution, but being affiliated with HLC means that most accredited colleges and universities will now consider AIC to be an institution of higher education whose courses, faculty, and institutional practices have withstood scrutiny and been judged worthy of this new status with HLC. This is, of course, in addition to our long-standing affiliation with the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), which awarded the College Operating Authority and Degree Granting Authority for its undergraduate and graduate programs seven years ago when we reopened and resumed offering classes.
This happy news comes after years of sacrifice and hard work – overhauling our curricula, professionalizing our policies and procedures, working closely with both IBHE and HLC, and guiding the first cohorts of students through our undergraduate and graduate degree programs, culminating in our first commencement for graduates in 2019. Thus, even as we thank God for the miraculous revival of the College, we must thank all of those who have steadfastly held on to the dream and selflessly toiled to help AIC re-emerge as an institution of higher learning that seeks to transform as well as to inform, to celebrate diversity and foster openness to inquiry, thought, and debate while remaining grounded in Islamic faith-based principles and values.
Whether or not you have played an active role in supporting AIC in the past, we welcome you now to celebrate with us and to become an active part of this historic Islamic college.
With gratitude and prayers for God’s peace and blessings to be upon you,
Daoud S. Casewit