Carry the Torch to HLC Gold in 2020


The Criteria for Accreditation are the standards of quality by which the Higher Learning Commision (HLC) determines whether an institution merits accreditation or reaffirmation of accreditation. Each criterion is made up of Core Components and Sub-Components. The institution will be reaffirmed for accreditation if it is found to meet Core Components.

Criterion 1: Mission

The institution’s mission is clear and articulated publicly; it guides the institution’s operations.

Core Components:

1.A. The institution’s mission is broadly understood within the institution and guides its operations.

1.B. The mission is articulated publicly.

1.C. The institution understands the relationship between its mission and the diversity of society.

1.D. The institution’s mission demonstrates commitment to the common good.

Vision, Mission, Goals & Values

GateWay Community College is a public institution of higher learning offering Associate Degrees, Certificates of Completion, continuing education courses and other educational services. Located in metropolitan Phoenix, the college has been serving the citizens of Maricopa County and Arizona since 1968. GateWay Community College is governed by the Maricopa County Community College District Governing Board.


GateWay Community College—a college for the community—works collectively and responsibly to meet the life-long learning needs of our diverse students and community.


GateWay Community College provides access to higher education for diverse students and communities. We focus on learning through:

  • University Transfer Education
  • General Education
  • Developmental Education
  • Workforce Development
  • Student Development Services
  • Continuing Education
  • Community Education
  • Civic Responsibility
  • Global Engagement


GateWay Community College, including the Maricopa Skill Center and GateWay Early College High School, in achieving the mission of the College, is committed to the following strategic goals and objectives:

  • Access 
    Provide access to high-quality education for all students and strengthen educational pathways through increased educational and business partnerships.
  • Learning 
    Promote and support opportunities for learning and development
  • Success 
    Increase the number of students who achieve their education or training goals, complete a degree or certificate, transfer to a university, and/or complete a workforce credential.
  • Community Engagement 
    Enhance civic, social, and cultural engagement opportunities by serving as the community’s college.
  • Entrepreneurism 
    Expand and leverage resources that enhance the college’s impact in the community through economic and workforce development.
  • Stewardship 
    Strategically leverage, grow and utilize resources to ensure student success, responsible stewardship and sustainability


Students are the primary reason we exist. We value our diverse learning community and respect our students for their life experiences and their achievements, and we appreciate their contributions. For these reasons, GateWay is committed to the following values:

  • Learning
    As a lifelong endeavor of growth and self-discovery.
  • Diversity
    As a celebration of the unique richness that all individuals bring to our community and to the learning opportunity it provides.
  • Service
    To students, to each other, and to the community.
  • Teamwork
    As a commitment to working together toward student success.
  • Integrity
    As an essential element in our learning environment. We strive to be honest, authentic, consistent, and respectful in our words and actions.
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit
    As critical in accomplishing our mission and goals. Through calculated risk-taking, we see possibilities . . . not limitations.

Criterion Champions:

Diana Daddo
Kristin Gubser, Leadership Liaison
Tangiera Loftis
Kyoko Olson, Team Lead
Peggy Shortridge, Team Lead

HLC Criterion Team 1

From left to right: Kyoko Olson, Peggy Shortridge, Diana Daddo, Kristin Gubser,
and Tangiera Loftis

Criterion 2: Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct

The institution acts with integrity; its conduct is ethical and responsible.

Core Components:

2.A. The institution operates with integrity in its financial, academic, personnel, and auxiliary functions; it establishes and follows fair and ethical policies and processes for its governing board, administration, faculty, and staff.

2.B. The institution presents itself clearly and completely to its students and to the public with regard to its programs, requirements, faculty and staff, costs to students, controls, and accreditation relationships.

2.C. The governing board of the institution is sufficiently autonomous to make decisions in the best interest of the institutions and to assure its integrity.

2.D. The institution is committed to freedom of expression and the pursuit of truth in teaching and learning.

2.E. The institution ensures that faculty, students, and staff acquire, discover, and apply knowledge responsibly.

Criterion Champions:

Cynthia Bass
Nilsa Casas
Manuel Dallago
Darryl Greeley, Team Lead
Andy Lenartz, Team Lead
CJ Wurster, Leadership Liaison

HLC Criterion Team 2
From left to right: CJ Wurster, Darryl Greeley, Cynthia Bass, and Manuel Dallago

Criterion 3: Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources and Support

The institution provides high quality education, wherever and however its offerings are delivered.

Core Components:

3.A. The institution’s degree programs are appropriate to higher education.

3.B. The institution demonstrates that the exercise of intellectual inquiry and the acquisition, application, and integration of broad learning and skills are integral to its educational program. 

3.C. The institution has the faculty and staff needed for effective, high-quality programs and student services.

3.D. The institution provides support for student learning and effective teaching.

3.E. The institution fulfills the claims it makes for an enriched educational environment.

Criterion Champions:

Kirsten Berdahl, Team Lead
Jose Candanedo
Tiziana Marengo
Jake Rivera, Leadership Liaison
Ruben Saenz
David Smith, Team Lead
Mark Woehl

HLC Criterion Team 3
From left to right: Jake Rivera, Tiziana Marengo, David Smith, Kirsten Berdahl,
and Jose Candanedo

Criterion 4: Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement

The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs, learning environment, and support services, and it evaluates its effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement.

Core components:

4.A. The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs.

4.B. The institution demonstrates a commitment to educational achievement and improvement through ongoing assessment of student learning.

4.C. The institution demonstrates a commitment to educational improvement through ongoing attention to retention, persistence, and completion rates in its degree and certificate programs.

Criterion Champions: 

Marie Huntsinger
Nancy Johnson, Leadership Liaison
Ryan Johnson
Joanne Perez-Arreola, Team Lead
Joseph Swaba, Team Lead
Douglas Walker
Sharon Zygowicz

HLC Criterion Team 4
From left to right: Ryan Johnson, Sharon Zygowicz, Marie Huntsinger,
Doug Walker, Nancy Johnson, and Joanne Perez-Arreola

Criterion 5: Resources, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness

The institution’s resources, structures, and processes are sufficient to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its educational offerings and respond to future challenges and opportunities. The institution plans for the future.

Core Components:

5.A. The institution’s resource base supports its current educational programs and its plans for maintaining and strengthening their quality in the future.

5.B. The institution’s governance and administrative structures promote effective leadership and support collaborative processes that enable the institution to fulfill its mission.

5.C. The institution engages in systematic and integrated planning.

5.D. The institution works systematically to improve its performance.

Criterion Champions:

Joel Arthur
Shala Dveirin, Team Lead
Vivian Miranda, Leadership Liaison
Angie Rose
Ceci Soto, Team Lead
Michael Zerilli

HLC Criterion Team 5
From left to right: Michael Zerilli, Shala Dveirin, Vivian Miranda, Angie Rose,
and Joel Arthur