DMACC is an Open Pathways Institution


Des Moines Area Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Des Moines Area Community College was granted accreditation candidacy status by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, now Higher Learning Commission, on March 21, 1971 and was fully accredited on March 27, 1974. DMACC has maintained full accreditation status through PEAQ, the AQIP Pathway, and most recently - reaffirmation of accreditation in the Open Pathway provided by the HLC Institutional Actions Council on February 27, 2017.

Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation assures a standard of quality by verifying that an educational institution meets established criteria and is engaged in continuous improvement.

The college is also approved by the Iowa Department of Education. Both career option and college transfer curricula carry the approval of the U.S. Department of Education and are approved for veterans' benefits. View State Department of Education Accreditation.

Many programs have specialized accreditation specific to their field of study. Specific accreditation information is available in Accredited Programs or under the individual Program websites.

View our HLC accreditation statement​​

Open Pathway

The Open Pathway is one of three pathway options: Standard, Open, and AQIP, that an organization in good standing can select in maintaining its accreditation status with the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The Open Pathway has a major Quality Initiative imbedded in it that provides the framework for organizations to pursue improvement projects within the accreditation cycle that are geared specifically towards their needs, and infuse the benefits of continuous improvement that advance the quality of higher education.