Accreditation

Accreditation is a designation and a process. As a designation, it serves as public recognition that an institution has met accepted standards of quality. As a process, it demonstrates an ongoing commitment to self-study and external peer review. These complementary assessments affirm that quality standards are being met and that the excellence of an Ohio State education is continually enhanced.

The Ohio State University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1913. In 2017 the university underwent its decennial reaffirmation of accreditation.

Ohio State’s review is carried out through the HLC Open Pathway process. This process includes writing an Assurance Argument, proposing and implementing a Quality Initiative, and hosting a site visit by a team of reviewers made up of faculty and staff from other universities with similar missions. The process also includes preparing a Multi-Campus Report for a sample of Ohio State’s regional campuses, along with visits to the selected campuses as part of the comprehensive evaluation.

Assurance Argument

As required by the HLC, Ohio State created an evidence-based Assurance Argument to demonstrate that it meets the five criteria for accreditation shown below. In it, Ohio State documents how it fulfills each Criterion. The full Assurance Argument is available here. The Assurance Argument was overseen by the Institutional Re-accreditation Coordinating Committee that includes faculty, students, and staff from across the university.

Criterion One. Mission

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

Criterion Two. Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct

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

Criterion Three. Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support

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

Criterion Four. Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement

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

Criterion Five. 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.

Quality Initiative

As part of the Open Pathway model the university also developed a Quality Initiative that addresses an academic issue of institutional importance. Implementation of Ohio State's initiative, Enhancing Academic Advising, began in 2014 and will continue over the next few years. The final report on the Quality Initiative was accepted by the HLC in November 2016. The final report is available here.

Site Visit

A team of reviewers visited Ohio State on March 20-21, 2017. Beforehand, the team received the Assurance Argument and comments from the public. During the visit the review team met with faculty, staff and students and look for evidence that Ohio State meets the five criteria of the Assurance Argument. The schedule of the visit is available here.

Multi-Campus Visits

The reviewers visited Ohio State’s Lima, Mansfield, and Newark campuses on March 23-24, 2017. Before the visit they received the Multi-Campus Report, which includes data about each campus and explains its operations.  The review team met with academic leaders, and some faculty and students during the visit.  The reviewers looked for evidence to assure the quality of Ohio State’s extended operations and the institution’s capacity to maintain that quality. The Multi-Campus Report is available here.

Coordinating Committee

Undergraduate Student Government

Sam M. Abusway

Assistant Dean - Office of Educator Preparation

Erica Brownstein

Vice Provost for Diversity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer
Professor for Moritz College of Law

Sharon L. Davies

Vice President for Operations and Deputy Chief Financial Officer

Kristine G. Devine

Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer

Gates Garrity-Rokous

Professor of Art

Rebecca C. Harvey

Council of Graduate Students

Eugene A. Holowacz

Director of the University Center for the Advancement of Teaching

Alan Kalish

University Registrar and Executive Director of Enrollment Services

Jack D. Miner

Assistant Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

John D. Wanzer

Professor of Music

Thomas H. Wells