The Ohio State University has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) since 1913. In 2017 the university will undergo its decennial reaffirmation of accreditation.
What is 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.
What happens during accreditation?
Ohio State’s review will be 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.
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.
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.
The Assurance Argument was overseen by the Institutional Re-accreditation Coordinating Committee that includes faculty, students, and staff from across the university.
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.
A team of reviewers will visit Ohio State on March 20-21, 2017. Beforehand, the team will have received the Assurance Argument and comments from the public. During the visit the review team will meet 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.
The reviewers will visit Ohio State’s Lima, Mansfield, and Newark campuses on March 23-24, 2017. Before the visit they will have received the Multi-Campus Report, which includes data about each campus and explains its operations. The review team will meet with academic leaders, and some faculty and students during the visit. It will look 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.
Institutional Re-accreditation Coordinating Committee
- W. Randy Smith, Vice Provost for Academic Programs, Convener
- Samer Abusway, Undergraduate Student Government
- Javaune Adams-Gaston, Senior Vice President for Student Life
- Erica Brownstein, Assistant Dean, Office of Educator Preparation, College of Education and Human Ecology
- Sharon Davies, Vice Provost for Diversity & Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer, Director, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, Professor and Gregory H. Williams Chair, Moritz College of Law
- Kristine G. Devine, Vice President for Operations, Deputy Chief Financial Officer, Office of Business and Finance
- Jennifer Evans-Cowley, Vice Provost for Capital Planning and Regional Campuses, Professor, Knowlton School of Architecture, College of Engineering
- Gates Garrity-Rokous, Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer
- Thomas K. Gregoire, Dean, College of Social Work
- Rebecca C. Harvey, Professor, Department of Art, College of Arts and Sciences
- Michael B. Hofherr, Vice President and Chief Information Officer
- Eugene A. Holowacz, Council of Graduate Students
- Alan Kalish, Director, University Center for the Advancement of Teaching
- Jack D. Miner, University Registrar, Executive Director of Enrollment Services
- Stacy Rastauskas, Vice President of Government Relations, Office of Government Affairs
- Gregory H. Rose, Dean and Director, OSU - Marion
- John D. Wanzer, Assistant Vice Provost, Office of Undergraduate Education
- Thomas H. Wells, Professor, School of Music, College of Arts and Sciences, Chair, Faculty Council, University Senate
- Kay N. Wolf, Vice Provost for Academic Policy and Faculty Resources, Professor, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Medicine