News and Announcements

OHIO shares updates regarding ongoing institutional reaffirmation of accreditation process

Ohio University continues to make progress in its institutional reaffirmation of accreditation journey through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). It’s a process that will continue to involve everyone – from faculty, staff and students to the valued stakeholders across each of OHIO’s communities.

OHIO’s formal reaffirmation process will culminate in a multi-campus visit by a peer review team in March 2025. While based on the Athens campus, reviewers also will visit the Lancaster and Eastern campuses. As a reminder, more information on OHIO’s Reaffirmation of Accreditation may be found on its reaffirmation of accreditation website

Ongoing Annual Evidence Collection and Review

Prior to the peer review team visit in 2025, OHIO will submit an assurance argument and evidence file, demonstrating through both narrative and documentary evidence that it is in compliance with the HLC Criteria for Accreditation. This fall, OHIO’s six HLC evidence committees renewed their work in identifying and reviewing the best documents to support the story of OHIO’s achievements, innovations, and adherence to the accreditation standards. Having identified potential evidence, the committees made document requests of 71 units across the breadth of the university. 

“The President and I are extremely appreciative of the hard work that has been taking place within each of our HLC evidence committees and in the units across OHIO which have worked to provide the requested evidence,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs. “Their continued assistance in identifying, providing, and reviewing evidence documents has been instrumental in showcasing how the University is meeting the HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation.” 

Now that the units have submitted the requested evidence, the evidence committees will review the submissions this winter to prioritize the most direct and clear examples to include in the evidence file. These documents will be linked to the assurance argument narrative, providing clear and convincing evidence of the value and quality OHIO provides to our stakeholders. The evidence committees will begin to review the first drafts of the assurance argument, the document that will weave together OHIO’s narrative and the collected documentary evidence, in Spring 2024.

The Quality Initiative (QI)

While HLC expects that institutions are always engaged in quality improvement, institutions on the Open Pathway, like OHIO, are required to undertake a major quality initiative between years 5 and 9 of the 10-year accreditation cycle. HLC encourages institutions to use the QI to take risks, innovate, take on a tough challenge or pursue a yet unproven strategy.

OHIO’s Quality Initiative Project, entitled, “The Student Experience: Achieving Success with Advising, Experiential Learning, and Career Engagement through the OHIO Guarantee+ Graduation Plan,” emerged out of several coordinated planning initiatives, including the 2018 University Student Success Planning Group, the state of Ohio’s Strong Start to Finish initiative, and the use of new career and experiential learning fee funding. The Guarantee+ Graduation Plans (GPGP) initiative combines three critical elements – advising, career services, and experiential learning--that position undergraduate students for success during their education and throughout their lives. Additional information about the GPGP initiative can be found at: 

“Having the Guarantee+ Graduation Plans as our Quality Initiative allows us to highlight the strategies and investments we make to provide our students with the quality education and impactful experiences to prepare them for and support them throughout their careers and lives,” said Carey Busch, interim vice provost for student success.

Beginning in Fall 2023, all undergraduate programs now have graduation plans for their students. OHIO’s QI project proposal was approved by HLC in June 2022, and the final project report is due to HLC in June 2024. 

As OHIO’s reaffirmation of accreditation moves forward, it will keep all stakeholders updated on the progress of its reaffirmation efforts and opportunities for the University community to share their voices and feedback via 

December 11, 2023
Staff reports