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Reaffirmation of Accreditation

Reaffirmation of Accreditation

Accreditation is a voluntary, peer-led process by which institutions of higher education hold themselves accountable for the quality of their educational programs. Peer reviewers, experts in the field of higher education, are responsible for assuring that an institution is complying with the Criteria for Accreditation and helping an institution advance within the context of its own mission.

Ohio University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC, formerly the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education) and has been continuously accredited since 1913. The Higher Learning Commission, established in 1895, is an institutional accreditor, accrediting the institution, including all of its degree programs.

Achieving accredited status is a time and resource intensive process demonstrating a commitment to institutional effectiveness and the continuous improvement of academic quality. It involves faculty, staff, students, and all other stakeholders of the university.

Why is Accreditation Important?

Institutional accreditation is important because it puts the responsibility for assuring the quality of an institution on the institution itself. Institutional accreditation evaluates the capacity of an institution to assure its own quality. By doing so it allows each institution to approach the Criteria of Accreditation within the context of its mission.  Through a specific pathway, institutions engage in evaluation cycles to reaffirm compliance with HLC requirements. Through these evaluation cycles HLC expects institutions to produce evidence that it is meeting the Criteria for Accreditation.

The Criteria for Accreditation should be view through this lens. HLC expects that institutions have policies, processes, and expectations for quality assurance in its entirety and throughout its educational offerings. For example, governing boards should ensure quality through its governance structures, with appropriate degrees of involvement and delegation, institutional planning is important because it is critical to sustaining quality, and assessment of student learning and attention on persistence and completion are ways in which the institution improves and ensures the quality of its teaching and learning.

In short, accreditation is important because it affirms Ohio University is providing a quality education, offers valuable feedback from experts in the field on how Ohio University is meeting nationally endorsed criteria, and provides an opportunity to assess, improve, and demonstrate our institutional effectiveness.  Accreditation can also affect eligibility for:

  • faculty and staff to receive grants
  • students to receive federal and state financial aid
  • student’s credit hours and courses to transfer to other institutions
  • graduates to sit for licensing exams and pursue graduate level education

2024 Assurance Argument, Federal Compliance Report, and Quality Initiative Project