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What Do I Need to Know?

It is important that the entire Ohio University community of faculty, students, staff, and Board of Trustees members are engaged in the process and prepared for Ohio University’s Reaffirmation of Accreditation. Once a draft is completed we encourage the campus community to read the Assurance Argument, understand the Criteria for Accreditation, be knowledgeable about HLC Guiding Values and Assumed Practices and engage in future processes by reading all future communications and updates about the comprehensive evaluation progress and participating in any requests for feedback. 

Components of the Comprehensive Evaluation

Assurance Argument/Filing

Ohio University prepares an Assurance Argument and Evidence File as part of its Assurance Filing. Since this is a Comprehensive Evaluation, Ohio University is also required to submit a Federal Compliance Filing in its Assurance Filing. All pieces must be completed in the online Assurance System before the review is scheduled to begin. The Assurance Argument is a written report where the institution demonstrates how it meets each Criterion and Core Component. For each Criterion, the institution provides:

  • An articulation of how each Core Component within the Criterion is met
  • Links to documentary evidence in the institution’s Evidence File for each articulated claim or argument made.
  • A summary statement regarding any additional ways in which the institution fulfills the Criterion that are not otherwise covered in the statements on the Core Components.

What is the Evidence File?

The Assurance Argument will link to materials Ohio University uploads to its Evidence File to support its brief narrative for each Criterion and Core Component. See Providing Evidence for the Criteria [PDF] for Accreditation for guidance on identifying evidence and a list of possible sources of evidence for each Core Component. Personally identifiable information (PII) is not permitted. 

How is the Assurance Argument/Filing evaluated?

Ohio University’s Assurance Filing will be evaluated by a team of peer reviewers. If the review is being conducted as part of a comprehensive evaluation, the peer review team will write its report after completing its on-site visit and will take into account all of the additional materials involved in the evaluation. The team drafts its report four to six weeks following the start of the review or on-site visit.

In judging whether the institution is in compliance with the Criteria, the team evaluates each Core Component individually. The team determines whether the Core Component is met, met with concerns or not met. The institution meets the Criterion only if all Core Components are met or met with concerns. The institution does not meet the Criterion if one or more Core Components is judged not to be met.

Federal Compliance Review

As a federally recognized agency, HLC is required to assure that Ohio University meets Title IV program responsibility, as well as complying with the expectations of specific regulations set by the U.S. Department of Education. Compliance with these federal requirements is necessary for the institutions to be eligible for federal financial aid. The areas addressed in the Federal Compliance Review are:

  • Assignment of Credits, Program Length and Tuition
  • Institutional Records of Student Complaints
  • Publication of Transfer Policies
  • Practices for Verification of Student Identity
  • Publication of Student Outcome Data
  • Standing with state and other accrediting agencies

Student Opinion Survey

Two months prior to our on-site peer review visit, HLC will conducts an online survey [PDF] of the Ohio University’s student body. The survey is intended to give students an opportunity to participate in the evaluation process, and to help identify questions for the peer reviewers to ask while on site. 

On-Site Peer Review Visit

After the peer review team has reviewed the Ohio University’s Assurance Argument and student survey results, the on-site visit will be scheduled and typically lasts 1½ to 2½ days. The peer review team works with Ohio University to create the agenda for the visit, which typically includes meetings with the leadership and board of trustees, as well as open forums with faculty, staff and students.

Multi-Campus Visit

A multi-campus visit is included as part of the comprehensive evaluation that have one or more branch campuses. Peer reviewers will visit a sampling of the institution’s branch campuses and inform the team conducting the comprehensive evaluation as to the quality of the branch campuses.

Reaffirmation Timeline

TimingSteps Taken
Spring 2021
  • Evidence collection process draft
Fall 2021
  • Finalize evidence collection process
  • Quality initiative proposal draft
Spring 2022
  • Begin evidence collection process
  • Quality initiative proposal submitted
  • Draft stakeholder communication plan
Summer/Fall 2022
  • Evidence gaps identified
  • Quality initiative project
  • Federal compliance gap analysis
Spring/Summer/Fall 2023
  • Annual evidence collection begins
  • Quality initiative report submitted
  • Writing of assurance argument begins
Spring 2024
  • Stakeholder communication and education
  • Draft and share assurance argument
Fall 2024
  • Evidence finalized and entered
  • Federal compliance report finalized
January 2025
  • Assurance argument submitted
March 24-25, 2025
  • HLC peer review team visit
  • Federal compliance review