HLC Accreditation

The goal of accreditation is to assure students, as well as parents and employers, that a college or university provides a quality educational experience. HLC accreditation assures quality by verifying that an institution meets standards and is engaged in continuous improvement. HLC’s institutional accreditation includes all degree levels as well as on‐site and online offerings. Accreditation provides current and potential students assurance that they are receiving a quality education which will be recognized as such by potential employers or licensing boards as well as by other colleges or universities in case of student transfers or pursuit of a higher degree. Also, employer‐paid tuition reimbursement programs often require that employee participants enroll in accredited institutions. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Education recognizes accreditation as a marker to allow the institution to disperse federal (Title IV) student financial aid (Source)

Internally, there are many reasons why the accreditation process is important and valuable work for Bowling Green State University to undertake. First, it is a chance for systematic institutional self‐reflection – an opportunity to look at the University in all its dimensions and operations for the sake of genuine continuous improvement more so than external compliance. Second, the process provides the opportunity to present ourselves for the judgment of our peers in the higher education community and, through them, to demonstrate to the public at large that we are who we say we are, and that we do what we say we do. We welcome that scrutiny in light of our commitment to quality programming – a promise BGSU has made to its stakeholders.

HLC conducts comprehensive evaluations of member institutions to confirm that the institution continues to meet the Criteria for Accreditation, is pursuing institutional improvement and complies with requirements sets by the U.S. Department of Education (Source)

BGSU has received notification by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) that our next accreditation visit has been set for October 17‐18, 2022. To that end, an Accreditation Steering Committee (ASC), comprised of personnel from across the university, is currently involved in a comprehensive self‐study called Assurance Agreement. Following the completion of a self‐study, BGSU will host a HLC site review team. The team of peer reviewers will evaluate the institution’s Assurance Filing. The outcome of this review is a recommendation as to whether BGSU meets the Criteria for Accreditation. The peer reviewers, who are faculty and administrators at other universities and trained by HLC, will visit BGSU on October 17‐18, 2022. They will meet with several groups of faculty, students, staff, alumni, Trustees, and other stakeholders. Specifically, they will be seeking evidence that BGSU accomplishes its mission against HLC criteria for accreditation. They will provide us with a report in response to our Assurance Agreement as well as a separate Federal Compliance Filing report. We will prepare the campus to be good hosts and share information relative to questions that may be asked. Peer reviewers are not auditors: there is nothing to fear!

Assurance Filing is an opportunity for BGSU to tell our story. The format of Assurance Filing is defined by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC):

The institution prepares an Assurance Argument and Evidence File as part of its Assurance Filing. Both of these pieces must be completed in the online Assurance System before the review is scheduled to begin. In the Assurance Argument, the institution demonstrates how it meets each Criterion and Core Component. For each Criterion, the institution offers:

  • An articulation of how each Core Component within the Criterion is met.
  • 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.
  • Links to materials in the institution’s Evidence File for each claim or argument made. (Source)

On the Open Pathway, the Assurance Review is conducted in Year 4 and is a part of the comprehensive evaluation that occurs in Year 10.

The institution submits a proposal for a Quality Initiative project to be completed in Years 5‐9. BGSU’s Quality Initiative was submitted and approved.

Bowling Green State University’s QIP titled Advancing Integrative Learning and Signature Work has the potential to have a significant impact on the institution and on its academic quality. The proposal is an effort by the University to develop cross‐curricular integrative learning practices across academic programs. It involves selecting pilot signature programs for specific academic programs and focuses on helping students with critical thinking, effective communication, creative and critical problem solving, and meta cognition for the transfer of knowledge. BGSU’s QIP directly aligns with the institution’s mission and strategic plan as well as efforts to redefine student success with an emphasis on integrative learning, communication in context, and signature work. The relevance of using integrative learning with signature work can be very important for students. Life is not a series of courses: all learning is connected. Through integrative learning, student can make connections among concepts and apply those concepts to issues or challenges in other fields. The relevance of this cross‐curricular approach is particularly important in today’s world where graduates will have to integrate, apply, and reflect what they have learned. Additionally, this effort may strengthen the general education students need to more fully develop their major academic area of interest.

The QI report will be part of the Comprehensive Review.

This page organizes select documents that together tell the story of our university’s accreditation over time:

  1. BGSU 2013 Assurance Argument
  2. 2013 Firelands Report
  3. 2017 BGSU Assurance Argument
  4. 2017 BGSU Assurance Argument Response

The HLC will be surveying BGSU students in Spring 2022. The purpose of the survey is to provide the peer reviewers visiting BGSU baseline data that may help them to form questions for meeting with faculty, staff, and students during the visit. The results will be aggregated and provided to BGSU prior to the visit. The survey is only meant to provide students with an opportunity to participate in the accreditation process and to inform the peer review team.

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness has developed an accreditation timeline and process flow to help guide the work of the Accreditation Steering Committee (ASC):

Dawn Lynette Anderson Associate Dean, Administration and Faculty Affairs, College of Health and Human Services
Crystal M Oechsle Assistant Teaching Professor, Forensic Biology, College of A&S
William (Bill) Mathis
Dean, College of Musical Arts
Simon Morgan‐Russell
Dean, Honors College
Eftychia Papanikolaou Musicology Coordinator and Graduate Student Advisor, College of Musical Arts
V. Jane Rosser Director, Center for Public Impact
Jennifer McCary Chief Diversity and Belonging Officer
Katie Stygles Resource Staff, Division of Diversity and Belonging
Patrick D. Pauken Vice Provost for Governance and Faculty Relations, Professor, EFLP School Director
Andrew (Andy) J. Kurtz
Dean, Associate Professor of English, Firelands Campus
Amy West Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Brand Strategy
Anne‐Margaret Swary Director of Marketing Strategy, Office of Marketing and Brand Strategy
Bill Balzer Professor (Psychology), Vice President, Faculty Affairs and Strategic Initiatives
Michael Ogawa Vice President for Research and Economic Engagement, Professor (Chemistry)
Trinka Messenheimer Professor and Director, School of Counseling and Special Education, College of Education and
Human Development
Glenn Davis Vice Provost for Academic Affairs; Undergraduate Council
Alexander Goberman Interim Dean, Graduate College, Professor (Communications)
Jodi Lambdin Devine Associate Dean, Honors College; Director, Honors Learning Community
Terence Armentano Assistant Director, Online and Summer Academic Programs
Dale Klopfer Associate Professor, Psychology, Dean, College of A&S
Betsy Winters Data Analytics Coordinator, Online and Summer Academic Programs
Donna Nelson‐Beene
Director of BGP (Gen Ed)/Provost Office Associate, Associate Professor (English)
Virginia Dubasik Associate Professor, Graduate Coordinator, College of Health and Human Services
Michael Zichar Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, College of A&S
PJ Mays Assistant Dean for Institutional Research and Institutional Effectiveness, Firelands Campus
Brigette Gibson Associate Director, Institutional Effectiveness
Dawn Shinew Dean, College of Education and Human Development
Tim E. Chambers Director, Undergraduate Student Development, Schmidthorst College of Business
Tricia Prokop Director of Student Affairs/Associate Clinical Professor, College of Health and Human Services
Jacob Clemens Advisor of SICSIC; Director, Marvin Center for Student Leadership
John Ellinger Chief Information Officer (Information Technology Services)
Jennifer McCary
Chief Diversity and Belonging Officer
Andy Alt Associate Vice Provost for Student Success and Life Design
Kristen Hidinger Instructional Designer, Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE)
Barbara Henry Assistant Vice President, Non‐Traditional and Military Students
Glenn Davis Vice Provost for Academic Affairs; Undergraduate Council
Kim Brooks Associate Director, Undergraduate Education
Jennie Gallimore Dean, College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering
Amy Morgan Professor, School of Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies, College of Education and Human Development
Oyebanjo Lajubutu Director, Office of Institutional Research
Scott Gross Assistant Teaching Professor, Department of Construction Management, College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering
Cecilia Castellano Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Outcomes
James McNally Pfundstein Teaching Professor, Classics, Undergraduate Advisor, College of A&S
Jessica Turos Director, Office of Academic Assessment
Christopher Frey Faculty Senate Chair, Professor College of Education and Human Development
James Ciesla Dean, College of Health and Human Services
Raymond Braun Dean, Schmidthorst College of Business
Richard Olin Menard Director of Operations and Strategy
Robyn G. Miller Associate Teaching Professor, College of Education and Human Development
Sharon L. Swartz
Director of Budgeting and Resource Planning  
Chris Kluse Assistant Professor, College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering  
Richard B. Anderson Associate Professor, Neural and Cognitive Sciences, Psychology, College of A&S
April Smucker Assistant Vice President, Capital Planning & Campus Operations