HLC Accreditation

The Institutional Actions Council (IAC) of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) acted to continue the accreditation of Bowling Green State University at its January 10th, 2023 meeting. The date of this action (January 10th) constitutes the effective date of the institution’s new status with HLC until the next reaffirmation of accreditation in 2032-2033.

To view the Statement of Accreditation Status, click here.

General Information About Accreditation and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

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.

What is Accreditation: Watch Here

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's next re-affirmation of accreditation visit by the Higher Learning Commission is set for 2032-2033

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)

As part of the reaffirmation of accreditation process, HLC will review BGSU's compliance with federal requirements -- specifically:

  1. Assignment of credits, program length and tuition
  2. Institutional records of student complaints
  3. Publication of transfer policies
  4. Practices for verification of student identity (online)
  5. Publication of student outcomes data
  6. Standing with state and other accrediting agencies

The Federal Compliance reviewer will determine how accurately BGSU meets applicable federal requirements. You may find an overview of the Federal Compliance review here. You may read more about Federal Compliance on HLC's website here

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, students 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.

Click on the Quality Initiative link in the left navigation for more information. 

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 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 re-affirmation of accreditation visit. The results are 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.

HLC Accreditation Criteria: A Deeper Review

HLC Accreditation Criteria 1 & 2

Mission + Integrity, Ethical and Responsible Conduct

Watch Here

HLC Accreditation Criteria 3 & 4

Teaching and Learning - Quality, Resources and Support + Evaluation and Improvement

Watch Here

HLC Accreditation Criterion 5

Institutional Effectiveness, Resources and Planning

Watch Here

Accreditation 101: Bridge Course Resource

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE) has developed a Bridge course intended to provide a global understanding of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)'s Accreditation Criteria and Evidence. It covers key accreditation topics, processes and pitfalls, serves to address frequently asked questions, and provides self-paced accreditation knowledge evaluation. A desired outcome for this course is that it equips learners with adequate accreditation proficiency should they choose to interface with the HLC reviewers during the visit. The course is subject to Single Sign On (SSO) access. Click and begin the course.

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Updated: 01/27/2023 02:17PM