YSU Quick Guide to Prepare for HLC Campus Visit

What is accreditation?

  • A process for assuring and advancing the quality of higher learning.
  • A requirement to be eligible for federal student financial aid and to provide educational programs for military students.
  • A designation that Youngstown State University has met accepted standards which also validates any requests for public or private support.

Who is Youngstown State University’s accreditor?

  • The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation that was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States.
  • Youngstown State has been accredited by the HLC since February 1, 1945.
  • Youngstown State last received 10‐year reaffirmation of accreditation on July 3, 2008.

What happens during reaffirmation of accreditation?
Youngstown State’s review will be carried out through the HLC Open Pathway process. This process includes regular monitoring, proposing and implementing a Quality Initiative, writing an evidence‐based Assurance Argument, and hosting a campus visit by a team of reviewers made up of faculty and staff from other universities.

  • Peer Review Team (PRT) arrives March 25.
  • PRT conducts interviews with the campus community March 26 ‐ 27.
  • PRT reports findings to Youngstown State several weeks after the visit.

What will occur during the HLC campus visit?
Five peer review team members will conduct interviews with a full range of campus community members including the president, provost and board of trustees, deans and department heads, faculty and students, staff, and many offices, as well as leaders in the city of Youngstown.

  • PRT will seek to validate the evidence that we have presented in the Assurance Argument and comments from the public provided to the team six weeks prior to the visit.
  • PRT will coordinate group interviews, observe classrooms or co‐curricular activities and visit various programs and departments to determine whether Youngstown State meets the standards for reaccreditation.
  • In addition to interviews, an open session for faculty and students is typically held during the visit. A schedule of the visit will be available at www.ysu.edu/accreditation upon release from HLC.

What am I expected to know in order to prepare for the HLC visit?

How can I contribute to a positive accreditation outcome?

  • Participate in one of the HLC Steering Committee’s focus sessions during the fall semester designed to provide information and solicit examples that support the Assurance Argument.
  • Attend scheduled sessions during the spring semester visit as necessary.
  • Answer questions from the review team candidly and thoughtfully during the visit. If you do not know an answer, there is no need to guess. It is okay to say “I don’t know.”

Federal Compliance

  • HLC is required by the U.S. Department of Education to assure that Youngstown State is complying with the expectations of specific regulations accreditors must enforce as a part of their federal recognition on Title IV program responsibilities.