HLC Accreditation

HLC Affirms 10-Year Accreditation

The Higher Learning Commission has affirmed Youngstown State University’s accreditation through the year 2027. YSU’s last HLC site visit occurred in 2018.

YSU Earns Reaccreditation

HLC Accreditation acknowledges the importantance of institutional accreditation in validating the quality of an institution’s academic programs at all levels. Accreditation also validates the quality of the institution as a whole, including the soundness of its governance and administration, adherence to mission, the sustainability of its finances, and the sufficiency of its resources.

UPDATE: June 2022 - YSU successfully completed its HLC Year 4 Assurance Review with no recommended monitoring. HLC letter of completion


The resources provided here will illustrate how implementing the Strategic Plan to Take Charge of Our Future will align with and inform the mid- and 10-year reaccreditation visit in 2027.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an institutional accreditation agency that accredits degree-granting colleges and universities that are based in the United States.

Institutional accreditation validates the quality of an institution as a whole and evaluates multiple aspects of an institution, including its academic offerings, governance and administration, mission, finances, and resources. HLC’s accreditation includes all degree levels as well as onsite and online course delivery. Institutions of higher education in the United States may also seek accreditation through specialized or programmatic accreditation agencies, which accredit programs, departments, or schools within a college or university.

  • Criterion 3. Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support

    The institution provides quality education, wherever and however its offerings are delivered.

    Core Components

    • 3.A. The rigor of the institution’s academic offerings is appropriate to higher education.
      1. Courses and programs are current and require levels of student performance appropriate to the credential awarded.
      2. The institution articulates and differentiates learning goals for its undergraduate, graduate, post-baccalaureate, post-graduate and certificate programs.
      3. The institution’s program quality and learning goals are consistent across all modes of delivery and all locations (on the main campus, at additional locations, by distance delivery, as dual credit, through contractual or consortial arrangements, or any other modality).
    • 3.B. The institution offers programs that engage students in collecting, analyzing and communicating information; in mastering modes of intellectual inquiry or creative work; and in developing skills adaptable to changing environments.
      1. The general education program is appropriate to the mission, educational offerings and degree levels of the institution. The institution articulates the purposes, content and intended learning outcomes of its undergraduate general education requirements.
      2. The program of general education is grounded in a philosophy or framework developed by the institution or adopted from an established framework. It imparts broad knowledge and intellectual concepts to students and develops skills and attitudes that the institution believes every college-educated person should possess.
      3. The education offered by the institution recognizes the human and cultural diversity and provides students with growth opportunities and lifelong skills to live and work in a multicultural world.
      4. The faculty and students contribute to scholarship, creative work and the discovery of knowledge to the extent appropriate to their offerings and the institution’s mission.
    • 3.C. The institution has the faculty and staff needed for effective, high-quality programs and student services.
      1. The institution strives to ensure that the overall composition of its faculty and staff reflects human diversity as appropriate within its mission and for the constituencies it serves.
      2. The institution has sufficient numbers and continuity of faculty members to carry out both the classroom and the non-classroom roles of faculty, including oversight of the curriculum and expectations for student performance, assessment of student learning, and establishment of academic credentials for instructional staff.
      3. All instructors are appropriately qualified, including those in dual credit, contractual and consortial offerings.
      4. Instructors are evaluated regularly in accordance with established institutional policies and procedures.
      5. The institution has processes and resources for assuring that instructors are current in their disciplines and adept in their teaching roles; it supports their professional development.
      6. Instructors are accessible for student inquiry.
      7. Staff members providing student support services, such as tutoring, financial aid advising, academic advising and cocurricular activities, are appropriately qualified, trained and supported in their professional development.
    • 3.D. The institution provides support for student learning and resources for effective teaching.
      1. The institution provides student support services suited to the needs of its student populations.
      2. The institution provides for learning support and preparatory instruction to address the academic needs of its students. It has a process for directing entering students to courses and programs for which the students are adequately prepared.
      3. The institution provides academic advising suited to its offerings and the needs of its students.
      4. The institution provides to students and instructors the infrastructure and resources necessary to support effective teaching and learning (technological infrastructure, scientific laboratories, libraries, performance spaces, clinical practice sites and museum collections, as appropriate to the institution’s offerings).

At YSU, our mission emphasizes a student-centered approach to lifelong learning, academic distinction, discovery of knowledge and impact within the region. It's the core of everything that we as Penguins do in the classroom, on campus, in the community and beyond. But what does this really mean, and how does it apply to how we function as a campus community year after year?

We have identified three key and overarching themes that illustrate the YSU Mission Statement. Click on those buttons to link to real life stories that show our accomplishments in that particular area. These stories reflect who we are and where we’re going as a university. We hope they help all Penguins to better understand and more actively carry out our mission.

An Institution of Opportunity: YSU inspires individuals, enhances futures, and enriches lives.

Strategic Planning venn diagram showing the intersection of student futures and life long learnnig, academic distinction and discovery of knowledge and collective impact within the region.

Living Our Mission

YSU Mission Statement

As a student-centered university, Youngstown State University’s mission is to provide innovative lifelong learning opportunities that will inspire individuals, enhance futures and enrich lives. YSU inspires individuals by cultivating a curiosity for life-long learning; enhances the futures of our students by empowering them to discover, disseminate and apply their knowledge; and enriches the region by fostering collaboration and the advancement of civic, scientific, and technological development. YSU’s culture of enrichment flourishes in our diverse, accessible, and quality education.

2021-2022 Year 4 Assurance Review

Submitted June 2022

Final Documents:

pdf logo President Tressel's submission letter

pdf logo YSU Assurance Argument

pdf logo YSU BOT resolution passed June 3, 2022