Hallmark Year for Ohio Christian University Accreditation

Ohio Christian University was visited March 29-31 by the Higher Learning Commission, which accredits all universities in Ohio. The visiting team gave OCU a glowing report. The team met with administrators, staff, trustees, and students along with alumni and community leaders. This is the third team to visit Ohio Christian University this year, with the Ohio Board of Regents recommending 10 years of reaccreditation and the national Teacher Education Accreditation Council recommending full accreditation approval of Ohio Christian University's Teacher Education program. Students can now complete a fully certified Teacher Education Program on campus.

The team enthusiastically recommended the approval of Ohio Christian University for 10 years of reaccreditation and applauded the University members for embracing the community in which it lives and serves.

HLC Team Comments

Criterion One: Mission and Integrity

  • Constituents at Ohio Christian University not only understand the mission; they embrace it.
  • There is an open culture which facilitates ownership and decision making.

Criterion Two: Preparing for the Future

  • The University has a strategic plan and follows it and has made bold strides to involve the community in planning and environmental scanning.
  • The plan is assessed frequently and is an important component of the culture.

Criterion Three: Student Learning and Effective Teaching

  • The team applauded the University for its robust plan of faculty development and highly consistent curriculum delivery processes.
  • The faculty were also applauded for a strong advising program and high evidence of learning that occurs with students.
  • The university was complimented for its remodeled learning spaces and the careful focus on student learning.
  • With regard to student life, administrators were praised for their commitment to spiritual life and the popularity of intramural activities.

Criterion Four: Acquisition, Discovery, and Application of Knowledge

  • The University was applauded for its value a life of learning through support for continuing education, professional development, conference attendance, endowed department chairs, and honors program.
  • The team was very impressed with the AIM adult program's integration of faith in all courses.
  • The University provides many opportunities for practical experience through Christian service, mission trips, and internships.

Criterion Five: Engagement and Service

  • The University received the highest praise in the area of engagement and service for a strong commitment to the community.
  • Other highlights included citations for Community Action Day, sharing of university talent and space with the community, and the involvement of University personnel on so many boards and committees in the community.
  • The team also highlighted responsiveness to community needs and cited the Logistics/Supply Chain Management curriculum, dual high school/college enrollment, and Kids on Campus initiatives.

Conclusion

The team chair concluded by saying that the team recommends 10 years of accreditation, with no HLC follow-up reports required, which is almost unheard of in the last decade. The team also gave final approval to the first Masters Degree and encouraged more Masters Programs. The team approved new locations for Ohio Christian University at four Southern State Community College sites, and additional online programs. The team chair indicated that in his 50 team visits, this was his most positive.

Dr. Mark A. Smith President of Ohio Christian said "This is a hallmark day for Ohio Christian University. We have been working extremely hard on new programming for the community and to offer an exceptional high-quality learning experience for students. Today outside peers affirmed our work. We are very thankful to God, University personnel, and the Pickaway community for helping us achieve this excellent status."