Frequently Ask Questions
1. What is accreditation?
Accreditation provides assurance that an institution has been found to meet, and will continue to meet, stated requirements and criteria. Accreditation also allows the institution to self-reflect towards continuous improvement.
Accreditation is the process whereby an outside organization certifies a college or university as meeting certain requirements of excellence. Accreditation is an important “stamp of approval.” Accredited colleges and universities have proven to their peers that they are deeply committed to educational quality and improvement.
2. What is the purpose of accreditation?
Only accredited institutions are eligible to receive federal funds for higher education, including student financial aid and research funds. Accreditation also ensures students the ability to transfer credits between accredited schools, and some graduate schools only accept students with degrees from accredited schools.
3. Why is attending an accredited college or university important?
There are many good reasons to attend an accredited institution. Here are a few of them:
- Quality education: accredited colleges and universities deliver high quality educational programs
- Financial aid: accredited schools receive federal student financial aid dollars
- Transfer: most schools will only accept transfer credits from an accredited school
- Graduate school: most graduate programs will only accept students with degrees from accredited schools
4. How long has the University of Toledo been accredited and when did UT last undergo accreditation?
The University of Toledo first earned accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association in 1922. Since that time, the University has maintained a history of accreditation and engagement with the HLC. Accreditation was continued in 1977, 1983, 1992, and 2002. The Medical College of Ohio first gained accreditation in 1972, with accreditation continued in 1986, 1991, and 2001.
5. What is the Higher Learning Commission and North Central Association?
The North Central Association is an organization of colleges and universities from nineteen states, including Ohio. The University of Toledo is a member of the North Central Association. The Higher Learning Commission is a division of the North Central Association, and it is the Higher Learning Commission that accredits the colleges and universities in the North Central Association. We often use the acronyms HLC and NCA.
6. Who accredits the University of Toledo?
UT is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
7. When is the HLC site visit?
The site visit will occur February 26 – 29, 2012.
8. What happens during the site visit?
During this visit, a team of consultants-evaluators representing HLC – all of whom are affiliated with an accredited college or university – will interview students, faculty, and staff; read and review documents and data; and tour the campus. The purpose of the visit is to validate the evidence and examples contained in the written self study report and to make recommendations to HLC concerning continued accreditation.
9. When does UT submit its official self study report?
The report will be submitted to HLC/NCA on December 23, 2011.
10. What are the HLC Criteria for Accreditation?
The Criteria for Accreditation are organized under five major headings:
- Criterion One: Mission and Integrity
The organization operates with integrity to ensure the fulfillment of its mission through structures and processes that involve the board, administration, faculty, staff, and students.
- Criterion Two: Preparing for the Future
The organization's allocation of resources and its processes for evaluation and planning demonstrate its capacity to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its education, and respond to future challenges and opportunities.
- Criterion Three: Student Learning and Effective Teaching
The organization provides evidence of student learning and teaching effectiveness that demonstrates it is fulfilling its educational mission.
- Criterion Four: Acquisition, Discovery, and Application
of Knowledge. The organization promotes a life of learning for its faculty, administration, staff, and students by fostering and supporting inquiry, creativity, practice, and social responsibility in ways consistent with its mission.
- Criterion Five: Engagement and Service
As called for by its mission, the organization identifies its constituencies and serves them in ways both value.
11. I know that UT is undergoing a self study as part of the accreditation process. What does this self study involve?
The self study is a process during which faculty, staff, and administrators take a very close look at the entire university, documenting its strengths and its challenges in a written report. Before the writing begins, self study team members attend campus meetings, interview people, collect research and data, and review important documents. The self study is a unique opportunities for the university to take stock of itself – celebrating its successes and discovering areas for continued improvement.
12. Does this self study affect the entire university?
Yes! All aspects of the university are represented in the self study. Although different colleges, programs, and departments may have their own accreditation cycles, this accreditation process is for the ENTIRE University of Toledo.
13. When will UT be notified of the results of the accreditation review by HLC/NCA?
We expect the final report from the HLC within 4-6 months after the site visit in February 2012.