In higher education, accreditation is recognition by a certified accrediting body that a college or university meets standards of performance and planning that students and the public can rely upon. In the United States, regional bodies, whose members are higher education institutions, award accreditation through a peer review process. For Ohio, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is the accrediting body. COTC has been accredited by the HLC since 1975.
The HLC reviews colleges and universities every 10 years to ensure that they continue to meet the criteria for accreditation. Accreditation affects many aspects of the college, including financial aid eligibility, course transfers, and the overall value of a degree. A team from the HLC will visit COTC on November 26 and 27, 2018, to evaluate whether the college continues to meet the requirements of accreditation.
Central Ohio Technical College’s journey toward institutional reaffirmation of accreditation began more than two years ago. Since that time, literally over one hundred faculty, staff and students across campus have been engaged in an inclusive effort to help prepare the college community for the HLC accreditation visit. A review team representing the HLC will come to campus and, based upon reading our Assurance Argument report and the team’s observations while on site, will determine the extent to which COTC meets expected standards for ongoing accreditation. In addition, HLC team members will provide suggestions for ways in which the college can improve its operations moving forward.
During the visit, the HLC team will likely meet with college leadership, the board, key individuals and groups, such as the faculty council and assessment committees, and those involved in preparing the Assurance Argument. Additionally, they will hold open forums for faculty, staff, and students. To prepare for the visit, all employees are encouraged to read the final Assurance Argument, available in the Resources section below. You will note that the links included in the Argument are not live, as they reference evidence items included in the Commission’s Assurance system. Additionally, the Briefing Document (also available in the Resources section below) includes Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and other pertinent information regarding the visit.
We are excited about the upcoming visit and believe it is an opportunity to showcase our people and their important work. As a college, we could not have arrived at this moment without the deep and sincere commitment to this initiative from so many colleagues. As reaffirmation leaders, we would like to acknowledge and thank each and every individual who took time to contribute to this important undertaking.
Dr. Jacqueline H. Parrill
Vice President for Institutional Planning and Human Resources
Dr. Lauri White
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Request for Public Comments