January 18, 2013

Higher Learning Commission Reaffirms Owens Community College Accreditation Through 2020

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, Ohio – Owens Community College has received notification from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association that the academic institution’s accreditation has been reaffirmed through 2020. Owens has been accredited continuously through the Higher Learning Commission since 1976.

“I am extremely proud of our campus community for their hard work and dedication in achieving continued accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission,” said Dr. Mike Bower, President of Owens Community College. “This honor acknowledges and affirms our longstanding educational commitment to serving our students and the surrounding communities through excellence, innovation and collaboration.”

Owens Community College maintains its accreditation status through the Academic Quality Improvement Program, which infuses the principles and benefits of continuous improvement into the culture of colleges and universities by providing an alternative process through which an already-accredited institution can maintain its accreditation. An institution in the Academic Quality Improvement Program demonstrates how it meets accreditation standards and expectations through a sequence of events which align with the ongoing activities of an institution striving for continuous quality improvement to enhance student success.

During the seven-year period, Owens engaged in a variety of Academic Quality Improvement Program processes, which included Strategy Forums, Annual Updates, Systems Portfolio Appraisals and visits to review U.S. Department of Education compliance issues. Additionally, an Academic Quality Improvement Program Review Panel examines the collective history of the institution’s interaction with the Higher Learning Commission to determine whether this evidence demonstrates compliance with the Criteria for Accreditation and Core Components. The Institutional Actions Council then takes action on the Review Panel’s recommendation regarding reaffirmation and continuing Academic Quality Improvement Program participation, which is followed by validation by the Higher Learning Commission Board of Trustees.

According to Thomas Perin, Owens Associate Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and Accreditation Liaison Officer, the Higher Learning Commission reviewers noted several times about how Owens Community College is a national leader in continuous quality improvement and the Academic Quality Improvement Program process.

“The campus community’s commitment, dedication, enthusiasm and innovation are the reasons that Owens Community College is able to achieve a status of excellence, not only through the reaffirmation of accreditation, but also with the Higher Learning Commission.”

Among the Academic Quality Improvement Program action projects Owens has engaged in during the last few years includes initiating a shared leadership model, student retention and assessment of student learning, among others.

The Higher Learning Commission is an independent corporation and one of two commission members of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, which was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. The Higher Learning Commission accredits, and thereby grants membership in the Commission and in the North Central Association, degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region. The Higher Learning Commission is the largest of six regional accreditors covering more than 19 states and over 1,000 academic institutions.

Owens Community College is an accredited two-year, state-assisted institution of higher education that has served Northwest Ohio since 1965. With a commitment to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability, the College serves the diverse academic needs of credit and non-credit students on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, as well as at the Arrowhead Park Learning Center in Maumee and the Learning Center at The Source in downtown Toledo. Owens offers associate degrees that transfer to baccalaureate degrees in the Arts and Sciences and over 130 technical program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health Sciences, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Skilled Trades, and Engineering and Transportation Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor’s degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university. For more information, visit www.owens.edu.