Institutional Accreditation Archive

Historical information regarding institutional accreditation

Kent State University gained accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) in January of 1915. Through HLC there are multiple accreditation paths, KSU chose to enrolled in the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) in the year 2000. Every four years, each institution enrolled in AQIP underwent a Systems Appraisal to review compliance with standards of accreditation. The Systems Appraisal was an opportunity to get expert, objective, and third party feedback from HLC on the university’s strengths and opportunities for improvement. Throughout the fifteen years that Kent State was enrolled in AQIP (2000 - 2015), three cycles of the Systems Appraisal process occurred, the first in 2005, again in 2009, and the last in 2013. In 2015 the University entered into a new accreditation pathway with HLC called the Open Pathway

Participation in AQIP required member universities to participate in or develop the following:

  1. Strategy Forums - workshops that provide a supportive, peer review process that allows the university to select meaningful Action Projects that will enhance institutional quality;

  2. Action Projects - initiatives that improve quality by directly impacting the university's ability to help students learn (3-4 must take place simultaneously);

  3. Action Project Progress Reports - progress reports are submitted to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) annually to report progress based on goals and measures, challenges encountered, and any notable accomplishments.

  4. Systems Portfolio - an institutional self-study highlighting the university's efforts to accomplish the mission of the university, using the nine AQIP categories;

  5. Systems Appraisal - produced by a team of external reviewers, the Systems Appraisal is a feedback report that identifies strengths and opportunities for improvement within the Systems Portfolio; and

  6. Quality Check-Up (Site Visit) - a site visit by trained evaluators seeking to confirm the accuracy of the Systems Portfolio, evaluate the strategies identified to address each Action Project, ensure a commitment to continuous quality improvement, and affirm that the institution complies with accreditation expectations set forth by the HLC.

Below is information on each of the HLC System Appraisal Processes and the Action Projects that were completed as a part of the process.