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HLC 2022 Visit Info

2022 Reaffirmation of Accreditation Visit on Feb. 28 & Mar. 1, 2022

Student, Faculty, and Staff should check their OCU emails for in-person and Zoom information about the Open Forums and Drop-In Sessions on the schedule below. If you have received an invitation to a specific meeting with our HLC Visiting Team, please make it a priority to attend. The active participation of our campus community is needed for the effective evaluation of OCU.

Monday, February 28

TimeEventAdditional Event (if applicable)
8:00-8:25President Evans & Cabinet
(AD 150)
8:30-9:20Assurance Process Steering Committee
(AD 150)
HLC Team Leader & President Evans
(President's Office)
9:30-10:20Enrollment & Financial Planning Focus Area
(AD 150)
10:30-11:20Comprehensive & Systematic Use of Data Focus Area
(AD 150)
12:00-1:30Board of Trustees Luncheon
(AD 150)
1:45-2:45Criteria 1 & 2 Open Forum
(Great Hall)
Check your OCU email for info.
Assessment Council & General Education Committee
(SSM 100)
3:00-4:00Criterion 5 & the Future Open Forum
(Great Hall)
Check your OCU email for info.
Criteria 3 & 4 Open Forum
(SSM 100)
Check your OCU email for info.
4:15-5:15Drop-In Session
(LIB 214 - CETL Classroom)
Check your OCU email for info.
Campus Tour

Tuesday, March 1

TimeEventAdditional Event (if applicable)
8:00-8:50Drop-In Session
(LIB 214 - CETL Classroom)
Check your OCU email for info.
Chief Financial Officer & Vice President of Enrollment Management
(AD 150)
9:00-9:50Provost & Deans
(AD 150)
10:00-10:50Enrollment Management & Student Retention Committee
(Great Hall)
11:15-11:40HLC Team Meeting
(Work Room & Zoom)
11:45-12:00Exit Meeting with President Evans
(AD 150)

Frequently Asked Questions & Visit Preparation Info Session Video

When is our Reaffirmation of Accreditation visit?

      • The visit is scheduled for Feb. 28 - Mar. 1. The HLC visiting peer review team will arrive on Sunday evening, conduct focused meetings and open forums on Monday and Tuesday morning, and meet with President Evans prior to departure.

    What will happen during the visit?

        • The HLC peer review team members will meet with administrators, faculty, staff, students, the Board of Trustees, alumni, and possibly community members in scheduled meetings and open forums. Two of the reviewers will be in-person, and the other three will be joining OCU virtually. The team will be seeking verification and clarification of what we submitted to them in our Assurance Argument. They will also be reviewing some of our policies, handbooks, catalogs, and other documents.

      What is the Assurance Argument, and where can it be found?

          • The Assurance Argument is a 35,000-word narrative describing how OCU supports all five Criteria for Accreditation. It also contains files and links to supporting evidence within an online assurance system. To read the Assurance Argument narrative, click here.

        Will the HLC visiting peer review team members come to my office or just be walking around? Will they have free rein of campus? Will they interrupt my class?

            • The HLC visiting team members will not interrupt classes. They will be walking around campus to look at our wonderful facilities and meet our faculty, staff, and students. The team members will not be disruptive. They will be hosting drop-in meetings for you to “drop-in” and visit them. These opportunities will be publicized to the campus via this webpage and other internal communications.

          Will remote workers be less likely to be approached?

              • Due to the pandemic, only two HLC visiting team members will join us in-person. The others will join us virtually. Therefore, there will be opportunities for remote faculty, staff, and students to participate in the visit.

            Is OCU expecting to hear about specific opportunities to demonstrate continuous improvement? Do we have a game plan to address them?

                • We encourage everyone to read our Assurance Argument where we talk about some of our opportunities for improvement, why they are still opportunities and not accomplishments, and how we plan to address them. Continuing to create and implement a robust, meaningful, and systemic assessment program is one of those areas. We have made great strides only to have made slower progress than originally anticipated the past couple of years.

              What mitigation processes are in place for the visit? Did we get to address the pandemic, turnover, shifts in our delivery of education?

                  • Although the pandemic was addressed in the Assurance Argument, it focuses primarily on “normal” practices. We were able to mention challenges with staff and administration turnover.

                How many schools are accredited by HLC?

                  What were the outcomes of our previous Reaffirmation of Accreditation visits? What were some of the concerns?

                      • 20 years ago – We were told our First Year Experience needed attention. We had a focus visit to check on our improvements.
                      • 10 years ago – We needed to better connect our budget with enrollment management. We submitted an interim report to provide an update on our improvements.

                    On the HLC website, there are two different “pathways for reaffirmation of accreditation.” Which one is OCU taking?

                        • OCU is on the “Standard Pathway.” This includes regular monitoring, a year-4 comprehensive evaluation, and a year-10 comprehensive evaluation for reaffirmation which includes a federal compliance review and visit.

                      What should all OCU administrators, faculty, staff, and students do to prepare for the visit?

                          • Be aware of the HLC Criteria for Accreditation, especially in the areas that pertain to where you work or are involved.
                          • Read the Assurance Argument and review the HLC Criterion Snapshot Summaries provided below, especially in the areas that pertain to where you work or are involved.
                          • Be prepared to describe your participation in the accreditation process. (e.g. completed a survey, attended a forum, reviewed the website documents, etc.)
                          • Be familiar with OCU’s Strategic Plan and its four primary initiatives.
                          • Know the OCU Mission Statement core and how it relates to your work and OCU experience.
                          • Be familiar with your own department’s assessment and evaluation processes.
                          • Reflect on how you are involved with OCU’s decision-making and shared governance.

                        What kinds of questions might I be asked by Peer Reviewers during the visit?

                          • Click here to see a list of questions that might be asked of Faculty.
                          • Click here to see a list of questions that might be asked of Staff.
                          • Click here to see a list of questions that might be asked of Students.
                          • Click here to see a list of questions that might be asked of Trustees.

                        What do I need to do during the visit?

                            • If you are asked to attend a meeting or forum, please make every effort to attend and participate in a constructive way.
                            • If you are approached for a conversation by one of the Peer Review team members, be ready to speak about your OCU experience and the ways we strive to achieve our mission and strategic initiatives.

                            Want to know more? Watch one of our HLC Info Sessions conducted on Jan. 21, 2022, with several OCU faculty.

                          OCU's Assurance Argument Snapshots for HLC's 5 Criteria for Accreditation

                          OCU Videos for HLC's 5 Criteria for Accreditation

                          HLC 2022 Reaffirmation of Accreditation Overview

                          Criterion #1: Mission

                          Criterion #2: Integrity - Ethical and Responsible Conduct

                          Criterion #3: Teaching and Learning - Quality, Resources, and Support

                          Criterion #4: Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement

                          Criterion #5: institutional Effectiveness, Resources and Planning


                          OCU Star Beat Podcasts for HLC's 5 Criteria for Accreditation

                          Dr. Adam Ryburn of the OCU Higher Learning Commission Steering Committee starts off this OCU HLC series talking with us about what HLC accreditation means, our upcoming reaffirmation of accreditation visit on Feb. 28th and March 1st, and how we can help.

                          Dr. Ryburn joins us again in this OCU HLC series letting us know about the five criteria HLC is looking for when reaffirming OCU’s accreditation. Criterion 1 is all about MISSION. Listen to better understand what this is and how OCU supports it.

                          Dr. Ryburn joins us in episode 3 of our OCU HLC series discussing HLC’s Criterion 2 – Integrity: Ethical and Responsible Conduct. Listen to better understand what this is and how OCU supports it.

                          Dr. Ryburn joins us in episode 4 of our OCU HLC series discussing HLC’s Criterion 3 – Teaching and Learning: Quality, Resources, and Support. Listen to better understand what this is and how OCU supports it.

                          Dr. Ryburn joins us in episode 5 of our OCU HLC series discussing HLC’s Criterion 4 – Teaching and Learning: Evaluation and Improvement. Listen to better understand what this is and how OCU supports it.

                          Dr. Ryburn joins us in the final episode of our OCU HLC series discussing HLC’s Criterion 5 – Institutional Effectiveness, Resources and Planning. Listen to better understand what this is and how OCU supports it.


                          Want to add the following virtual backgrounds to your Zoom while meeting with HLC? Right-click and save one or more of the images or click here to download a packet (.zip) of Zoom backgrounds.

                          Our 2022 Reaffirmation of Accreditation culminates with a visit from our peer reviewers on Feb. 28 and Mar. 1, 2022. Some of the activities and opportunities that have occurred up to the visit are listed below:

                          Nov. 1-10: HLC Student Survey Open to All OCU Current Students

                          Jan. 14: Student Support Services Information Session

                          Jan. 21: Faculty Information Session

                          Feb. 4: Student Information Session

                          Feb. 11: Faculty, Staff, and Student Information Session

                          Feb. 18: President's Cabinet Information Session

                          Feb. 25: Visit Preparation Sessions (as needed): Board of Trustees, Finance, Enrollment

                          Feb. 28: Visit Day One

                          Mar. 1: Visit Day Two