Is OHSU an accredited institution?

  • Yes. Oregon Health & Science University abides by the standards and criteria of over 30 different accrediting and oversight bodies related to our mission and functional areas.
  • As a postsecondary educational institution, OHSU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), a regional accrediting body recognized  by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). 
  • OHSU has maintained continuous accreditation with NWCCU since 1980, earning reaffirmation of accreditation in its last ten-year full-scale accreditation review in 2005 and five-year interim accreditation review in 2010.

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What is regional institutional accreditation?

  • Regional accreditation of postsecondary institutions is a voluntary, non-governmental, self-regulatory process of quality assurance and institutional improvement.
  • It recognizes higher education institutions for performance, integrity, and quality to merit the confidence of the educational community and the public.
  • The focus of the NWCCU is on OHSU as an academic enterprise, and considers research and healthcare in the context of faculty productivity and student learning environments.

Why does OHSU value accreditation?

  • The process involves regular opportunities for self-reflection though the self-evaluation report (Self-Study) as well as external validation that our processes and activities meet the accreditation criteria and evaluation procedures.
  • Our program-level accreditations for all of our health profession programs require that the program be part of an accredited university.
  • Accreditation by a postsecondary regional accrediting agency qualifies institutions and enrolled students for access to federal funds to support teaching, research, and student financial aid.

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How often is OHSU evaluated?

  • The Five Standards for accreditation are reviewed within a seven year cycle beginning in 2011.

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What is the basis for evaluation?

  • Each standard articulates the expected quality and effectiveness for a given area, which is addressed during a different stage of the cycle.
    Standard One is addressed in year one
    - Standard Two in year three
    - Standard Three, Four and Five in year seven (2015).
  • The Five Standards are designed to guide institutions in a process of self-reflection that blends analysis and synthesis in a holistic examination of:
    - The institution's Mission and Core Themes (Standard One);
    - The translation of the Mission's Core Themes into assessable objectives supported by programs and services (Standard One);
    - The appraisal of the institution's potential to fulfill the Mission (Standard One);
    - The planning and implementation involved in achieving and assessing the desired outcomes of programs and services (Standards Two, Three and Four); and
    - An evaluation of the results of the institution's efforts to fulfill the Mission and assess its ability to monitor its environment, adapt, and sustain itself as a viable institution (Standard Five).

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What are OHSU's core themes?

  • OHSU has four core themes, developed by the Executive Vice Provost David Robinson with the Deans' Council and approved by President Joe Robertson. They blend the six goals of Vision 2020 as follows:
    • Interprofessional Education
    • Learning Environment
    • Clinical and Translational Research
    • Health System & Health Policy Leadership

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Is OHSU committed to these four themes forever?

  • The core themes provide a framework tied to the mission statement for reviewing each of the Five Standards and OHSU may adapt one or all of the core themes through the seven-year cycle and beyond.
  • The core themes foster an institution's ability to tailor the accreditation process to their specific needs. OHSU has core themes that are very different from other types of institutions.

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How does this process support continuous improvement?

  • The standards are interconnected and build upon each other in a recursive cycle of continuous improvement (Plan, Act, Do, Evaluate, Plan…)  
  • For that reason, as an institution focuses on a given standard(s) for its Self-Evaluation Report, it does so in light of the standard(s) that have already been addressed, with the result that the information and analysis of previously addressed standards may be updated, expanded, and modified to produce a cohesive report.

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