HLC Reaccreditation


Students walking across campus

Bluffton earns 10-year Reaccreditation

Bluffton University has been reaccredited with no stipulations for 10 years by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The HLC is an independent corporation tasked with accrediting higher education institutions in six regions across the United States. Each institution must meet the five criteria of the HLC:

  1. Mission
  2. Integrity: ethical and responsible conduct
  3. Teaching and learning: quality, resources and support
  4. Teaching and learning: evaluation and improvement
  5. Resources, planning and institutional effectiveness.

Bluffton met the requirements without a need for any follow-up evaluations from the committee before the next accreditation visit during the 2028-29 academic year.

“Bluffton University’s successful HLC reaccreditation visit confirms not only the stable and secure foundation of the university, but strongly positions us to partner with businesses and the nonprofit community,” said Dr. Jane M. Wood, Bluffton University president. “We will innovate with new and existing academic programs and certificates that embrace the workforce and development opportunities within our local, regional and national footprint.”

Accreditation is important for higher education institutions because it allows students to receive financial aid, provides eligibility for students to apply for graduate and professional schools and allows the transfer of credits and degrees from other institutions. Bluffton University began its reaccreditation process in 2016 and welcomed the HLC committee to campus for an onsite visit in November 2018.

The campus community, led by Dr. Lamar Nisly, vice president of academic affairs, underwent months of planning and self-evaluation to produce an Assurance of Learning document, which contained specific evidence proving Bluffton University met all five requirements set forth by the HLC.

“These regular ten year reviews provide an opportunity for us to reflect on the ways that Bluffton’s mission uniquely shapes our students’ learning across campus,” said Nisly. “We are very pleased that the HLC affirmed the high quality and innovative education that Bluffton students experience.”

Though Nisly spearheaded this process, he credits the entire campus community for the overall outcome of the accreditation process stemming from the faculty and staff’s excellent ability to work together for a common goal.

“I believe Bluffton University is an institution that lives out its mission more than any other of which I’ve been a part,” said Wood. “This positive step in our journey only solidifies that belief.”

At Bluffton University, our sense of a greater purpose develops students of exceptional character and expansive vision. For nearly 120 years, we’ve been learning, experiencing and bettering the world together.

Located on a 65-acre residential campus in northwest Ohio and lined with abundant natural beauty, Bluffton University offers more than 80 majors, minors and programs for undergraduate students with nationally accredited programs in dietetics, education, music and social work. Bluffton also offers programs for working adults including degree-completion programs in accounting, organizational management and RN to BSN as well as graduate programs in business administration (MBA), education and organizational management.

Founded in 1899 and affiliated with Mennonite Church USA, the university has an enrollment of around 1,000 students and features 16 NCAA Division III athletic teams. Bluffton’s legacy is expressed in its enduring values of discovery, community, respect and service which are woven into the academic program and campus community. Bluffton graduates are prepared for life; 99 percent are employed, in graduate school or completing long-term service within six months of graduation.

Enduring Values