Mission, Identity, Core Values, and Vision of Ashland University


Ashland University

Founded in 1878, Ashland University is a private, comprehensive institution committed to challenging and supporting students intellectually, spiritually, socially, culturally and physically.

Located midway between Cleveland and Columbus off I-71, Ashland University is home to 2,400 full-time undergraduate students. Ninety-two percent of these students are from Ohio, while students also come from 42 other states and 37 countries. The University‘s total enrollment is 5,700 students, and this includes graduate programs in business, education and theology and the off- campus centers in Cleveland, Columbus, Mansfield, Massillon and Elyria.

In addition to its traditional undergraduate studies, AU offers alternative programs for adults and non-traditional students through the Founders School of Continuing Education. Degree completion, Associate degree, CEUs, and non-degree opportunities are available through a flexible format that includes online and evening classes. High school students can earn college credit at the University campus or at their high school with participating school districts under the College Credit Plus (Dual Enrollment) program. Complementing the undergraduate program is a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing; a Master of Arts in American History and Government; a Master of Arts in Corporate and Strategic Communication; a Master of Business Administration degree; a Master of Education degree; a Doctor of Nursing Practice; a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership; master’s degrees and a Doctor of Ministry degree through the Ashland Theological Seminary; an RN to BSN Track for registered nurses; and a Bachelor‘s Plus program for students with a non-education degree who want to teach.

Situated on a beautiful 135 acre campus with trees, brick walkways and flower gardens, the University‘s campus contains 44 modern buildings including a 110,000-square-foot Recreation and Rybolt Sport Sciences Center, Dwight Schar College of Education, Richard E. and Sandra J. Dauch College of Business and Economics, and a renovated Kettering Science Center. And the newly built Niss Athletic Center.

Ashland University takes great pride in its philosophy of "Accent on the Individual" and offers a learning environment in which students can expect personal attention from professors and staff who genuinely care about them and their development. Professors, not graduate assistants, teach the classes and labs.

The University features a strong academic reputation, offering more than 60 majors including toxicology, environmental science, hospitality management and digital media journalism, which are unusual for an institution this size. It also offers most traditional liberal arts majors as well as a wide range of majors in business and education. The education program, which offers pre-K through doctorate level courses, is one of the largest among independent and state institutions in Ohio. Academic programs are enhanced by an Honors Program and the John M. Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs.

Ashland University is proud of its involvement in small town life, which boasts friendly people, a pleasant atmosphere and a peaceful community – all important items in today's society. Security is a priority on the Ashland campus, and a well-lighted campus and an electronic security system in all residence halls illustrate that fact.

Ashland University is known for many things besides its academic programs, including:

  • the No.1 student activities programming in the region as awarded by the National Association for Activities.

  • a strong Division II athletic program featuring 20men‘s and women‘s sports.

Our Mission, Identity, Core Values, Vision Mission Statement

Ashland University, guided by our Christian heritage, is a comprehensive, private university that provides a transformative learning experience, shaping graduates who work, serve and lead with integrity in their local, national, and global communities.

Identity Statement

Ashland University is a nationally recognized comprehensive university founded in 1878 by the Brethren Church. The University promotes liberal arts and professional programs for undergraduate and graduate students. Rooted in Christian faith and an unwavering commitment toward accent on the individual, the University provides students an environment that promotes Ashland University's values and respect toward each person.

Core Values

In pursuing its mission, Ashland University has established a set of core values, which are:

  • Accent on the Individual: Pledges the best individual and collective efforts to challenge and encourage each member of the University within a supportive community.

  • Spirituality and Faith: Affirms Christian values as a core element of the University’s institutional identity, emphasizing faith in God, moral integrity, and respect for the diversity of values and faith that is found in a community of learning.

  • Character Development: Promotes integrity, self-discipline, responsibility, compassion, leadership, service, and good citizenship.

  • Academic Freedom: Supports free, open and critical inquiry for both students and faculty that is consistent with intellectual and professional development.

  • Excellence in Teaching: Emphasizes teaching supported by research and scholarship as the University's central responsibility.

Vision Statement

Ashland University aspires to a nationally-recognized private university where traditions of excellence are fostered and students discern their life calling and thrive.

Ashland University Student Learning Goals and Outcomes

1.   Intellectual Development

Students will analyze evidence, apply specialized knowledge, and think critically to solve problems. 

Pertaining to specialized knowledge acquired through education or experience students will be able to do one of the following:

  • Analyze a complex topic or issue by dividing it into its parts, identifying the parts and the relationship between them, and evaluating the quality of evidence used to support the topic/issue.

  • Synthesize issues, objects or works in original ways that result in informed conclusions or judgments. 

2.   Ethical Development

Students will apply principles of integrity and ethical decision-making to address real-world issues.

Students will be able to do one of the following:

  • Apply ethical perspectives/concepts to a real or hypothetical ethical question or issue.

  • Model integrity, honesty, and fairness in dealings with others and with confidential information.

3.   Civic Engagement

Students will apply knowledge, skills, and values in order to work, serve, and lead in their communities.

Students will be able to do one of the following:

  • Apply knowledge from academic disciplines and other institutional experiences to a campus community/civic/societal issue.

  • Articulate how to use one's knowledge and skills to contribute in civic, work, or leadership roles.

4.   Global Responsibilities and Intercultural Competence

Students will exhibit competence for constructive engagement within global and intercultural contexts.

Students will be able to do one of the following:

  • Analyze and explain the impact of culture and experience on one’s world view and behavior.

  • Recognize themselves and their culture through the perception of others.