Jul 15, 2024  
2020-2021 Catalog 
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

About the University

Shawnee State University: Past and Present


Shawnee State University is a student-focused public university offering small class sizes, personal attention, more than 80 majors, and faculty members who are experts in their fields.  We pride ourselves on being a place where professors know their students by name, and where our students can make a name for themselves.

Our graduates go on to make a name themselves in the fields of education; medicine; fine, digital and performing arts; English and humanities; mathematical sciences; natural sciences; social sciences; business administration; industrial and engineering technologies; health services; and in many areas not yet imagined.

Located on the beautiful banks of the Ohio River in historic Portsmouth, Ohio, Shawnee State University is one of the fastest growing public universities.  Our enrollment has grown by more than 24 percent in the past three years with more than 4,700 students now attending SSU.  More than 1,000 of these students are living on campus in residential housing.

In addition to being the fastest growing university, we are also the youngest, established in 1986.  Shawnee State offers outstanding academic value in the state of Ohio, and beyond, with one of the lowest tuition rates in the state and excellent academic opportunity.

Our campus features modern educational facilities, including the Clark Memorial Library; the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts, featuring one of the finest theaters in the country; the James A. Rhodes Athletic Center, which serves as home to the SSU Bears; and the Clark Planetarium - the first planetarium in the United States equipped with the digital MediaGlobe system.  Our recently expanded University Center provides a central location for most student services and is the first joint construction project of the University and its students.

SSU’s Dr. Miller and Genevieve Toombs Children’s Learning Center provides an outstanding educational preparation for area preschool children and serves as a lab school for teacher education students at the University.

The SSU-SOMC Simulation Lab offers nursing students the opportunity to develop real-world critical thinking and life-saving skills in a virtual environment with the use of high-tech mannequins that breathe, have  heartbeats and vital signs and show symptoms.

Shawnee State has a rich tradition of success in athletics, competing in Division I in the Mid South Conference of the NAIA.  SSU’s women’s basketball team won the NAIA Division II National Championship in 1999 and has participated in more than 30 national championships.

Engaged in relationships with universities in Germany, China, Morocco, Spain, Chile, and Vietnam, SSU attracts a growing number of international students and provides opportunities for all students to travel and study abroad through its Center for International Programs and Activities (CIPA).


Mission Statement


Shawnee State University—the regional state university for Southern Ohio—prepares students for the changing needs of business, industry, education, and society through its diversified degree programs. Recognizing the importance of knowledge, values, and cultural enrichment, Shawnee State University is committed to providing higher education that fosters competence in oral and written communication, scientific and quantitative reasoning, and critical analysis/logical thinking. To enrich the lives of the community, the University provides opportunities for continuing personal and professional development, intellectual discovery, applied research, and appreciation for the creative and performing arts.

Goals and Priorities


Dedication to the region. The University’s primary focus is providing individuals in the region with the opportunity of a university education, offering baccalaureate and associate degrees in traditional academic fields, innovative interdisciplinary curricula, and technical and career-oriented programs. Shawnee State offers master’s degree programs in occupational therapy and education through its Graduate Center and provides the opportunity for other institutions to offer graduate programs on the Portsmouth campus. Although Shawnee State’s programs focus on the interests and needs of the southern Ohio region, increasing numbers of students from other areas of Ohio, the tri-state, and the nation are enrolling. Students are attracted by the quality and distinctiveness of the programs at SSU, the personal attention provided by faculty, and the academic value of a degree from Shawnee State.

Focus on excellence in teaching. Teaching and learning are Shawnee State’s most important functions. Service and scholarship, including creative activities and applied research, are essential parts of this function, especially as they inform teaching. Faculty are evaluated first and foremost on excellence in teaching and second on scholarship and/or service to the University and the community.

Dedication to motivating college attendance and graduation. Shawnee State University serves an ever-increasing number of traditional, nontraditional, and transfer students who find themselves competing for jobs and careers in a global technological society. Our vision is to increase the quality of life of people—through education.

Pledge to developing cooperative relationships. As a state university, SSU fulfills Ohio’s public service expectations by meeting state priorities, including the continuing education and training needs of business and industry. Shawnee State is, therefore, a willing partner in cooperative ventures with educational institutions and organizations that assist in developing the economic, educational, and cultural base of south central Ohio.

Commitment to increasing quality. Shawnee State University is committed to a process of quality improvement in its desire to serve the changing needs of society, its institutions, and agencies. That improvement is implemented at SSU in several ways: conducting required academic program reviews every five years, meeting the quality standards of professional accrediting agencies, conducting multiple assessments of student learning outcomes, utilizing selective degree program advisory groups of practicing professionals, surveying alumni and employers annually, and applying Total Quality Improvement principles in selected classrooms and student-serving offices.

The Strategic Plan


Theme: Teaching and Learning

Goal: To be widely recognized as an exemplary public university committed to student success and excellence in teaching and learning.


  1. Immersive Technology.
  2. Promote lifelong learning.
  3. Provide lifelong learning.
  4. Offer new academic programs.
  5. Proactively address state mandates.

Theme: Growth and Development

Goal: To assure the full development of the University through planned enrollment growth and wise investment in educational initiatives.


  1. Increase enrollment in undergraduate and graduate programs.
  2. Respond selectively to opportunities for growth and expansion of academic programs.
  3. Improve graduation and completion rates of students significantly.
  4. Improve institutional procedures through organizational change and continuous attention to student needs and human resource development.

Theme: Community

Goal: To increase opportunities for students, the campus community, and area residents by pursuing joint initiatives with the larger community and by cultivating a shared sense of purpose within the University.


  1. Develop student-friendly community.
  2. Enhance campus culture and appearance.
  3. Increase parent involvement and support.

Accreditations and Approvals


Shawnee State University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, 30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504, telephone (312) 263-0456 or (800) 621-7440. Graduates of the University are awarded master, baccalaureate, and associate degrees and certificates.

Shawnee State has been accepted to membership in the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) of the Higher Learning Commission. This method of accreditation emphasizes institutional improvement through continuous implementation of action projects, institutional self-assessments, and reporting through a systems portfolio that documents improvement. To learn more about the Higher Learning Commission or AQIP please visit the commision at https://hlcommission.org/

In addition, the institution or specific programs are accredited or approved by the following agencies:


Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing

3343 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 850
Atlanta, GA  30326

Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education

4720 Montgomery Lane
P.O. Box 31220
Bethesda, MD 20824-1220

American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation

211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC)

1248 Harwood Road
Bedford, TX 76021-4244

Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, American Physical Therapy Association

1111 North Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

25400 US Highway 19 North
Suite 158
Clearwater, FL  33763

Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE)

2201 Double Creek Drive, Suite 5006
Round Rock, TX 78664

Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology

20 North Wacker Drive, Suite 2850
Chicago, IL 60606-3182

National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences

8410 West Bryn Avenue, Suite 670
Chicago, IL 60631-3415

 Ohio Board of Nursing

17 South High Street, Suite 400
Columbus, OH 43215-3413

Ohio Board of Regents

25 South Front Street
Columbus, OH 43215

Ohio Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Medical Services (EMT-B and Paramedic Training Programs)

1970 West Broad Street
P.O. Box 182073
Columbus, OH 43218

State of Ohio, Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators

246 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43216

State of Ohio, Department of Education

65 South Front Street
Columbus, OH 43216-4183

State of Ohio, Department of Education, Division of Vocational Education

25 South Front Street
Columbus, OH 43215-4183

United States Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-0498
800.USA.LEARN (800.872.5327)