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Designing Our Future in the 21st Century: The Centennial Strategic Plan of Youngstown State University

Mission Statement

Youngstown State University, an urban research university, emphasizes a creative, integrated approach to education, scholarship, and service. The University places students at its center; leads in the discovery, dissemination, and application of knowledge; advances civic, scientific, and technological development; and fosters collaboration to enrich the region and the world.

The University

  • Creates diverse educational experiences that develop ethical, intellectually curious students who are invested in their communities;
  • Provides access to a broad range of undergraduate programs;
  • Offers graduate programs in selected areas of excellence, including those that meet the needs of the region;
  • Supports economic development through applied learning and research;
  • Integrates teaching and learning, scholarship, and civic engagement;
  • Fosters understanding of diversity, sustainability, and global perspectives; and
  • Advances the intellectual and cultural life of the city, region, and world.

Core Values

We—the faculty, staff, administrators, and students of Youngstown State University—hold the following values essential to achieving the University’s mission:

Centrality of Students

We are a student-centered institution committed to the education, development, well-being, and success of students of all ages and from all walks of life. In concert with our mission to help students grow intellectually, we strive to foster their personal, social, emotional, and career growth, as well as their capacities for lifelong learning, civic responsibility, and leadership.

Excellence and Innovation

We value excellence and innovation inside the classroom and out. Thus, we strive to:

  • integrate curricular and co-curricular activities to offer outstanding academic programs;
  • to foster intellectual inquiry, ex­ploration, and discovery to transcend traditional boundaries;
  • to apply and perfect knowledge to encourage creativity;
  • to provide effective tools, technologies, and facilities for learning; and
  • to excel in research and scholarly activity, including the “scholarship of teaching and learning,” an area of research that explores how individuals teach and learn.

Integrity/Human Dignity

As a campus community, we expect all conduct to be rooted in integrity, mutual respect, and civility.

  • We value ethical behavior in scholarly and other endeavors;
  • believe in the dignity and worth of all people;
  • strive to foster an appreciation of, and respect for, differences among the human race; and
  • celebrate the diversity that enriches the University and the world.

Collegiality and Public Engagement

As scholar-citizens of many extended and intercon­nected communities, we pledge to:

  • work collegially and cooperatively to enrich the cultural envi­ronment;
  • establish productive partnerships;
  • provide responsible leadership;
  • address community and workforce needs;
  • foster sustainability; and
  • bring about the greater good of the collective whole be it the Univer­sity, the city of Youngstown, the state of Ohio, the region, or beyond.

Vision Statement

Youngstown State University will become a national model for university-community engagement that enhances teaching and learning, student and faculty research, and community well-being. The University will expand its regionally focused mission to include national and international emphases, while working with other colleges and universities, business and industry, and the K-12 community to stimulate the economic, technological, and cultural rebirth of Ohio.

This vision will be supported by:

  • Leading scholars and practitioners using multidisciplinary approaches to address societal challenges;
  • Engagement of undergraduate and graduate students in research;
  • Strategic development of undergraduate and graduate programs;
  • Curricular and co-curricular integration of professional and liberal education, problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication skills;
  • An emphasis on applied learning and community engagement; and
  • Respect for the deep and rich diversity of the communities we serve.

YSU 2020: The Four Cornerstones

YSU 2020: The Strategic Plan of Youngstown State University 2011-2020, adopted by the YSU Board of Trustees in December 2010, is based on four critical guideposts or “cornerstones”:

Accountability and Sustainability

Accountability and sustainability entail aligning the University’s resources and investments to meet broad strategic goals and maintain institutional vitality.

Student Success

Student success is defined as “academic achievement, satisfaction, and productive post-college performance.”

Urban Research University Transition

Youngstown State University contributes to the development and application of knowledge for the betterment of students and, thus, the communities in which they live and work. The University strives to improve the quality of life in the region and is the primary link to the global community. As an urban research university, YSU is guided by three core principles:              

  • Faculty research and scholarship are integrated into teaching and learning to improve graduate and undergraduate student experiences;
  • YSU answers important questions and solves real problems by sharing information, expertise, and resources with the community;
  • YSU invests in research, academic, and other programs that enrich the intellectual, cultural, and economic life of the community.

Regional Engagement

Regional engagement refers to activities that enhance the quality of life, well-being, and economic development of communities in and around Youngstown and the surrounding region. YSU has a positive impact on the region through active mutual engagement, not merely by existence.

The YSU 2020 document and related web pages are available at


Youngstown State University traces its beginnings to a commercial law course offered by the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in 1908. The YMCA had offered high school level and vocational courses since 1888, but wanted to meet the college-level needs of area residents in a society undergoing rapid industrialization and urbanization. The “Y” offered courses on law, business, and engineering, and in 1910 even instituted a School of Law that granted no degree but prepared students to take the bar exam. In 1916, the YMCA incorporated all of its educational work under the Youngstown Association School.

By the early 1920s, the Ohio Board of Education granted the School of Law the power to confer the Bachelor of Science in Law degree and in 1924 the School of Commerce and Finance the right to confer the bachelor’s degree in commercial science. The YMCA also offered courses to prepare teachers for certification, a program that evolved by 1927 into a separate school named Youngstown College and recognized by the State Department of Education. Throughout the 1920s, the schools of law and commercial science were called the Youngstown Institute of Technology, which began a move from downtown to the present location with the purchase of several mansions owned by the Wicks. 

In 1931, the YMCA constructed its first building, the present-day Jones Hall, and appointed Howard Jones as the educational director. By the mid-1930s, the Board of Directors decided to incorporate with the official name of Youngstown College separate from the other “Y” educational efforts; they appointed Howard Jones as the first president, a position he held until 1966.

In 1944, the trustees of the Young Men’s Christian Association transferred control of the institution to the members of the Corporation of Youngstown College, and in 1955 the corporation was rechartered as The Youngstown University. The University joined the Ohio system of higher education in September 1967 as Youngstown State University.

Dana’s Musical Institute, founded in nearby Warren in 1869, became Dana's Musical Institute of Youngstown College in 1941. In 1946, the Engineering Department, organized several years before, became the William Rayen School of Engineering; two years later, the Business Administration Department became the School of Business Administration; and in 1981 the school name was changed to the Warren P. Williamson, Jr. School of Business Administration. In 1960, the Education Department became the School of Education.

The Graduate School and College of Applied Science and Technology were created in 1968, and in 1974 the College of Creative Arts and Communication was established.

In 1972, Youngstown State University with the University of Akron and Kent State University formed a consortium to sponsor the Northeastern Universities College of Medicine, which enrolled its first students in 1975.

In 1991, the engineering technology departments separated from CAST and joined the new College of Engineering and Technology; the remaining departments formed the new College of Health and Human Services.

In 2007, the Rayen College of Engineering and Technology incorporated the science and mathematics departments from the College of Arts and Sciences. This reorganization linked science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in one academic college, and the humanities and social sciences in another college.

Youngstown State University now consists of the College of Graduate Studies and six undergraduate colleges:

  • the Beeghly College of Education;
  • the Bitonte College of Health and Human Services;
  • the College of Creative Arts and Communication;
  • the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences;
  • the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and;
  • the Williamson College of Business Administration.

Degrees offered range from the associate, bachelor’s, master’s and educational specialist to a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, a Doctor of Physical Therapy, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering.


Youngstown State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) (telephone: (312) 263-0456 or (800) 621-7440). The HLC is an independent corporation that was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. Please write to if you have any questions.

Academic programs may be further accredited by their respective professional bodies. Those accreditations are listed in the program descriptions.


The Youngstown State University Office of Assessment coordinates and supports assessment activities across campus, including academic, co-curricular, and general education program student learning assessment. We support the accreditation standards of the Higher Learning Commission by assisting faculty and staff in systematic, comprehensive assessment and improvement of student learning. The Youngstown State University Mission and 2020 Strategic Plan guides our work in building a positive culture of assessment, using data responsibly to improve institutional practice, and using assessment to support and promote student success. A systematic feedback loop also enables both academic and co-curricular units to share information about student learning with students, faculty, staff, and appropriate organizations. All information is shared in aggregate form only, and confidentiality of individual students is safeguarded. If assessment information is shared beyond internal efforts of program improvement or accreditation, departments and the Office of Assessment abide by the Institutional Review Board guidelines at YSU and FERPA regulations, as appropriate.

Office of Assessment

Degrees Granted

YSU grants the degrees of:

  • Doctor of Education,
  • Doctor of Philosophy,
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy,
  • Educational Specialist,
  • Master of Accountancy,
  • Master of Arts,
  • Master of Athletic Training,
  • Master of Business Administration,
  • Master of Computing and Information Systems,
  • Master of Education in Intervention Services,
  • Master of Fine Arts,
  • Master of Health and Human Services,
  • Master of Music,
  • Master of Public Health,
  • Master of Respiratory Care,
  • Master of Science,
  • Master of Science in Education,
  • Master of Science in Engineering,
  • Master of Science in Nursing,
  • Master of Social Work,
  • Bachelor of Arts,
  • Bachelor of Engineering,
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts,
  • Bachelor of General Studies,
  • Bachelor of Music,
  • Bachelor of Science,
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Science,
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration,
  • Bachelor of Science in Education,
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
  • Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care, and
  • Bachelor of Social Work.

A broad selection of two-year programs leads to the degrees of:

  • Associate of Arts,
  • Associate of Applied Science,
  • Associate of Labor Studies, and
  • Associate of Technical Study.

Division of Multicultural Affairs

The Division of Multicultural Affairs reports to the President and is charged with the day-to-day implementation of diversity, inclusion and multicultural affairs.

The major responsibilities of Multicultural Affairs are to educate the University and the community regarding diversity, multicultural affairs and related issues as well as supporting and encouraging diversity initiatives.  The division also conducts educational outreach programs and training in the areas of diversity and multicultural affairs.

We believe that a vibrant and diverse institutional climate is essential to providing effective delivery of services and instruction to diverse groups and in preparing them for a diverse and global society.  YSU embraces a broad definition of diversity that is comprised of, but is not limited to, differences in cultural, social, economic, racial and ethnic origin, gender, religion, rural and urban communities, geographic origins, academic backgrounds, age, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, ability or disability, physical appearance, personality, learning style, personal experiences, multilingual abilities, and veteran status.  This diversity creates a richness that enhances the campus climate.

Chief Diversity Officer:

Works in partnership with the University President and senior leadership in advancing diversity and multicultural competence that will foster inclusion and cultivate diverse multicultural interactions among administrators, faculty, staff, students and the region.

Mission of Division of Multicultural Affairs

  • Create a Culture of Community.
  • Cultivate an environment that is inclusive.
  • Educate the university community on the importance of diversity in our teaching and learning, curriculum, assessment, climate, environment, advising and student success, and campus-community connection.
  • Collaborate with University departments and community businesses, organizations, agencies, etc. as a resource in developing diversity programs and activities that promote a better understanding of the diverse nature of the region.
  • Administrates the daily operations of the Multicultural Center.

Multicultural Center

The Multicultural Center accommodates the staff of the combined offices:  Division of Multicultural Affairs (DMA) and the International Programs Office (IPO), the International and Community Liaison, and Interfaith Meditation Rooms.  The Multicultural Center speaks to the university's commitment to value and serve all people through inclusive practices within the campus community and beyond.

Mission of the Multicultural Center

  • Provide an inclusive environment for all (students, staff/faculty and administrators and visitors).
  • Encourage and facilitate meaningful interaction through conversation, meetings, projects, coffee hour, etc.
  • Increase cultural awareness between diverse American and International students, faculty, and staff.

For more information, visit our website Division of Multicultural Affairs

Office of Equal Opportunity and Policy Development

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Policy Development oversees the University’s compliance with non-discrimination and affirmative action requirements, reviews and develops University policies, provides information and training in the area of discrimination and harassment, and investigates complaints involving discrimination or harassment.  The Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Policy Development serves as the University’s Title IX Coordinator and oversees the investigation and disposition of student complaints of sexual harassment, including complaints involving sexual violence.

While the primary responsibility of overseeing the University’s compliance with non-discrimination and affirmative action requirements has been delegated to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Policy Development, the entire University community plays an integral part in the prevention of discrimination and the realization of the objectives of equal opportunity and diversity by treating each other with dignity and respect at all times.

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Policy Development/Title IX Coordinator is located in Tod Hall, Room 301, telephone (330) 941-2216. The University uses all normal means of communication to make known its policies of equal opportunity and affirmative action.

For more information, visit our website Office of Equal Opportunity and Policy Development .