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Hunter College and Accreditation

Recent Reaccreditation Activity

Hunter prepared its last Self-Study between 2017 and 2019.  Following the campus visit from Middle States (April 14-17, 2019), the Visiting Team filed its report in May, 2019.  The Team Report was quite positive, but the Middle States Commission will provide official notification on reaccreditation in November, 2019.

Membership of the Hunter College Middle States Steering Committee, which was responsible for preparing the Self-Study:

  • Committee Co-Chairs: Prof. Partha Deb, Asst. Vice-President Shannon Salinas, Assoc. Provost Jim Llana
  • Workgroup Co-Chairs:
  • Standard I:  Prof. Charles Tien, Asst. Dean Kevin Nesbitt
  • Standard II:  Dean John Rose, Prof. Konstantino Krampis
  • Standard III: Prof. Michael Steiper, Senior Assoc. Dean Angela Haddad
  • Standard IV:  Prof. Sarah Ward, Asst. Dean Brian Maasjo
  • Standard V:  Prof. Wendy Hayden, Assoc. Provost Jim Llana
  • Standard VI:  Prof. Randy Filer, Dean Andy Silver
  • Standard VII:  Prof. Joseph Lao, Director Malkie Schwartz

Reaccreditation in 2009 and 2014

The College completed the previous Self-Study in 2009; the Middle States Commission reaffirmed accreditation at that time but required a follow-up report due in 2011 to report on the development of a strategic plan with related goals, planning processes, and measures of institutional effectiveness. The Commission again reaffirmed Hunter’s accreditation in 2014 following the submission of the Periodic Review Report. While praising the quality of the report, Middle States urged Hunter to update its assessment plan and to demonstrate student achievement of programmatic learning outcomes and the use of assessment information to improve teaching and learning.

Looking Ahead

Under the new Middle States procedures, Hunter will update information and in some cases provide new information to Middle States as part of an “Annual Institutional Update” each spring.  The Update provides the opportunity to respond to questions and to recommendations from Middle States following Self-Study.

In 2024 there will be a “Mid-Point Peer Review” (MPPR), conducted half-way between Self-Study evaluations and based on our Annual Institutional Updates to that point; peer reviewers will look at trends for financials and student achievement data as well as other information provided annually by Hunter to the Commission.  The reviewers will assess progress relative to any Commission recommendations and determine if anything in the trend data suggests an institution may not continue to meet accreditation standards and “requirements of affiliation.”  Other than regular additions to the Annual Institutional Updates, we are not required to provide additional information for the MPPR.

For the immediate future, we are implementing the following recommendations that emerged from our Self-Study process:

Strengthen Coordination for All In East Harlem.
All in East Harlem (AIEH) is a signature program at Hunter and has grown dramatically since launching a few years ago. It touches upon all our strategic priorities, so it is essential that strong infrastructure is in place to support it. We will take steps to better coordinate AIEH activities, ensuring that we maximize the benefits of interdisciplinary work, maintain meaningful relationships with community partners, increase student placements, encourage applied research, and disseminate what we learn.

Develop and Implement “Hunter 311.” We will develop a central service center to receive and respond to non-emergency calls, texts and emails regarding issues related to facilities, technology, public safety, environmental health and safety and general student service needs.

Create a Presidential Task Force on Part-Time Faculty. Hunter employs a large number of adjunct faculty, and we need to do more to integrate them into the College. A Presidential Task Force will take a comprehensive look at the part-time faculty experience and make recommendations for how best to develop and engage this critical part of our community.

Continue to Promote and Coordinate Experiential Learning. Hunter offers a rich and growing array of opportunities for experiential learning, but programs emanate from and serve disparate academic programs throughout the College. We will explore and implement strategies to better coordinate these activities, so they can continue to grow and so more students are aware of opportunities to get involved.

Define Goals for Interdisciplinarity. As we continue to grow our interdisciplinary programs, they would benefit from clearer goals and a common set of learning objectives. Shared assessment tools would also allow us to better understand the efficacy and impact of interdisciplinary learning at Hunter.

Create a Strategic Plan for Online Learning. As we continue to expand our inventory of online and hybrid courses, and work to launch fully online professional programs, we need to define our academic goals and understand technical and funding needs. The strategic planning process will help achieve this goal.

Continue the Integration of Career Preparation and Liberal Arts Programming. We have aggressively pursued the expansion of experiential learning as well as development of new undergraduate certificates that cultivate professional skills and real-world learning. We need to codify those efforts and build on them, better integrating career exploration and preparation into our liberal arts programs, so more Hunter students graduate prepared for success in their chosen careers. Coupled with this, we will need to coordinate these efforts through an expanded career services office and program.

Increase the Preparedness of, and Support for, our Transfer Students. The difference in outcomes between our first-time, full-time students and our transfer population is readily apparent. We will need to identify strategies to enroll transfer students who are better prepared for Hunter’s challenging academic environment and continue enhancing the support we provide once they arrive on campus.

Develop an Office of Graduate School Preparation. A significant portion of Hunter graduates pursue academic Master’s and PhD degrees — we want to support them and grow their numbers, particularly given the student population we serve. Based on the successful model of our pre-professional advising offices, we will need to bolster support for students who want to continue their education in academic programs.

Continue to Support Assessment in Academic and non-Academic Support Units.
We have made great strides in the infiltration and use of assessment in both our academic and non-academic units. We will need to assure the momentum continues, is supported and becomes systemic.

Increase our Institutional Research Capacity and Use of Data.
As we continue to promote a culture of evidence, we will need to increase the capacity of our Office of Institutional Research and ensure that we distribute information in a timely and appropriate manner. We should take advantage of data dashboards to put standard measures of student success (e.g., teaching loads, class enrollment trends, number of majors) on the desks of chairs and deans. Student engagement data, which we are now beginning to collect and analyze centrally, should be similarly available.

Develop a Technology Strategic Plan.
Technology undergirds every aspect of operations at Hunter and it is essential that we keep up with trends and ever-growing demand. We will need to develop a strategic plan using a process similar to our master planning process for facilities, so we can assess current and future needs and set priorities. That includes a focus on developing principles to guide our work over the next five years, with an emphasis on student success, business process improvement and research.

Increase Student Participation in the Senate. Students hold 38 percent of the seats in the Hunter College Senate, yet these seats are rarely filled, and attendance among student senators is uneven. As part of our student engagement efforts, we need to work diligently to increase students’ understanding of the importance of their role at the Senate, so more get involved and so participation is more consistent.

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