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Overview of the Accreditation Process

Middle States modified the Standards of Accreditation in 2014, replacing fourteen standards with seven.  The emphasis of the Standards has changed as well; Middle States is now much more focused on institutional assessment, assessment of student learning, and the process of continuous institutional improvement.
Under recently revised processes, Middle States will organize a site visit by a team of external peer evaluators every eight years.  In preparation, a campus conducts a wide-ranging Self-Study to evaluate its performance against the “Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation.” A separate “Verification of Compliance” demonstrates compliance with a series of federal regulations, and, finally, a campus compiles a “documentation roadmap” that catalogs and annotates documents and data essential to demonstrating compliance with the Standards.

Within the context of the Seven Standards, the Self-Study examines selected current strategic priorities, improvements since the last Self-Study, outcomes based on assessments of institutional effectiveness, and institutional improvements proposed for implementation prior to the next Self-Study.  Largely an assessment of past performance, the Self-Study also looks ahead and is an important planning document.
Before working on the Self-Study, campuses prepare a “Self-Study Design” which is a blueprint for the entire reaccreditation process.  It lays out in detail the timing and steps the institution anticipates on the way to re-accreditation. The institution’s Vice President at Middle States must approve the Self-Study Design before work can begin on the Self-Study.
Following the completion of the final Self-Study Report, a team of volunteer faculty and administrators from similar institutions selected by Middle States will evaluate our Self-Study Report and related documents, and then conduct a team visit from April 14-17, 2019, to determine if the institution meets Middle States accreditation standards. As part of the assessment, the Visiting Team may require additional efforts towards compliance with the Standards.  The team submits a report and the institution has a chance to respond.  The Middle States Commission itself issues the final verdict on reaccreditation, probably in June, 2019.

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