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Middle States Commission on Higher Education Revised Standards

New Standards, Cycle and Requirements

The current requirements including the standards and cycle length will change starting in the 2017-18 academic year. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education conducted an extensive review process with considerable member feedback which led to the proposed changes listed below. These changes were approved by the member institutions. A pilot year is now under way with a cohort of 15 member institutions who will submit self-studies based on the new standards in the 2016-17 academic year.

New Standards

  • Standards are changing from 14 grouped by themes into 7 standards.
  • Before assessment was limited to two standards (7 & 14), but now it is interwoven into every standard

Cycle Length

  • The current 10 year cycle will go from 10 years to 8 years in between site visits

New Annual Report

  • Current Periodic Review Report is due June 1, 2017.
  • This is a summary of the progress of what has been done since the last site visit in 2012.
  • The annual report will replace this, but the details of what will be required in the annual report have not been released yet

Extended Compliance Requirements

  • The 8th standard is the new compliance requirement:
  • Student identity verification
  • What is the university doing in order to make sure that the students are who they say they are in online programs
  • Student complaint process and procedures
  • MSCHE has stated that a complaint is what you say it is
  • What are we doing with complaint information and what are the trends over the past five years?
  • Married to gathering complaints is a revision of the policies because they will need to be referenced when you start looking at complaints
  • Contractual relationships
  • Defining transfer credit hours and Drexel Transfer articulation agreements
  • Title IV program Responsibilities
  • Standing with state and other accrediting agencies Required information for students and the publichange Comparison

Change Comparison

   Current  2017 & Beyond (2022 for Drexel)
# of Standards  14  7
Cycle Length (years)
Assessment Focus
 Outlined in 2 standards
 Pervasive in all standards
Update Reports
 Periodic Review Report (1 time 5 years after site visit
 Annual Report (every year in between site visits)
 Expanded Compliance  Peripherally mentioned, but never concentrated  into 1 standard  Standard 8 has expanded  compliance requirements