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Accreditation Terms

Here are some key terms used in MSCHE Accreditation

Self Study

  • The institution carefully considers its educational programs, policies and services, with particular attention to student learning and achievement, and it determines how well these programs and services accomplish the institution’s goals, fulfill its mission, and meet the Commission’s Standards.
  • This report and the Commission’s Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation serve as the basis for on-site evaluation by a team of peer evaluators.
  • The primary purpose of the Self-Study Report is to advance institutional self understanding and self-improvement.
  • It is most useful when it is analytical and forward-looking rather than descriptive or defensive, when it is used both to identify problems and to develop solutions to them, and when it identifies opportunities for growth and development
  • Because the Self-Study is a major event in the life of an institution, it should be a useful activity, planned and executed carefully, and not simply a formal exercise.
  • It will be most helpful if the institution implements self-assessment as a continuous process that supports its regular planning cycle.
  • Here is a link to the MSCHE document on the Self Study

Site Visit

During initial or comprehensive on-site visits the review team will:

  • Verify the information provided in the Self-Study Report.
  • Investigate issues identified during the review of the Self-Study Report.
  • Interview students, faculty members, administrators, and staff.
  • Review display materials.
  • Visit classrooms, labs, and other key facilities.
  • Assist each program under review in recognizing its strong and weak points.
  • Share suggestions for improvements or exchange best practices.
  • Present an oral exit interview to the institution as a whole
  • Submit an extensive exit report for the institution and MSCHE

The Self Study team will ensure that the institution:

  • Has a mission appropriate to higher education;
  • Is guided by well-defined and appropriate goals, including goals for student learning;
  • Has established conditions and procedures under which its mission and goals can be realized;
  • Assesses both institutional effectiveness and student learning outcomes, and uses the results for improvement;
  • Is accomplishing its mission and goals substantially;
  • Is organized, staffed, and supported so that it can be expected to continue to accomplish its mission and goals; and
  • Meets the requirements of affiliation and accreditation standards of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Annual Institution Update (AIU)

  • An accurate measurement of Institutional health (focused on Student Achievement and Financial Health)
  • Data uploaded yearly into MSCHE system from IPEDs submitted by the university
  • Institutions also upload information outside of IPEDs including Optional data that can tell a clearer view of the college/university
  • Always examines 5-year data set
  • Specific data will be finalized and the system will be launched in February of 2018
  • The review will include update reports on recommendations
  • The goal is to use the data to be reviewed by peers in the Mid Point Peer Review

Mid-Point Peer Review (MPPR)

  • Occurs 4 years before the next Self-Study Review
  • Review of 4 years of AIU collections
  • All mandatory data
  • Only those “Optional metrics” the institution has chosen
  • Both “parts” (data report and updates) reviewed by peers
  • Institutions receive feedback from peer reviewers