Middle States Accreditation Activities

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The University of Scranton is accredited by The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 1-267-284-5000

The University's Middle States accreditation activities are led by Ms. Kathryn (Kate) Yerkes, Assistant Vice Provost for Planning & Institutional Effectiveness. Ms. Yerkes serves as the University's Middle States Accreditation Liaison Officer. Contact Kate for any questions related to the Univesity's accrediation status.

Middle States is one of six regional accreditors within the United States. For more information about regional accreditation of higher education, consider this monograph from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Although a voluntary practice, holding regional accreditation is a requirement for higher education institutions seeking to access federal student financial aid funding. 

Membership to the Middle States association is incumbent upon an institution's full compliance with the Commission's standards for accreditation and requirements for affiliation, which include compliance with a variety of Commission policies. Part of the accreditation process serves to verify an institution's compliance with federal legislation, in particular, the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), which defines the process by which higher education institutions can access federal financial aid funding. The Middle States Commission, following a vote by members institutions, recently adopted new Standards for Accreditation and Requirements for Affiliation. These new standards replace the previous Characterstics of Excellence. Member institutions will need to comply with these standards on a timetable determined by the date of their next institutional self study.

In August 2015, MSCHE released proposed visions to the accreditation cycle and timeline. View the details of these proposals, and link for offering feedback, via the MSCHE web site.

Colleges and university accreditation typically follows the following cycle:

Self Study, an in-depth institutional analysis that takes place every ten years.  The self study requires the institution to review its programs, services, and operations with respect to the fourteen standards for Middle States accreditation, and results in a series of recommendations for improvement. The self study is reviewed by a team of peer reviewers, who can make recommendations of their own to the the institution, and by leadership at MSCHE. The University of Scranton's next self study evaluation will take place in 2018-2019. 

Periodic Review, a process which takes place every five years, requiring the institution to review its progress toward meeting the recommendations for improvement it made to itself, and any recommendations that were made by the peer review team or MSCHE. The PRR also requires supplemental information regarding an institution's planning, budgeting, and institutional and student learning assessment activities. The University of Scranton's last PRR was submitted in June 2013. 

Institutional Profile, an annual submission of a series of data and information about the institution. The University submits its profile to MSCHE each spring.

Within each of these three processes, institutions are required to document compliance with a several accreditation-related aspects of federal legislation, including specific elements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA). The Office of Planning & Institutional Effectivness partners with the Office of Institutional Research to monitor and document these compliance initatives. 

Detailed information about the current format and requirements of these processes can be found below.  

Middle States Periodic Review 2013

The University completed its Periodic Review Report (PRR) process in June 2013. The PRR process and report were structured to meet the requirements for the Periodic Review Report (PRR), as described in Middle States' PRR handbook. 

Steering Committee Charge and Membership

Subcommittees & Members

The report was accepted by Middle States in November 2013.  Documents and reports related to the Periodic Review, including the Middle States review team report, are available for review by members of the University community via the University's my.scranton portal. To view the University's Statement of Accreditation Status (SAS), visit www.msche.org.

Following the Periodic Review, the University engaged in follow up activities related to Standard 14: Assessment of Student Learning. Members of the University community can view the resulting report, submitted to Middle States in August 2014, and a variety of related documents via the my.scranton portal. The University will submit another follow up report documenting practices related to the assessment of student learning outcomes to Middle States on April 1, 2015. Additional information related to the University's student learning assessment practices is available via the Office of Educational Assessment (OEA). To learn more, visit the OEA web site, or email assessment@scranton.edu.  

Middle States Self Study 2008

Members of the University of Scranton community can view a copy of the 2008 self study report and the report from the Middle States' visiting review team by visiting the links below. These files can only be opened from an on-campus network location.

Middle States Self Study Report

Visiting Team Report

Middle States Substantive Change

Middle States requires that institutions, under certain circumstances as outlined in its substantive change policy, submit a proposal for substantive change when beginning a new program, new educational site, or new level of degree.  Academic departments planning the development of a new program or degree should contact Kathryn Yerkes to determine if the nature of this proposed new offering requires approval by MIddle States.

Middle States Institutional Profile

The Institutional Profile is a requried report submitted to Middle States each spring. The profile contains selected information about the University and its programs. The profile is prepared by the Office of Institutional Research, the office which maintains and submits official University data for this and other required reporting.  For information related to the Profile, contact Kathryn Yerkes.