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, 1-267-284-5000To view the University's Statement of Accreditation Status (SAS), visit www.msche.org. Click here to view the University's current Statement of Accreditation Status (SAS).

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 (ALO). Contact Kate for any questions related to the University's accrediation status or processes.

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 revisions to the accreditation cycle and timeline. View the details and status of these proposals via the MSCHE web site.


 

Self Study 2019

The University is preparing to begin its decennial Middle States Self-Study. The University's last self-study was completed in 2008, and this new report will be submitted to Middle States in winter 2019. The University will examine its strengths and ability to meet Middle States new Standards for Accreditation (2014). This year, a Steering Committee and Working Groups will be formed to undertake the research, analysis, and drafting of the self-study report. More information will be posted to this site as the process unfolds. View the Working Draft Self-Study Timeline below. To share comments or feedback, email selfstudy@scranton.edu 

Self-Study Co-Chairs Named: A Letter to The University Community from Rev. Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., President  

Working Draft Self-Study Timeline 

Middle States Standards 

Accreditation Cycle

Colleges and university accreditation typically follows the following cycle:

Self-Study, an in-depth institutional analysis that takes place about every ten years.  The self-study requires the institution to review its programs, services, and operations with respect to Middle States standards and its own mission, and results in report document the institution's strengths and recommendations for self-improvement. This report 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 2019. The process of building the self-study will begin in the fall of 2016. The report will document the University's compliance with Middle States newest Standards for Accreditation and Requirements for Affiliation

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

Periodic Review, a process which takes place at the midpoint of the self-study cycle, requires the institution to review its progress toward meeting the recommendations for improvement made during its self-study and any other required reportin by 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. View this report by logging into the my.scranton portal. 

Following its 2013 Periodic Review, the University submitted two follow up reports, called "Monitoring Reports," to Middle States documenting further progress in implementing a sustainable process for the assessment of student learning. The first of these reports was submitted on August 30, 2014; the second on April 1, 2016. The Office of Educational Assessment coordinates this process, and its work is guided by the Comprehensive Plan for Student Learning Assessment. Both Monitoring Reports and related documentation are avaible to members of the University community via the my.scranton portal.

Institutional Profile, an annual submission of a series of data and information about the institution, its students, and its programs. 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 Effectiveness partners with the Office of Institutional Research and other units across campus to monitor and document these compliance initatives. 


Middle States Substantive Change

There are a number of policies that are part of MSCHE Requirements for Affiliation. One of these policies requires that institutions, under certain circumstances, submit a proposal for substantive change when beginning a new program, new educational site, or new level of degree. These types of changes must be approved in order to fall under the scope of the institution's accreditation. 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 prior approval by Middle States.

Disciplinary Accreditations

Once an institution earns regional accreditation, other specialty accreditations may be sought. In addition to institutional accreditation through Middle States, a number of academic programs at the University maintain disciplinary accreditation at the program level. These are important markers of program quality and rigor. Information about the disciplinary accreditations held by University programs is available in the University catalog, and on individual program web sites. For information about these accreditations, their cycles, standards, and processes, contact the Dean's Office within each college.