Middle States Accreditation

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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. Click here to view the role of the ALO. 

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.

Middle States Accreditation FAQs


Self Study 2019

The University's decennial Middle States Self-Study is underway. The University's last self-study was completed in 2008, and this new report will be submitted to Middle States in winter 2019. As part of this process the University will demonstrate compliance with MSCHE Requirements for Affiliation & Standards for Accreditation, and identify strengths and opportunities for improvement in relation to its mission and goals. The University's Design for Self-Study documents our approach to this process, including the organizational stucture and membership of our Steering Committee and Working Groups that will undertake the research, analysis, and drafting of the self-study report. More information will be posted to this site as the process unfolds. Visit www.scranton.edu/selfstudy to learn more. To share comments or feedback, email selfstudy@scranton.edu 

Timeline for Self-Study

Middle States Standards 

Middle States Guide for Self-Study 

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 spring 2019. 

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 prior self-study and any other required progress updates. 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. Members of the University Community can 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 the University's new assessment cycles and process, and its work is guided by the University's 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 ALO submits the 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 through the University's HEOA Working Group to monitor and document HEOA compliance initatives on a regular basis. 

Substantive Change

There are a number of other 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

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.