Design and Timeline for Self-Study

Design for Self-Study

The University's Design for Self-Study identifies our goals for the process, its close connection to our Mission and Strategic Plan, and the research questions we will explore throughout.

From start to finish, the Middle States self-study period covers about three academic years. The first year (2016-2017)is all about preparation - organizing the approach and necessary leadership; bringing together the Steering Committee and Working Groups; and completing the University's Design for Self-Study, a document submitted to and approved by Middle States before the study itself begins.

During year two (2017-2018), the University community conducts the self-study, identifying the ways in which it meets Middle States Standards for Accreditation in the context of its own mission and goals and answering research questions that view those standards in connection to our institutional goals. Working Groups prepare reports for each of the seven standards that include recommendations for continous improvement, and the Steering Committee completes the first draft of the comprehensive Self-Study Report.  

In the fall of the third year (2018-2019), the University community reviews the draft report and hosts a preliminary visit from the Middle States Peer Review Team chair, making any final adjustments needed before it is submitted to Middle States. That spring, the Peer Review Team visits campus, reviewing and validating the findings of the University's self-study report, meeting with a wide number of individual and groups on campus, and preparing their own report observing our strengths and opportunities for improvement. These documents are then reviewed by the Middle States Commission, which responds with its formal action regarding the University's accreditation status in early summer. 

Click here for a PDF version of the Self-Study Timeline.

Timeline for University of Scranton Self-Study 2018-2019 (As of May 2017. Timeline may be adjusted.)

Summer 2016

  • University receives invitation to attend the fall 2016 MSCHE Self-Study Institute COMPLETE
  • University President Appoints Self-Study Co-Chairs COMPLETE

Fall 2016

  • Steering Committee Members[1] Selected COMPLETE
  • Co-chairs attend the Self-Study Institute held to orient institutions beginning the self-study process (October 31 – November 1) COMPLETE
  • Steering Committee Begins Design for Self Study COMPLETE
  • Preparatory visit for MSCHE Staff liaison is scheduled COMPLETE

Winter 2017

  • Self-Study Design Preparation Continues COMPLETE
  • Initial Document Roadmap (evidence & resources) compiled COMPLETE

Spring 2017

  • Draft Self-Study design is finalized and submitted to MSCHE (March 17) COMPLETE
  • University hosts MSCHE Staff Liaison preparatory visit (March 31) COMPLETE
  • Revised Self-Study design submitted, approved by MSCHE Vice President (April/May) COMPLETE
  • Working Groups Assigned COMPLETE

Summer 2017

  • Working Groups study their MSCHE standard(s), research questions; identify evidence they wish to consider
  • Additional gathering & compilation of evidence and other documentation for Document Roadmap
  • Workshop for Coordinating Committee, Steering Committee and Working Groups (August) COMPLETE

Fall 2017

  • Steering Committee, Working Groups review evidence, conduct research, draft preliminary reports
  • Fall Campus Town Hall Meetings 

 Winter 2018

  • First Draft Working Group Reports complete (January 31)
  • Co-Chairs, Steering Committee review and respond to first draft Working Group reports
  • Working Groups continue research, incorporate feedback

Spring 2018

  • Steering Committee, Working Groups continue research, prepare revised draft reports
  • MSCHE selects and notifies University of the evaluation team chair
  • University and team chair select dates for team visit and for the chair’s preliminary visit
  • Revised Working Group Reports Complete (March 31)
  • Draft Working Group reports shared with University Communty (April)
  • Spring Campus Town Hall Meetings
  • Final Working Group Reports complete (May 31)

Summer 2018

  • Co-Chairs and Steering Committee produces first draft of full Self-Study report
  • MSCHE selects evaluation team members

Fall 2018

  • University community reviews draft Self-Study report (September/October)
  • Team Chair makes preliminary visit [2] (October)
  • University ALO[ 3] submits Compliance Report to MSCHE (November)
  • President’s Cabinet, Board of Trustees Approves Final Self Study Report (December)

Winter 2019

  • Final Editorial Review and Revisions; Self Study Report Documentation Compiled (December/January)
  • University ALO submits final Self-Study Report to MSCHE, Evaluation Team Chair [4] (January)

Spring 2019

  • University hosts Evaluation Team visit (March/April)
  • University receives and reviews Team report (May)
  • University writes and submits institutional response to Team report (May)
  • Commission review of Team report, University response; Determines Action (June)

Summer 2019

  • University Receives MSCHE Action (July)


[1] Steering Committee members will serve as chairs of Working Groups for each MSCHE Standard. [2] Draft report to Visiting Team Chair at least 2 weeks prior to visit. [3] Accreditation Liaison Officer. [4] Draft to Visiting Team Chair at least 6 weeks prior to Team Visit. Target Date: January 31, 2019.