Mission-Oriented & Student-Centered
Middle States accreditation is reviewed and reaffirmed through the process of self-study. Over the course of approximately two and one-half years, the faculty, staff, students, and administration of the institution collectively reflect and evaluate how the seven Standards for Accreditation, and Requirements for Affiliation, are met. This is captured in a self-study report, a detailed narrative compiling information, evidence-informed analysis, strengths and achievements, and recommendations for continuous improvement. In addition to the self-study report, which is reviewed by a group of peer evaluators who form their own recommendations, institutions complete a document detailing their compliance with a number of accreditation-relevant federal regulations. All of this information is reviewed by the Middle States Commission is deciding the institution's accreditation status.
Although each institution makes decisions about how to structure this process to fit their unique culture, guidelines from the MSCHE outline the elements of a successful self-study. Key among these is a clear and manageable timetable; the commitment and support of top leadership; an effective Steering Committee; engaged, informed Working Groups; and ample opportunities for campus-wide engagement. Before beginning the self-study, institutions must prepare and submit a 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 explored throughout.
The organizational structure for self-study is determined by each institution using MSCHE guidelines. At The University of Scranton, the development of the self-study report has been led by a Steering Committee comprised of faculty and staff from across campus. A co-chair model for the Steering Committee leadership and each of seven Working Groups (one for each Middle States standard) ensures faculty and staff leadership of the process. An eighth working group coordinated the compliance reporting requirements.
A Coordinating Committee, comprised of the Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, the Associate Provost, and the University's Accreditation Liaison Officer ensures that senior leadership has been actively involved and supportive of the process.
Click here to view the organizational structure of the Self-Study process.