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Middle States Accreditation. Steering Committee December 15, 2011 Michael E. Ryan Director, University Accreditation and Assessment. Outline of Presentation. What is Accreditation and Why Does It Matter? Overview of Middle States Accreditation Recent Commission Actions

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middle states accreditation

Middle StatesAccreditation

Steering Committee

December 15, 2011

Michael E. Ryan

Director, University Accreditation and Assessment

outline of presentation
Outline of Presentation
  • What is Accreditation and Why Does It Matter?
  • Overview of Middle States Accreditation
  • Recent Commission Actions
  • Middle States Standards of Excellence
  • University at Buffalo - Middle States Reaccreditation
  • Assessment
  • Steering Committee
  • Accreditation Timeline
  • Visit of Dr. Ellie A. Fogarty, Vice President – Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Questions and Discussion
what is accreditation
What is accreditation?
  • Accreditation is a process in which certification of competency, authority, or credibility is presented.
  • In the United States, accreditation of higher education is the means of self-regulation and peer review adopted by the educational community. The process has established public confidence, is largely independent of external regulation or control, and is conducted by member associations.
  • In most other countries, the function of educational accreditation for higher education is conducted by a centralized government organization, such as a ministry of education.
aims of accreditation
Aims of Accreditation

Accreditation is about accountability and is intended to strengthen and sustain the quality and integrity of higher education by establishing and enforcing standards of excellence.

Accreditation is also about continuous self-improvement and involves a process of peer review adopted by the higher educational community for its self-regulation. Continuous self-improvement involves on-going self-study, assessment, and planning.

changing role of accrediting agencies
Changing Role of Accrediting Agencies

80 recognized organizations accredit more than 7,000 institutions and 19,000 programs serving more than 24 million students

Role of accrediting organizations has been evolving toward greater responsibility in terms of a gate-keeping and compliance function.

how accreditation works in the u s
How Accreditation Works in the U.S.



Evaluation Process

regional accrediting organizations
Regional Accrediting Organizations
  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools - Middle States Commission on Higher Education (1919)
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges – Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (1885)
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools – The Higher Learning Commission (1895)
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (1917)
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges (1895)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges – Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (1924)
middle states association
Middle States Association
  • Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (1919)
  • Commission on Secondary Schools (1921)
  • Commission on Elementary Schools (1978)
middle states accreditation1
Middle States Accreditation
  • Accredits 540 institutions
middle states region
Middle States Region
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Several international locations
history middle states
History - Middle States
  • 1919 – Middle States Commission on Higher Education founded
  • 1921 – 58 institutions, including the University of Buffalo, were on the Commission’s initial approval list
  • 1946 – evaluation teams sent periodically to accredited institutions
  • 1957 – decennial review cycle formally established
  • 1971 – comprehensive self-study process established
  • 1973 – Periodic Review Report required in the fifth year following reaffirmation of accreditation
  • 2002 – Characteristics of Excellence becomes effective
  • 2003 – Student Learning Outcomes: Options and Resources published
  • 2005 – Assessing Student Learning and Institutional Effectiveness published
why does it matter
Continuous self-improvement is in our institutional self-interest and consistent with our mission of academic excellence.
  • Institution must be accredited
  • in order to disburse federal funds:
    • Title IV student financial aid
Why does it matter?
recent commission actions june 23 2011
Recent Commission ActionsJune 23, 2011
  • 85 institutions reviewed
    • 41 accreditation reaffirmed
    • 3 granted initial accreditation
    • 3 invited to initiate self-study
    • 1 granted Candidate for Accreditation Status
    • 10 placed on Warning
    • 4 placed on Probation
    • 3 had Warning status continued
    • 3 had Probation status continued
    • 7 removed from Warning status
    • 7 removed from Probation status
    • 2 reaffirmed following postponement
    • 1 had accreditation removed
is middle states serious about accreditation
Is Middle States Serious about accreditation?

SUNY Institutions (March 2005 - November 2009)

  • Decennial Accreditation
    • No assessment issues for 13 institutions
    • Progress letters requested for 3 institutions
    • Monitoring reports requested for 7 institutions
    • Warnings issued for 2 institutions
  • Progress Review Report (5-year)
    • No assessment issues for 19 institutions
    • Progress letters requested for 9 institutions
    • Monitoring reports requested for 3 institutions
    • Warnings issued for 1 institution
accreditation cycle
Accreditation Cycle
  • Decennial (10-year) Comprehensive Self-Study Review
  • Periodic Review Report (fifth year following reaffirmation of accreditation)
middle states accreditation2
Middle States Accreditation

Institution meets the following criteria:

  • Has a mission appropriate to higher education
  • Is guided by well-defined and appropriate goals, including goals for student learning
  • Has established conditions and procedures under which its mission and goals can be realized
  • Assesses both institutional effectiveness and student learning outcomes, and uses the results for improvement
  • Is accomplishing its mission and goals substantially
  • Is organized, staffed, and supported so that it can be expected to continue to accomplish its mission and goals
  • Meets the “Requirements of Affiliation” and accreditation standards of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education
middle states standards for accreditation
Middle States Standards for Accreditation
  • Mission and Goals
  • Planning, Resource Allocation, and Institutional Renewal
  • Institutional Resources
  • Leadership and Governance
  • Administration
  • Integrity
  • Institutional Assessment
  • Student Admissions and Retention
  • Student Support Services
  • Faculty
  • Educational Offerings
  • General Education
  • Related Educational Activities
  • Assessment of Student Learning
recent changes at middle states
Recent Changes at Middle States
  • 2002 – Strengthening of Accreditation Standards
    • Emphasis of importance on student learning outcomes – creation of new standard on student learning (Standard 14)
    • New focus on Institutional Assessment (Standard 7)
    • Assessment infused into all Standards of Excellence
  • Hiring of Linda Suskie (nationally-known expert in learning outcomes assessment)
  • Assignment of an “assessment expert” to evaluation teams
  • Additional changes as a result of national and external accountability forces (e.g. Spellings Commission, Higher Education Act, etc.)
the big deal
The Big Deal
  • Assessment, assessment, assessment…
    • Standard 7 – Institutional Effectiveness
    • Standard 14 – Student Learning Outcomes
    • Embedded in all standards
  • The Challenge: To provide evidence and reliable information that demonstrates how we are measuring our goals, and using that information to achieve our mission.
cycle of assessment
Cycle of AssessmentCYCLE OF ASSESSMENT

Application of

results to inform



guiding principles for assessment
Guiding Principles for Assessment

Assessment should be (MSCHE principles):

  • Useful
  • Cost-effective
  • Reasonably accurate and truthful
  • Planned
  • Organized, systematized, and sustained
middle states actions
Middle States Actions
  • Compliance or Non-compliance with respect to each standard
  • Non-compliance with any standard automatically results in WARNING
  • Failure to address warnings expeditiously can result in loss of accreditation
accreditation timeline
Accreditation Timeline
  • Fall 2003 - Last Middle States Decennial Accreditation
    • Re-affirmation of full accreditation
    • No significant concerns
  • Summer 2009 - Periodic Review Report
    • 5 suggestions to be considered in decennial self-study (3 specifically relate to assessment)
  • November 19, 2009 – Middle States Commission request for Progress Report
  • October 1, 2011 – Progress Report submitted to Middle States
  • November 2011 – Progress Report accepted by Middle States
  • Spring 2012 - Self-Study Design to be submitted to Middle States
  • March 5, 2012 - Visit of Dr. Ellie A. Fogarty, Vice President – Middle States
  • 2012 – Mock Review
    • Focus on assessment and general education
  • 2012 – 2013
    • Collect Evidence that institution meets or exceeds Middle States standards
    • Submit Self-Study Materials to Middle States
  • Spring 2014 - Evaluation Team Site Visit
visit of dr ellie a fogarty vice president monday march 5 2012
Visit of Dr. Ellie A. Fogarty, Vice PresidentMonday, March 5, 2012
  • President Tripathi (30 minutes)
  • UB Council (45 minutes)
  • Open Forum (45 minutes)
  • Steering Committee (90 minutes)
    • Working meeting regarding the Self-Study process
    • Feedback on Self-Study Design
  • Deans/Vice Presidents (45 minutes)
  • Debriefing of Steering Committee Co-Chairs (20 minutes)
action items
Action Items
  • Establish meeting schedule for Spring semester
  • Become familiar with Middle States Standards “Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education”
  • Become familiar with Self-Study Process “Self Study – Creating a Useful Process and Report”
  • Block March 5, 2012 date for Fogarty visit
  • Review Self-Study Design