The Media Backgrounder provides useful information for both members of the news media and for prospective college and university students regarding the Commission's varied operations and areas of responsibility. Included are the following:
Frequently Asked Questions from members of the news media
What is Accreditation?
What is the Middle States Commission on Higher Education?
Public information on Accreditation, including the Statement of Accreditation Status, the Public Disclosure Statement, and the Directory of Members
Commission review of institutions and actions on Accreditation
Follow-up reporting and visits
Links to MSCHE policies and documents
Contact information for media inquiries.
The full Commission meets three times per year, in March, June, and November. In addition, the Commission's Executive Committee meets monthly. Accreditation actions can be taken during any of these meetings. The Commission acts following recommendations from its Committee on Evaluations, Committee on Follow-up Activities, and Committee on Substantive Change. Actions are posted to this website within 30 days of Commission meetings.
Commission Meeting of November 17, 2016
Commission Meeting of June 23, 2016
Commission Meeting of March 3, 2016
Fall 2016 Town Halls Addressed Proposed Process and Cycle Changes
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is in the midst of improving its accreditation processes. In early 2016, MSCHE's member institutions voted to endorse the proposal to move from a ten-year to an eight-year evaluation cycle, end the use of the Periodic Review Report, introduce an Annual Institutional Update that will provide useful feedback on data submitted by institutions, and refocus somewhat the institutional self-study process. Member institutions also endorsed using a set of work groups in Spring 2016 to refine the plans for the new processes.
In Fall 2016 the Commission held a series of Town Hall meetings to share with member institutions the plans that have emerged from the work group sessions and to provide opportunities for members to share their comments on those plans. At each Town Hall meeting, Dr. Robert Clark, the chair of the Steering Committee for the Process-Change Project, presented an overview of the work to date and invite feedback. This was in preparation for a final presentation at the Commission's Annual Conference in December and a second-stage vote by member institutions.
For details about the planned process changes and a video of the Town Hall presentation, visit www.msche.org/?Nav1=NEWS&Nav2=NEWSROOM&Nav3=PROCESSREVIEW.
Regional Accreditors Announce Efforts to Improve Public Understanding of Commission Actions
The Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC) has implemented a common framework and understanding of terms for key actions regarding accredited institutions. The terms Warning, Probation, Show Cause, Withdrawal of Accreditation, Denial of Accreditation, and Appeal are now consistent across the seven accreditation regions.
"As regional accreditation evolved over the years, unique descriptions were developed to identify varying levels of concern regarding the accreditation status of individual colleges and universities. At a time when more institutions are operating on a national scale, these terms have, at times, resulted in confusion among students and the general public in cases when actions have been taken," said Dr. Elizabeth H. Sibolski, Chair of C-RAC and President of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Notably, the seven regional accreditors voluntarily came together to address the issue of common terminology, rather than relying on legislative or regulatory actions.
For more details on this announcement, please click here.
The seven regional accrediting organizations that comprise C-RAC are the Middle States Commission on HIgher Education; New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education; Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools; Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges; Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges; and WASC Senior College and University Commission.