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About the Middle States Self-Study Process

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is one of six accrediting bodies in the United States that accredits schools on an institution-wide basis. Middle States accredits colleges based upon seven standards and 15 requirements that serve as an ongoing guide for accredited institutions engaged in self review, peer evaluation, and planning.

Our self study is a multi-year activity that is inclusive of all stakeholders. It’s imperative that everyone’s voices are heard and all perspectives are considered as part of this process. Our self study will identify key priorities, and areas of strength and challenge, as well as opportunities for growth and innovation. Through this process, the College produces a self study that provides an honest appraisal of our current situation in relation to the standards, as well as setting out a path forward. As such, the self assessment is retrospective, introspective, and prospective.

This work is overseen by a steering committee and the analysis of material and reporting out on each standard is undertaken by a working group tasked with addressing how the College meets (or does not yet meet) the Middle States standards and requirements for affiliation.

Middle States Accreditation is important because it provides us with the opportunity as a community to take stock of where we are and to think about where we want to be. Accreditation helps us to:

  • Demonstrate that we meet or exceed quality standards
  • Help students to determine acceptable institutions for enrollment
  • Support in determining the acceptability of transfer credits
  • Show employers the validity of our programs and the qualifications of our graduates
  • Provide the basis of eligibility for federal student assistance

Working groups and Steering Committee

The Working Groups and Steering Committee are groups essential to MSCHE accreditation, each having a distinct, complementary function in the process:
Working Groups are groups of volunteers from the College community who collect evidence to support each of MSCHE Standards 1 through 7, plus verification of compliance for the standards. One Working Group will be assigned to each of the Standards, and an eighth Working Group will be assigned to verification of compliance.
The Steering Committee is a small, crossfunctional team of faculty and administrators that provides guidance to the Working Groups and the greater Saint Rose community, shepherding the various stakeholder groups through the MSCHE accreditation process.

Working Groups

We have chosen a “standards-based” approach (as opposed to a “priorities-based” approach) to the self study, which means that we’re organizing our evidence-gathering efforts around MSCHE’s seven standards. These standards are broad topics, like support of the student experience, mission and goals, educational effectiveness, and so on.

For each standard, we are creating a working group whose primary responsibility will be to produce an honest and inclusive report, supported by evidence, proving that the College meets the standard.  If, in its research, the working groups discover gaps in our current procedures, these issues can be addressed immediately and do not need to wait until after the peer team visits campus.

According to the MSCHE verbiage, working groups should:

  • Represent a broad range of constituencies at the College
  • Have designated leaders to keep them on task and on schedule
  • Understand and abide by their charge
  • Establish, with the steering committee, a mechanism for accountability and effective communication.

Working Group personnel:

  • Standard 1. Liaison: Lisa Keating
  • Standard 2. Liaison: Lisa Keating
  • Standard 3: Liaisons: Dandan Wu, Kim Cornell
  • Standard 4. Liaison: Phylicia Coley
  • Standard 5. Liaison: Steve Hoff
  • Standard 6. Liaison: John Ellis, Val Myers
  • Standard 7. Liaison: Gerry Lorentz
  • Verification of compliance: Lisa Keating
  • Coordinator of evidence inventory: Mary Lindner

Steering committee

  • Dr. Gerald Lorentz, dean, School of Arts and Humanities, steering committee co-chair
  • Dr. Dandan Wu, associate professor of finance, steering committee co-chair
  • Lisa Keating, associate vice president for Institutional effectiveness, MSCHE liaison officer
  • Phylicia Coley, director of Residence Life
  • Dr. Kimberly Cornell, assistant professor of computer science
  • John Ellis, associate vice president for ITS and Facilities
  • Dr. Steve Hoff, associate professor of psychology
  • Jennifer Gish, associate vice president for marketing and communications
  • Valerie Myers, associate vice president for financial reporting and comptroller
  • Nick Phelan, director of institutional research

Timeline

Fall 2020
  • Self-study chairs, Dean Gerry Lorentz and Dr. Dandan Wu, are appointed.
  • A Saint Rose team attends the MSCHE self-study institute (virtually).
  • A draft timeline for the self-study is created.
Spring 2021
  • The chairs meet with the MSCHE Vice President Liaison to discuss our draft approach to the self-study and gain insight into MSCHE expectations.
  • The steering committee is appointed and begins to meet.
  • The Saint Rose Marketing team creates a communication plan and website for the self-study.
  • Strategy for creating an evidence inventory is determined by a Saint Rose faculty librarian.
  • Interim President Marcia White introduces the college-community to self-study process via campus-wide convocation and the community engages in mission reflection via 12 concurrent focus groups.
  • in conjunction with the strategic planning process, the steering committee begins an inclusive process of identifying the priorities of the self-study.
Summer 2021
  • The priorities of the self-study are finalized in tandem with strategic planning, and communicated to the campus community.
  • The steering committee drafts the self-study design document.
  • Recruitment of working group members begins.
Fall 2021
  • The campus hosts a preparatory visit from our MSCHE Vice President liaison, who will meet with students, faculty, staff, the board of trustees, the steering committee, and the self-study co-chairs.
  • MSCHE approves the Self-Study Design.
  • Working groups begin to meet to gather and analyze evidence.
Spring 2022
  • Self-study evaluation team chair and visit dates are chosen.
  • Working groups submit final reports to the Steering Committee.
  • The Steering Committee begins drafting the self-study report.
Summer 2022
  • A draft of the self-study report is shared with the campus community for input.
  • The self-study report is revised again.
Fall 2022
  • The peer team chair is provided with the draft of the self-study report two weeks prior to being hosted on-campus for a preliminary visit.
  • The self-study report is finalized based on feedback from the team chair and once again and shared with campus community.
Spring 2023
  • The final self-study report, the verification of compliance report, and the evidence inventory are uploaded to the to MSCHE portal.
  • The college hosts the self-study evaluation team on-campus.
  • The evaluation team provides their written report.
  • The college responds to peer team report in writing.
Fall 2023
  • MSCHE meets to determine action.

Updates

As we proceed through the various phases of the self-study and accreditation process, we will post periodic updates to keep everyone informed of the College’s progress. We’ll be posting updates in College newsletters like In the Know and Connect, too.

View Updates

The College has submitted a first draft of the self-study design to Dr. Ellie Fogarty, lead vice president for Middle States.

The campus community is encouraged to attend the open session with Dr. Fogarty on Friday, September 17, from 1 to 2 p.m. via Zoom.

The Working Groups are taking shape, although more faculty are needed for Standards 1, 4, and 7. Standard 4 and Standard 7 are also in need of more members generally.

To recap the role of each Working Group: 

The Working Groups are tasked to collect evidence and data, analyze them, and draft reports on how the College has met the seven Middle States Accreditation standards. Specifically, the Middle States Self-Study Steering Committee (the Steering Committee) has concluded that a total of six working groups are needed:

Standard 1 and 2 Working Group: This group evaluates how our College’s mission is fulfilled through stated goals and whether our College has conducted its operations ethically and with integrity.

Standard 3 Working Group: This group evaluates whether our College provides students with learning experiences that are characterized by rigor and coherence.

Standard 4 Working Group: This group evaluates our College’s efforts in student recruitment, retention, and support.

Standard 5 Working Group: This group evaluates our College’s assessment efforts on educational effectiveness.

Standard 6 Working Group: This group evaluates our College’s financial planning and budgeting process and adequacy of fiscal and human resources and physical and technical infrastructure.

Standard 7 Working Group: This group evaluates our College’s governance structure, leadership, and administration.

The Middle States Steering Committee will seek Dr. Fogarty’s guidance on the best way to involve students in the Middle States process. For example, should they be encouraged to serve on Working Groups or is there a better way to solicit feedback that is more respectful of students’ busy schedules?

A kick-off meeting will be held for all Working Group members on Friday, September 24 from 9 to 10 a.m. in Saint Joseph Hall Auditorium. Group members will learn more about the process and Working Group expectations and will begin considering who should serve as Working Group chair, document specialist, and liaison. Each group will be assigned a liaison from the Steering Committee as well.

 

 

 

Associate Professor Mary Lindner, who is in charge of coordinating the evidence inventory, recently attended the session “Effective Approaches to Evidence Inventory Documentation”.

Lisa Keating, John Ellis, and Nick Phelan also attended the training.

The steering committee is finalizing the charges for each of the Working Groups, and welcomes volunteers to join the Working Groups. Joining a Working Group is a great opportunity to get involved in supporting the College’s mission at a strategic level, and contribute your thoughts and vision to the College’s future (for faculty, this volunteer work counts as service hours). If you are interested in joining a Working Group, please plan to leave some room in your fall schedule (we plan to have the majority of the work done by a certain date in the fall), and email middlestates@strose.edu for more information.

In the fall, we will be hosting a visit from our MSCHE liaison, Dr. Ellie Fogarty, to officially kick off the self-study and accreditation process. Dr. Fogarty will meet with our entire campus community, so expect to be notified when the weather starts turning colder in several months!

MSCHE requirements of affiliation and standards

To be eligible for, to achieve, and to maintain Middle States Commission on Higher Education accreditation, an institution must demonstrate that it fully meets the following Requirements of Affiliation. Compliance is expected to be continuous and will be validated periodically, typically at the time of institutional self-study and during any other evaluation of the institution’s compliance. Once eligibility is established, an institution then must demonstrate on an ongoing basis that it meets the Standards for Accreditation.

Standards for Accreditation:

  1. The institution is authorized or licensed to operate as a postsecondary educational institution and to award postsecondary degrees; it provides written documentation demonstrating both. Authorization or licensure is from an appropriate governmental organization or agency within the Middle States region (Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), as well as by other agencies as required by each of the jurisdictions, regions, or countries in which the institution operates.
    Institutions that offer only postsecondary certificates, diplomas, or licenses are not eligible for accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
  2. The institution is operational, with students actively enrolled in its degree programs.
  3. For institutions pursuing Candidacy or Initial Accreditation, the institution will graduate at least one class before the evaluation team visit for initial accreditation takes place, unless the institution can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission that the lack of graduates does not compromise its ability to demonstrate that students have achieved appropriate learning outcomes.
  4. The institution’s representatives communicate with the Commission in English, both orally and in writing.
  5. The institution complies with all applicable government (usually Federal and state) laws and regulations.
  6. The institution complies with applicable Commission, interregional, and inter-institutional policies. These policies can be viewed on the Commission website, msche.org.
  7. The institution has a mission statement and related goals, approved by its governing board, that defines its purposes within the context of higher education.
  8. The institution systematically evaluates its educational and other programs and makes public how well and in what ways it is accomplishing its purposes.
  9. The institution’s student learning programs and opportunities are characterized by rigor, coherence, and appropriate assessment of student achievement throughout the educational offerings, regardless of certificate or degree level or delivery and instructional modality.
  10. Institutional planning integrates goals for academic and institutional effectiveness and improvement, student achievement of educational goals, student learning, and the results of academic and institutional assessments.
  11. The institution has documented financial resources, funding base, and plans for financial development, including those from any related entities (including without limitation systems, religious sponsorship, and corporate ownership) adequate to support its educational purposes and programs and to ensure financial stability. The institution demonstrates a record of responsible fiscal management, has a prepared budget for the current year, and undergoes an external financial audit on an annual basis.
  12. The institution fully discloses its legally constituted governance structure(s) including any related entities (including without limitation systems, religious sponsorship, and corporate ownership). The institution’s governing body is responsible for the quality and integrity of the institution and for ensuring that the institution’s mission is being accomplished.
  13. A majority of the institution’s governing body’s members have no employment, family, ownership, or other personal financial interest in the institution. The governing body adheres to a conflict of interest policy that assures that those interests are disclosed and that they do not interfere with the impartiality of governing body members or outweigh the greater duty to secure and ensure the academic and fiscal integrity of the institution. The institution’s district/system or other chief executive officer shall not serve as the chair of the governing body.
  14. The institution and its governing body/bodies make freely available to the Commission accurate, fair, and complete information on all aspects of the institution and its operations. The governing body/bodies ensure that the institution describes itself in comparable and consistent terms to all of its accrediting and regulatory agencies, communicates any changes in accredited status, and agrees to disclose information (including levels of governing body compensation, if any) required by the Commission to carry out its accrediting responsibilities.
  15. The institution has a core of faculty (full-time or part-time) and/or other appropriate professionals with sufficient responsibility to the institution to assure the continuity and coherence of the institution’s educational programs.

https://www.msche.org/standards/#standard_1

The institution’s mission defines its purpose within the context of higher education, the students it serves, and what it intends to accomplish. The institution’s stated goals are clearly linked to its mission and specify how the institution fulfills its mission.

Criteria:
An accredited institution possesses and demonstrates the following attributes or activities:

  1. clearly defined mission and goals that:
    1. are developed through appropriate collaborative participation by all who facilitate or are otherwise responsible for institutional development and improvement;
    2. address external as well as internal contexts and constituencies;
    3. are approved and supported by the governing body;
    4. guide faculty, administration, staff, and governing structures in making decisions related to planning, resource allocation, program and curricular development, and the definition of institutional and educational outcomes;
    5. include support of scholarly inquiry and creative activity, at levels and of the type appropriate to the institution;
    6. are publicized and widely known by the institution’s internal stakeholders;
    7. are periodically evaluated;
  2. institutional goals that are realistic, appropriate to higher education, and consistent with mission;
  3. goals that focus on student learning and related outcomes and on institutional improvement; are supported by administrative, educational, and student support programs and services; and are consistent with institutional mission; and
  4. periodic assessment of mission and goals to ensure they are relevant and achievable.

https://www.msche.org/standards/#standard_2

Ethics and integrity are central, indispensable, and defining hallmarks of effective higher education institutions. in all activities, whether internal or external, an institution must be faithful to its mission, honor its contracts and commitments, adhere to its policies, and represent itself truthfully.

Criteria:
An accredited institution possesses and demonstrates the following attributes or activities:

  1. a commitment to academic freedom, intellectual freedom, freedom of expression, and respect for intellectual property rights;
  2. a climate that fosters respect among students, faculty, staff, and administration from a range of diverse backgrounds, ideas, and perspectives;
  3. a grievance policy that is documented and disseminated to address complaints or grievances raised by students, faculty, or staff. The institution’s policies and procedures are fair and impartial, and assure that grievances are addressed promptly, appropriately, and equitably;
  4. the avoidance of conflict of interest or the appearance of such conflict in all activities and among all constituents;
  5. fair and impartial practices in the hiring, evaluation, promotion, discipline, and separation of employees;
  6. honesty and truthfulness in public relations announcements, advertisements, recruiting and admissions materials and practices, as well as in internal communications;
  7. as appropriate to its mission, services or programs in place:
    1. to promote affordability and accessibility;
    2. to enable students to understand funding sources and options, value received for cost, and methods to make informed decisions about incurring debt;
  8. compliance with all applicable federal, state, and Commission reporting policies, regulations, and requirements to include reporting regarding:
    1. the full disclosure of information on institution-wide assessments, graduation, retention, certification and licensure or licensing board pass rates;
    2. the institution’s compliance with the Commission’s Requirements of Affiliation;
    3. substantive changes affecting institutional mission, goals, programs, operations, sites, and other material issues which must be disclosed in a timely and accurate fashion;
    4. the institution’s compliance with the Commission’s policies; and
  9. periodic assessment of ethics and integrity as evidenced in institutional policies, processes, practices, and the manner in which these are implemented.

https://www.msche.org/standards/#standard_3

An institution provides students with learning experiences that are characterized by rigor and coherence at all program, certificate, and degree levels, regardless of instructional modality. All learning experiences, regardless of modality, program pace/schedule, level, and setting are consistent with higher education expectations.

Criteria:
An accredited institution possesses and demonstrates the following attributes or activities:

  1. certificate, undergraduate, graduate, and/or professional programs leading to a degree or other recognized higher education credential, of a length appropriate to the objectives of the degree or other credential, designed to foster a coherent student learning experience and to promote synthesis of learning;
  2. student learning experiences that are designed, delivered, and assessed by faculty (full-time or part-time) and/or other appropriate professionals who are:
    1. rigorous and effective in teaching, assessment of student learning, scholarly inquiry, and service, as appropriate to the institution’s mission, goals, and policies;
    2. qualified for the positions they hold and the work they do;
    3. sufficient in number;
    4. provided with and utilize sufficient opportunities, resources, and support for professional growth and innovation;
    5. reviewed regularly and equitably based on written, disseminated, clear, and fair criteria, expectations, policies, and procedures;
  3. academic programs of study that are clearly and accurately described in official publications of the institution in a way that students are able to understand and follow degree and program requirements and expected time to completion;
  4. sufficient learning opportunities and resources to support both the institution’s programs of study and students’ academic progress;
  5. at institutions that offer undergraduate education, a general education program, free standing or integrated into academic disciplines, that:
    1. offers a sufficient scope to draw students into new areas of intellectual experience, expanding their cultural and global awareness and cultural sensitivity, and preparing them to make well-reasoned judgments outside as well as within their academic field;
    2. offers a curriculum designed so that students acquire and demonstrate essential skills including at least oral and written communication, scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical analysis and reasoning, technological competency, and information literacy. Consistent with mission, the general education program also includes the study of values, ethics, and diverse perspectives; and
    3. in non-US institutions that do not include general education, provides evidence that students can demonstrate general education skills;
  6. in institutions that offer graduate and professional education, opportunities for the development of research, scholarship, and independent thinking, provided by faculty and/or other professionals with credentials appropriate to graduate-level curricula;
  7. adequate and appropriate institutional review and approval on any student learning opportunities designed, delivered, or assessed by third-party providers; and
  8. periodic assessment of the effectiveness of programs providing student learning opportunities.

https://www.msche.org/standards/#standard_4

Across all educational experiences, settings, levels, and instructional modalities, the institution recruits and admits students whose interests, abilities, experiences, and goals are congruent with its mission and educational offerings. The institution commits to student retention, persistence, completion, and success through a coherent and effective support system sustained by qualified professionals, which enhances the quality of the learning environment, contributes to the educational experience, and fosters student success.

Criteria:
An accredited institution possesses and demonstrates the following attributes or activities:

  1. clearly stated, ethical policies and processes to admit, retain, and facilitate the success of students whose interests, abilities, experiences, and goals provide a reasonable expectation for success and are compatible with institutional mission, including:
    1. accurate and comprehensive information regarding expenses, financial aid, scholarships, grants, loans, repayment, and refunds;
    2. a process by which students who are not adequately prepared for study at the level for which they have been admitted are identified, placed, and supported in attaining appropriate educational goals;
    3. orientation, advisement, and counseling programs to enhance retention and guide students throughout their educational experience;
    4. processes designed to enhance the successful achievement of students’ educational goals including certificate and degree completion, transfer to other institutions, and post-completion placement;
  2. policies and procedures regarding evaluation and acceptance of transfer credits, and credits awarded through experiential learning, prior non-academic learning, competency-based assessment, and other alternative learning approaches;
  3. policies and procedures for the safe and secure maintenance and appropriate release of student information and records;
  4. if offered, athletic, student life, and other extracurricular activities that are regulated by the same academic, fiscal, and administrative principles and procedures that govern all other programs;
  5. if applicable, adequate and appropriate institutional review and approval of student support services designed, delivered, or assessed by third-party providers; and
  6. periodic assessment of the effectiveness of programs supporting the student experience.

https://www.msche.org/standards/#standard_5

Assessment of student learning and achievement demonstrates that the institution’s students have accomplished educational goals consistent with their program of study, degree level, the institution’s mission, and appropriate expectations for institutions of higher education.

Criteria:

An accredited institution possesses and demonstrates the following attributes or activities:

  1. clearly stated educational goals at the institution and degree/program levels, which are interrelated with one another, with relevant educational experiences, and with the institution’s mission;
  2. organized and systematic assessments, conducted by faculty and/or appropriate professionals, evaluating the extent of student achievement of institutional and degree/program goals. Institutions should:
    1. define meaningful curricular goals with defensible standards for evaluating whether students are achieving those goals;
    2. articulate how they prepare students in a manner consistent with their mission for successful careers, meaningful lives, and, where appropriate, further education. They should collect and provide data on the extent to which they are meeting these goals;
    3. support and sustain assessment of student achievement and communicate the results of this assessment to stakeholders;
  3. consideration and use of assessment results for the improvement of educational effectiveness. Consistent with the institution’s mission, such uses include some combination of the following:
    1. assisting students in improving their learning;
    2. improving pedagogy and curriculum;
    3. reviewing and revising academic programs and support services;
    4. planning, conducting, and supporting a range of professional development activities;
    5. planning and budgeting for the provision of academic programs and services;
    6. informing appropriate constituents about the institution and its programs;
    7. improving key indicators of student success, such as retention, graduation, transfer, and placement rates;
    8. implementing other processes and procedures designed to improve educational programs and services;
  4. if applicable, adequate and appropriate institutional review and approval of assessment services designed, delivered, or assessed by third-party providers; and
  5. periodic assessment of the effectiveness of assessment processes utilized by the institution for the improvement of educational effectiveness.

https://www.msche.org/standards/#standard_6

The institution’s planning processes, resources, and structures are aligned with each other and are sufficient to fulfill its mission and goals, to continuously assess and improve its programs and services, and to respond effectively to opportunities and challenges.

Criteria:
An accredited institution possesses and demonstrates the following attributes or activities:

  1. institutional objectives, both institution wide and for individual units, that are clearly stated, assessed appropriately, linked to mission and goal achievement, reflect conclusions drawn from assessment results, and are used for planning and resource allocation;
  2. clearly documented and communicated planning and improvement processes that provide for constituent participation, and incorporate the use of assessment results;
  3. a financial planning and budgeting process that is aligned with the institution’s mission and goals, evidence-based, and clearly linked to the institution’s and units’ strategic plans/objectives;
  4. fiscal and human resources as well as the physical and technical infrastructure adequate to support its operations wherever and however programs are delivered;
  5. well-defined decision-making processes and clear assignment of responsibility and accountability;
  6. comprehensive planning for facilities, infrastructure, and technology that includes consideration of sustainability and deferred maintenance and is linked to the institution’s strategic and financial planning processes;
  7. an annual independent audit confirming financial viability with evidence of followup on any concerns cited in the audit’s accompanying management letter;
  8. strategies to measure and assess the adequacy and efficient utilization of institutional resources required to support the institution’s mission and goals; and
  9. periodic assessment of the effectiveness of planning, resource allocation, institutional renewal processes, and availability of resources.

https://www.msche.org/standards/#standard_7

The institution is governed and administered in a manner that allows it to realize its stated mission and goals in a way that effectively benefits the institution, its students, and the other constituencies it serves. Even when supported by or affiliated with governmental, corporate, religious, educational system, or other unaccredited organizations, the institution has education as its primary purpose, and it operates as an academic institution with appropriate autonomy.

Criteria:
An accredited institution possesses and demonstrates the following attributes or activities:

  1. a clearly articulated and transparent governance structure that outlines roles, responsibilities, and accountability for decision making by each constituency, including governing body, administration, faculty, staff and students;
  2. a legally constituted governing body that:
    1. serves the public interest, ensures that the institution clearly states and fulfills its mission and goals, has fiduciary responsibility for the institution, and is ultimately accountable for the academic quality, planning, and fiscal well-being of the institution;
    2. has sufficient independence and expertise to ensure the integrity of the institution. Members must have primary responsibility to the accredited institution and not allow political, financial, or other influences to interfere with their governing responsibilities;
    3. ensures that neither the governing body nor its individual members interferes in the day-to-day operations of the institution;
    4. oversees at the policy level the quality of teaching and learning, the approval of degree programs and the awarding of degrees, the establishment of personnel policies and procedures, the approval of policies and by-laws, and the assurance of strong fiscal management;
    5. plays a basic policy-making role in financial affairs to ensure integrity and strong financial management. This may include a timely review of audited financial statements and/or other documents related to the fiscal viability of the institution;
    6. appoints and regularly evaluates the performance of the Chief Executive Officer;
    7. is informed in all its operations by principles of good practice in board governance;
    8. establishes and complies with a written conflict of interest policy designed to ensure the impartiality of the governing body by addressing matters such as payment for services, contractual relationships, employment, and family, financial or other interests that could pose or be perceived as conflicts of interest;
    9. supports the Chief Executive Officer in maintaining the autonomy of the institution;
  3. a Chief Executive Officer who:
    1. is appointed by, evaluated by, and reports to the governing body and shall not chair the governing body;
    2. has appropriate credentials and professional experience consistent with the mission of the organization;
    3. has the authority and autonomy required to fulfill the responsibilities of the position, including developing and implementing institutional plans, staffing the organization, identifying and allocating resources, and directing the institution toward attaining the goals and objectives set forth in its mission;
    4. has the assistance of qualified administrators, sufficient in number, to enable the Chief Executive Officer to discharge his/her duties effectively; and is responsible for establishing procedures for assessing the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness;
  4. an administration possessing or demonstrating:
    1. an organizational structure that is clearly documented and that clearly defines reporting relationships;
    2. an appropriate size and with relevant experience to assist the Chief Executive Officer in fulfilling his/her roles and responsibilities;
    3. members with credentials and professional experience consistent with the mission of the organization and their functional roles;
    4. skills, time, assistance, technology, and information systems expertise required to perform their duties;
    5. regular engagement with faculty and students in advancing the institution’s goals and objectives;
    6. systematic procedures for evaluating administrative units and for using assessment data to enhance operations; and
  5. periodic assessment of the effectiveness of governance, leadership, and administration.

About the Process

The self-study process is akin to an internal audit, in which the Saint Rose community evaluates itself against the standards promulgated by MSCHE – a framework providing a comprehensive, systematic review of member schools’ efficacy and effectiveness in educating and preparing students for their post-graduation careers. As MSCHE puts it, “In meeting the quality standards of MSCHE accreditation, institutions earn accredited status, and this permits them to state with confidence: ‘Our students are well served; society is well served.’”

Saint Rose is currently accredited, and has been for decades. The accreditation standards change over time, to reflect shifts in higher education and the evolving requirements for new generations of students. In addition, accreditation is much more than a rubber-stamp seal of approval: It’s a great opportunity for a school to review its mission, processes, and procedures, and ensure that what it offers is optimal for all stakeholders. It’s a vital self audit that helps us improve the College.

We want to honestly and accurately appraise the College against the MSCHE standards, and provide comprehensive, data-driven evidence that we are doing so. This factual evidence – documents, processes, and procedures – must demonstrate the use of assessment. We want to list achievements and great outcomes, but also address opportunities for improving and innovating what we do.

The process will involve all stakeholders in the Saint Rose community, to ensure that we have a holistic picture of the College. That’s why we kicked off the process with a Convocation, and will be offering the community plenty of information and updates, as well as ways to get involved – from providing individual input and focus-group feedback, to volunteering for working groups.

If you have any questions about the process, or want to sign up for a working group, please reach out to any member of the steering committee.

Let us hear from you!

Got a question or comment about the MSCHE self-study and accreditation process? Want to sign up for a Working Group? Want to get involved, but not sure how? Please send us a note at any point, and we’ll get back to you!

The Middle States Accreditation Process Form