Self-Study For Middle States Re-accreditation

February 2024 Update

On February 9, we passed another milestone with the submission of our Self-Study Report and evidence. This could not have come about without the dedication of all involved. It truly has been a team effort.

The on-site evaluation visit by peer evaluators will take place March 24-27. Their purpose is to clarify information provided in the Report by interviewing constituencies. The expectation is that we will engage openly and be knowledgeable about Report findings. Their questions may relate to the Report and evidence, such as requests for more examples, walking through processes, asking how assessment results are used to make decisions and improvements, details of initiatives mentioned in the report, and what have we learned from the self-study processes. The evaluation team will then write a report.

It is important that all faculty and staff try to attend two events during their visit, an open session (day/time TBD) and also an oral exit report March 27 at 11:20 am in Nevins Theater that will convey team findings and recommendations. Details of these will be sent by Outlook calendar invitations.

September 2023 Update

Over the summer, with the guidance of Provost/COO Dobie, assistance of Gayle Gebhard, and in consultation with many across campus, the Steering Committee Co-Chairs Meghen Jones and Laurie Lounsberry Meehan revised the Self-Study Report draft. The document culminates the Working Groups' individual reports and evidence collection, organized according to the seven Standards for Accreditation and addressing throughout the fifteen Requirements of Affiliation.

On September 28, President of Hood College and Evaluation Team Chair Dr. Andrea Chapdelaine will come to campus for a day-long Team Chair Preliminary Visit. She will meet with students, staff, and faculty from the Self-Study Working Groups in order to learn more about our university; confirm that our self-study approach will support a useful Evaluation Team Visit in March, 2024; and discuss practical preparations for our hosting of the Team Visit.

In mid-October, the Self-Study Report draft will be shared with our entire campus community for feedback before we officially submit it in February, 2024. We will host an all-campus forum for discussing the Self-Study in late October.

Many thanks to the Working Groups and all across campus for your continued dedication to this important process.

May 2023 Update

Welcome to the end of another academic year! This email provides an update on the Middle States accreditation process as we move into the summer and next steps.

The seven working groups have spent countless hours pulling together material to demonstrate the ways in which we comply with the seven Standards outlined by Middle States. They will be submitting their final reports by May 19th.

Those reports will be compiled over the summer into one document by the Co-Chairs (Meghen Jones and Laurie Lounsberry Meehan), with the guidance of Provost/COO Dobie and the assistance of Gayle Gebhard.

A draft Self-Study Report will be shared with the campus in the fall to solicit feedback before it’s officially submitted. The campus visit by the evaluating team will occur in mid-spring 2024.

Once again, a huge thank you to the Working Group Chairs and their members for their dedication and hard work in this important accreditation process!

February 2023 Update

The self-study process is progressing well due to the effort of over 40 staff, faculty, and students! As we move closer to mid-semester, each of the seven working groups is examining the documents and evidence they’ve collected so far this academic year in order to begin crafting their final reports due in mid-May.

We want to thank all of the working group members as well as everyone who has contributed to their work by providing material and/or time to talk through questions. Being re-accredited by Middle States is essential to the University and it takes the entire University to make it happen!

As the Co-Chairs, we will work with Provost/COO Dobie to compile the working group reports into a draft Self-Study Report over the summer. This will be shared with the campus in the fall for feedback. The final report will then be submitted to the visiting evaluation team to prepare for their visit in mid-spring 2024.

More information on Middle States and the overall self-study process can be found in under the Resources tab. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Many thanks,

Meghen Jones and Laurie Lounsberry Meehan, Co-Chairs

September 2022 Update

Greetings! As the semester gets underway, we wanted to remind you that during this academic year many folks on campus will be working hard as part of the Middle States accreditation self-study process. Seven working groups have been formed; each will focus on one of the required standards that guide our work.

Part of the process is providing evidence that we do what we say we do, i.e. what we state in our university mission, goals, and strategic plans. This step involves gathering material from across campus: documents, reports, policies, etc. Please be prepared to respond in a timely manner if you receive a request for material from your area. We will send out periodic updates on our progress.

(A few changes are happening with working group membership so the website may not accurately reflect that right away. It will be updated as soon as the dust settles!)

Thank you to everyone who has agreed to serve on a working group and thank you to everyone else for supporting this important accreditation process!

April 2022 Update

The next step in the Middle States Self-Study process is a visit by our Vice President Liaison Terence Peavy who will be meeting virtually with us on April 14th. An open campus forum is scheduled for 1:20 - 2:20 pm. This is an essential accreditation for the institution and we hope to see a high attendance!

The goal for the meeting is to provide:

  • an overview of the accreditation process
  • a discussion of the roles of faculty, staff, and students
  • Q & A for questions about the accreditation process

We would also like to take this chance to thank the many members of the campus community who have volunteered to participate on the Self-Study Team. Members of the various working groups are listed on the Self-Study website.

January 2021 Update

It’s once again time for the University to conduct its self-study for re-accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). This is an all-hands-on-deck opportunity for staff, faculty, and students to strengthen our institution by identifying and receiving peer feedback on areas of improvement, success, and growth. The process occurs every eight years and is a chance for us to take a high level, extensive look at our institution and assess how we are meeting the 7 Standards for Accreditation developed by MSCHE (attached).

Alfred University was a charter member of the MSCHE organization and has been conducting and successfully accomplishing this type of self-evaluation for 100 years!

Working under the guidance of Provost Dobie, the process will be led by co-chairs Meghen Jones, Associate Professor of Art History and Laurie Lounsberry Meehan, University Archivist.

To prepare for and complete the self-study, seven working groups will be formed, aligned with each Standard, and will conduct their work during the 2022 – 2023 academic year. A final report will be submitted to MSCHE in the Fall, 2023 to prepare for a peer review visiting team in the Spring, 2024.

A self-study design document will be completed and submitted mid-Spring 2022, outlining the manner in which our self-study will be conducted, the working group membership, and the intended learning outcomes and campus priorities. Throughout the entire process (Spring 2022 – Spring 2024) the campus community will be asked for feedback, input and assistance in highlighting our accomplishments and furthering continuous improvement in ways that ensure the University meets (or exceeds) its mission.

We are seeking staff and faculty volunteers to be considered to serve on the working groups. If you are interested, please contact either Meghen or Laurie by January 21st.

We look forward to formally launching this project in the Spring!

Alfred University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

What is accreditation and why do it?

Accreditation is intended to strengthen and sustain higher education, making it worthy of public confidence and minimizing the scope of external control. Regional accreditation, a means of self-regulation adopted by the higher education community, has evolved to support these goals.

Membership in MSCHE includes a commitment to continuous self-assessment. Based upon the results of an institutional review by peers and colleagues, accreditation attests that an institution:

  • 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 eligibility requirements and standards of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

The Commission’s accreditation standards were developed by consensus among member institutions in the Middle States region. They identify an institution’s mission, goals and objectives as guideposts for all aspects of the accreditation protocol.

The accreditation standards focus on two fundamental questions:

  • Are we, as an institutional community, achieving what we want to achieve?
  • What should we do to improve our effectiveness in achieving our fundamental aims?

(information extracted from the MSCHE publication Self Study: Creating a Useful Process and Report, 2nd edition, 2007)