Middle States Self-Study Process for Reaccreditation
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, recognized by the United States Department of Education, is Susquehanna University’s regional accreditor. Accredited higher education institutions regularly conduct self-studies with their accrediting agency. Under MSCHE, some 600 institutions, primarily in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, undergo a comprehensive self-study every eight years. Susquehanna has been accredited by MSCHE since 1930. Its last reaffirmation was in 2014.
The two-year Self-Study process will guide the Susquehanna community through the self-study design, the development of a self-study report, and will culminate in a site visit by peer educators and administrators.
Susquehanna community members are serving on the steering committee and working groups to prepare a Self-Study report that highlights our strengths as an institution and identifies recommendations for future improvement. The Self-Study report will be submitted to MSCHE in September 2023 in advance of an October site visit.
The Self-Study started with Self-Study steering committee members attending a variety of Self-Study Institute sessions and the MSCHE Conference in fall 2021 to learn about the processes, revised standards, and content expectations for the comprehensive self-study initiative.
One Middle States expectation is broad-based campus participation in the Self-Study process. Susquehanna excels in community commitment and transparency, as demonstrated through recent efforts and successes of enhancing the Susquehanna student experience and engagement of colleagues over the past few years.
Members of the Self-Study working groups pledge continuous information sharing and engaged participation through this Self-Study website as the Susquehanna community conducts an exciting, reflective institutional examination driven by continuous success and innovation.
Working Group for Standard I: Mission and Goals
Working Group for Standard II: Ethics and Integrity
Working Group for Standard III: Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience
Working Group for Standard IV: Support of the Student Experience
Working Group for Standard V: Educational Effectiveness Assessment
Working Group for Standard VI: Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement
Working Group for Standard VII: Governance, Leadership, and Administration
Working Group for Verification of Federal Compliance
Working Group for Self-Study Communications
Self-Study Design Begins – February 2022
Self-Study Draft Begins – June 2022
Initial Self-Study Draft Completed – February 2023
Self-Study Draft Shared with Campus (following review and edits) – May 2023
Preliminary Site Visit – April 2023
Final Self-Study Shared with Campus (following review and edits) – May 2023
Self-Study Submitted – August 2023
Self-Study Site Visit – October 2023
Self-Study Team Response – December 2023
Self-Study Launch (following commission-determined actions) – Spring 2024
The Self-Study officially launched in 2022. Everyone’s help is needed at some point leading up to summer 2023.
The full Self-Study process will take about two years, and volunteer commitments can be short-term or long-term. It could mean an hour or two a week, depending on the point in the process. It is important to have stakeholders from across campus, including faculty, students, staff, administrators and the Board of Trustees, to take active roles in the process.
SU needs your voice! Below are just a few ways to participate in examining Susquehanna and telling the SU story.
Contribute by volunteering on a working group.
Provide input and feedback anytime, but especially during the call-for-comments periods.
Update the working groups about new initiatives, advances or changes about a functional area or academic program.
Attend Self-Study briefings and informational gathering opportunities.
Working groups help develop the Self-Study report that will be the foundation of our reaccreditation process. It is an opportunity to examine the institution’s strengths and weaknesses, offer recommendations for change, and contribute to the long-term sustainability of the institution. The working groups will meet 2022 and into spring 2023. Thank you to the many campus community volunteers who volunteered!
Individuals may submit input and feedback to the accreditation steering committee and working groups.
The steering committee includes six faculty members and four senior administrators, including the accreditation liaison officer. The steering committee provides overall leadership for the self-study process and coordinates the efforts of the seven working groups.
Danielle D. Brown, Accreditation Liaison Officer, Assistant Provost for Institutional Effectiveness / Strategic Initiatives
Nick Clark, Steering Committee Chair, Associate Professor of Political Science; Department Head of Political Science
Barbara Dennen, Director of Finance
Kate Hastings, Associate Professor of Communications
Eric Hinton, Associate Professor of Music
Andrea Lopez, Associate Professor of Political Science
Aaron Martin, Vice President for Marketing & Communications
James Pomykalski, Associate Professor of Information Systems
Erin Rhinehart, Associate Professor of Biology
Justin Rummel, Assistant Vice President for Student Financial Services
The charges of the Steering Committee include:
Review and approve the Self-Study design and the lines of inquiry for each of the seven standards and requirements of affiliation.
Generate institution-wide interest in the Self-Study process through a robust communication strategy.
Recruit a large and diverse cadre of students, faculty, and staff to participate in the Self-Study process.
Develop a timeline of activities for performing the work of the Self-Study.
Lead the efforts of the working groups, including setting the agenda for each working group, coordinating the efforts of the working group members, and monitoring the progress of each working group toward meeting deadlines.
Ensure that data and evidence collected supports the specific standard being assessed.
Lead a transparent process that includes periodic reports about the progress of each working group.
Review and approve all final reports of the working groups to be included in the Self-Study final report.
Assist as needed in preparing for the MSCHE team visit in fall 2023.
Distribute the Self-Study report, including findings, to relevant constituencies on campus.
To see MSCHE accreditation actions taken in the last 10 years, see the SAS.