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2018 MSCHE Self-Study Report Outcomes


The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) released the accreditation outcomes from its June 2018 meeting. The Commission released results for 49 institutions. The results of an additional 4 institutions will be released on July 13. The two most-cited accreditation standards were Standard V (Educational Effectiveness Assessment) and Standard VI (Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement).

There was disproportionately larger share of requests by MSCHE for institutions to provide additional information related to Standard V (Educational Effectiveness Assessment) relative to recent years. This increase likely suggests that MSCHE is becoming more rigorous as it relates to assessment systems, processes, and the use of assessment results. In addition, for the first time, MSCHE provided requests for further information related to institutions’ improvement of key metrics of student achievement, including retention and graduation rates.

*-Includes prior MSCHE standards mapped to the MSCHE standards adopted in 2014.

During the June 2018 Self-Study cycle, institutions receiving requests for at least additional reporting were cited for an average of 1.8 accreditation standards. The three-year moving average was 2.1. Among the institutions receiving requests for additional information, 85% of those institutions received requests for one or two standards (71% for the 2016-18 average) while 15% received requests related to three or more standards (29% for the 2016-18 average).

With respect to Standard V, the most common issues for being requested to provide additional information or other follow-up were:

  • Need for an organized, systematic, and sustainable assessment process: 52%
  • Use of assessment results to improve teaching/learning/educational effectiveness/student achievement: 52%
  • Sufficient support to sustain assessment: 14%
  • Communication of assessment results to stakeholders: 14%
  • Periodic assessment of assessment processes: 14%

With respect to Standard VI, the most common issues for being requested to provide additional information or other follow-up were:

  • Steps taken to improve an institution’s financial viability: 60%
  • Enrollment plan linked to budgeting: 30%