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Last Thursday was again Thanksgiving Day in the United States. On that annual holiday, one could again renew that longstanding, but soon-to-disappear, tradition of reviewing the Middle States Commission on Higher Education’s (MSCHE) Periodic Review Report (PRR) outcomes. To borrow from John Winthrop’s “City Upon a Hill” Sermon of 1630, the outcomes provided a vivid reminder that if we assess periodically and align our purposeful choices to the College’s mission and goals, future generations shall say of one’s institution that “we shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us.”
For 2016, 55 institutions submitted Periodic Review Reports. Twenty-three (42%) received a follow-up request (3-year average: 50%). Those institutions were cited on an average of 2.4 MSCHE Standards each (3-year average: 2.3). Perhaps because MSCHE is already beginning to look ahead to the new standards, one request for follow-up referred to Standard V (Educational Effectiveness Assessment) and another to Standard VI (Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement).
The dramatic increase in Standard 3 (Institutional Resources) as a share of follow-up requests continued. Nearly two-thirds of follow-up requests cited Standard 3.
The 2016 PRR cycle saw MSCHE issue citations for 9 of its 14 standards. The only standards not cited were Standard 1 (Mission and Goals), Standard 9 (Student Support Services), Standard 10 (Faculty), Standard 11 (Educational Offerings), and Standard 13 (Related Educational Activities).
The five most frequently cited standards were as follows: