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On Friday, March 31, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) held a Peer Review Workshop at Philadelphia’s Sheraton University City Hotel. The workshop covered a range of issues that peer reviewers will deal with as the serve on evaluation teams at MSCHE institutions. The workshop also provided some emerging insight into MSCHE’s expectations as they relate to the accreditation standards that were adopted in 2014.
Among the items discussed was the latest timeline for implementation of MSCHE’s new accreditation process. That timeline, provided in MSCHE Director for Training, Erika Swain’s presentation, is below:
Spring 2017: Institutional profiles uploaded (minor updates, only)
November 2017: The Self-Study Institute provides training in the new process for the 2019-2020 cohort institutions
Spring 2018: The Annual Institutional Update (AIU) portal opens and institutions submit their first AIUs
Summer/Fall 2018: The Midpoint Review is conducted for the first cohort
June 2019: Self-Study evaluations for the last institutions using the old accreditation process.
Fall 2019: Training for evaluators using the new accreditation process
June 2020: Evaluation of the first cohort under the new accreditation process
There was also a concurrent workshop on the assessment of educational and institutional effectiveness assessment conducted by Christopher Mayer of the United States Military Academy. Among the slides was one that discussed what evaluators would be looking for in an institution’s assessment processes and plans. Many of those criteria have already been cited in prior assessment-related requests for follow-up, but some go beyond those citations. The eight criteria for an institution’s assessment processes and plans were as follows:
1. Are they documented?
2. Are they organized and systematic?
3. How recent are they?
4. Are the assessment cycles appropriate?
5. Do they produce useful assessment results?
6. Are assessment efforts being conducted consistently across all programs and unites?
7. Do they promote the use of assessment results for improvement?
8. Do they appear to be sustainable?