What is the Middle States Commission on Higher Education?
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is a voluntary, non-governmental, membership association that defines, maintains, and promotes educational excellence across institutions with diverse missions, student populations, and resources. The Commission is dedicated to quality assurance and improvement through accreditation via peer evaluation. Middle States accreditation instills public confidence in institutional mission, goals, performance, and resources through its rigorous accreditation standards and their enforcement.
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education aspires to be the preeminent resource for institutions of higher education striving to achieve excellence in fulfilling their missions. It also intends, through voluntary assessment and adherence to high standards for student learning outcomes and operational behavior, to assure higher education’s publics that its accredited institutions are fulfilling their stated purposes and addressing the publics’ expectations.
The MSCHE is guided by these Core Values:
- Voluntary membership
- Self-regulation and peer-review
- A continuous and seamless relationship with member institutions to promote continuous self-evaluation and institutional improvement
- Respect for the unique mission of each institution and evaluation within that context
- Student learning and effective teaching
- Transparency about the accreditation processes and the status held by each member institution
- Commitment to the principles of cooperation, flexibility, and openness
- Responsiveness to the needs of the higher education community and societal changes
- Consideration of societal and institutional needs through attention to and emphasis on both improvement and compliance
- Responsiveness to a diverse, dynamic, global higher education community that is continually evolving
*SOURCE: MIDDLE STATES WEBSITE
Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation
Standard 1 – Mission and Goals*
The institution’s mission defines its purpose within the context of higher education, the students it serves, and what it intends to accomplish. The institution’s stated goals are clearly linked to its mission and specify how the institution fulfills its mission.
Standard II – Ethics and Integrity*
Ethics and integrity are central, indispensable, and defining hallmarks of effective higher education institutions. in all activities, whether internal or external, an institution must be faithful to its mission, honor its contracts and commitments, adhere to its policies, and represent itself truthfully.
Standard III – Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience*
An institution provides students with learning experiences that are characterized by rigor and coherence at all program, certificate, and degree levels, regardless of instructional modality. All learning experiences, regardless of modality, program pace/schedule, level, and setting are consistent with higher education expectations.
Standard IV – Support of the Student Experience*
Across all educational experiences, settings, levels, and instructional modalities, the institution recruits and admits students whose interests, abilities, experiences, and goals are congruent with its mission and educational offerings. The institution commits to student retention, persistence, completion, and success through a coherent and effective support system sustained by qualified professionals, which enhances the quality of the learning environment, contributes to the educational experience, and fosters student success.
Standard V – Educational Effectiveness Assessment*
Assessment of student learning and achievement demonstrates that the institution’s students have accomplished educational goals consistent with their program of study, degree level, the institution’s mission, and appropriate expectations for institutions of higher education.
Standard VI – Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement*
The institution’s planning processes, resources, and structures are aligned with each other and are sufficient to fulfill its mission and goals, to continuously assess and improve its programs and services, and to respond effectively to opportunities and challenges.
Standard VII – Governance, Leadership, and Administration*
The institution is governed and administered in a manner that allows it to realize its stated mission and goals in a way that effectively benefits the institution, its students, and the other constituencies it serves. even when supported by or affiliated with governmental, corporate, religious, educational system, or other unaccredited organizations, the institution has education as its primary purpose, and it operates as an academic institution with appropriate autonomy.
Download the Standards for Accreditation and Requirement of Affiliation from msche.org.*
*SOURCE: MIDDLE STATES WEBSITE