Middle States Accreditation

logo: MSCHE / Middle States Commission on Higher Education

The Graduate School and University Center (GSUC) has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) since 1961 and was most recently reaccredited in March 2021 after a self-study and Fall 2020 site visit. 

Statement of Accreditation

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Middle States mandates that its member institutions meet rigorous and comprehensive standards, which are addressed in the context of the mission of each institution and within the culture of ethical practices and institutional integrity expected of accredited institutions. 

Review the full MSCHE Accreditation Standards and Requirements for Affiliation

I. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

The Graduate School and University Center (GSUC) formed an Institutional Research and Assessment group in the spring of 2019 to create a space for collaborative data analytics and assessment projects with better coordination among the seven schools. It is comprised of institutional research and assessment specialists, as well as their respective institutional leaders. The immediate goal of the group is to comprehensively and accurately portray each school’s individual assessment practices while simultaneously describing shared services among the schools.

The Middle States process has provided an opportunity for reflection on the kinds of data and assessment work that will require Institutional Research offices at each school to work collaboratively. However, the group aims to go beyond accreditation requirements. Each group member represents an institution at varying stages of complexity in terms of assessment processes. With the goal of self-improvement in mind, the group has already met at the Graduate Center to consider the GSUC role in understanding federal data reporting standards (of which IPEDS is a large part), and the idea of “closing the loop” through intentional data collection and transparency in communication. Next steps for the group, which will convene at the Newmark School of Journalism in July, include reorganizing and debundling IPEDS data so that it aligns more closely with individual GSUC school reporting.

The GSUC schools are indelibly linked, making future collaboration on data analytics and assessment projects a necessary component to the success of evaluating these processes within the GSUC.