Millersville University is in the midst of a “Self-Study” for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The University is currently accredited by Middle States, but is required, every eight years, to show that it continues to meet the commission’s standards.
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) is a voluntary, non-governmental, regional membership association covering Pennsylvania and surrounding states. The commission holds institutions to a series of standards including ethics and integrity, support of the student experience, educational effectiveness assessment and others. Institutions are evaluated by their peers to ensure they are meeting the necessary standards.
“The Self-Study Design document will guide us through the next 18 months,” explains Dr. Lisa Shibley, Middle States Coordinator, MSCHE liaison, and assistant vice president of Institutional Assessment & Planning at Millersville. “The document will take us through July of 2020 when Middle States announces its action as a commission. Actions include reaffirmation of accreditation. The evaluation team is expected on-campus in spring of 2020. ”
Along with Shibley, the coordinating leadership team includes Dr. Laurie Hanich, Middle States Co-Chair and professor of Educational Foundations and Dr. Jim Delle, Middle States Co-Chair and associate provost. The steering committee and working groups include faculty, staff, students and a members of the Council of Trustees. More information about the members and the process is available at: http://www.millersville.edu/rediscovermu/.
Working groups will explore the seven standards and provide evidence of how the University is aligning with Middle States requirements.
On September 12, the campus community will have a chance to learn more about the process and ask questions. Dr. Sean McKitrick, vice president of the Middle States Commission for Higher Education, will be on campus all day and will hold an open session for faculty, staff and students from 1:30-2:30 p.m. in Lehr Room, Gordinier Hall. Light refreshments will be served. Millersville submitted its Self-Study Design draft in late August for McKitrick’s review. He’ll share feedback with us to improve our design.
By fall of 2019, the entire campus will be asked to review and comment on the documents/findings gathered by the working groups and steering committee and drafted by the coordinating leadership team.
“The Self-Study will look at where we’re at and where we’re going to go,” explains Delle. “It’s perfect timing as we finish the first five years of our current strategic plan, Our Bold Path, and plan for what’s ahead.”
“Middle States team members will want to see evidence of continuous improvement on campus and explore how we demonstrate compliance with the criteria for each standard,” says Shibley.
“There is a lot of work to do,” says Hanich. “The steering committee and working groups will be meeting frequently this year, but we will be there to support and help them. Members of our community can be helpful by attending the Open Forum on September 12 and sharing information with steering committee and working group members.”