THE SELF-STUDY: AN OPPORTUNITY TO REFLECT
Concordia’s Self-Study process began in September 2016 when the Self-Study co-chairs and Steering Committee members were selected by the Provost and Self-Study Coordinator. The Steering Committee consists of the Provost, Self-Study Coordinator, Self-Study co-chairs, Standard committee co-chairs, Compliance Review co-chairs and representatives from Finance and Marketing. Through a series of meetings over this first year, working groups drafted their Documentation Roadmaps in January 2017 that guided their data collection and subsequent analysis of Standard criteria and respective Requirements of Affiliation by the end of 2017. The Self-Study Design draft was completed in March 2017 by the Steering Committee. The College’s Middle States Staff Liaison, Dr. Heather Perfetti, visited campus on April 19, 2017; her feedback was used to finalize the Self-Study Design, which was submitted in August 2017. In September 2017, Concordia College was informed that Dr. Idna Corbett would serve as Concordia's new Middle States Staff Liaison. Dr. Corbett officially approved the Self-Study Design on September 28, 2017. A cycle of dialog and revision led by the Self-Study Steering Committee and co-chairs took place throughout spring 2018, and revisions to the Self-Study were made in spring and summer 2018. The data analysis process for the Self-Study engaged faculty and staff within and outside of the working groups as individuals compared disparate and similar streams of information.
The Self-Study has been consistently discussed at Faculty and President's Council meetings since the Steering Committee first assembled in fall 2016. On August 23rd, 2018, the college hosted a Self-Study Rally event in the Quad where the faculty, staff and students were invited to participate. Standard working group co-chairs as well as co-chairs to the Compliance Review were seated at tables where they shared their findings. The purpose of this event was to share major discoveries and takeaways from each Standard’s evaluation conducted by the working groups. It served to provide important information gleaned from the Self Study but also to raise awareness of the process and upcoming visit to the community. Following the Rally, a survey was sent out to faculty and staff with the report attached. Respondents were urged to read the report and answer the survey, which asked them to provide strengths and weaknesses by Standard and to assess the event. The finalized Self-Study was shared via access on a shared drive, printed copies in the library, and PDF copies attached to email.
What is Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)?
MSCHE is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit degree-granting institutions such as Concordia College New York. Through the accreditation process, MSCHE defines and promotes educational excellence, assuring students and the public of the educational quality of higher education.
What is Accreditation?
MSCHE accreditation is an expression of confidence in an institution’s mission and goals, performance, and resources. An institution is accredited when the educational community has verified that its goals are achieved through self-regulation and peer review. Federal aid, professional licensure, ability to transfer credits and more are all dependent on our successful reaccreditation.
What Are Concordia’s Responsibilities in the Reaccreditation Process?
As you have seen in various communications over the past two years, with the input of community members at all levels, Concordia conducted a formal Self-Study to highlight the College’s continual assessment and improvement efforts within the 10-year accreditation cycle. In addition to demonstrating compliance with MSCHE’s 7 Standards and 15 Requirements of Affiliation, the Self-Study identifies opportunities for continued innovation and growth. The Self-Study was finalized and submitted to MSCHE in February, and a team of peer evaluators selected by MSCHE is now reviewing it in preparation for their campus visit.
What Are My Responsibilities During the Reaccreditation Process?
All staff and faculty are expected to read the Self-Study. As a holistic look at where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going, the Self-Study will be of interest to everyone in the Concordia community.
What Should I Expect During the MSCHE Visit?
The MSCHE site visit is not just critical to the reaccreditation process, it’s a great way to show off all the good work we’re doing for our students! Members of the site visit team will be meeting with select staff, faculty, students and Board of Regents members.
In addition, your presence is strongly encouraged when the team conducts its Exit Interview on Wednesday, April 3 from 9:00 to 9:45 am in Sommer Center.