Middle States Commission on Higher Education







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Frequently Asked Questions

About the Middle States Association and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA), established in 1887, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educational improvement through evaluation and accreditation. The Association's website is located at www.middlestates.org. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) was established in 1919. It is a voluntary, non-governmental, peer-based membership organization dedicated to educational excellence and improvement through peer evaluation and accreditation. (See Mission, Vision, and Core Values).

From 1919 through February 2013, MSCHE functioned as one of the three Commissions of the Middle States Association. However, on March 1, 2013, MSCHE was separately incorporated under Pennsylvania Commonwealth law as the Mid-Atlantic Region Commission on Higher Education, doing business as the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

MSCHE is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education to conduct accreditation and pre-accreditation (Candidacy status) activities for institutions of higher education in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, including distance education and correspondence education programs offered at those institutions. The Commission is also recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) to accredit degree-granting institutions which offer one or more post-secondary educational programs of at least one academic year in length in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and other geographical areas in which the Commission conducts accrediting activities.

Accreditation by the Commission on Higher Education follows a period of candidacy lasting up to five years. MSCHE reviews institutions periodically through either on-site evaluation or other reports. Accreditation is reaffirmed only as a result of periodic reviews and evaluations through assessments of institutional achievements.

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