Middle States Commission on Higher Education


Mission, Vision & Core Values



The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is a voluntary, non-governmental, membership association that 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.

Core Values


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



The future of voluntary regional accreditation has dominated the literature and debates of higher education during the past few years, and it will continue to be the focus of attention. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education remains committed to its long-standing dual mission: serving as a resource for service to member institutions while ensuring that they meet accreditation standards.

The Commission's planning process has encompassed Town Hall meetings throughout the Middle States region, scanning of higher education literature, an analysis of external factors affecting higher education and accreditation, and discussions with representatives of member institutions during the recent efforts to revise the accreditation standards.

Based on these activities, the Commission has endorsed the current MSCHE Plan, running through 2016. The Plan encompasses five goals, focusing on Quality Assurance, Commission Structure and Processes, Innovation, Communication, and Infrastructure and Staffing.

Click here to view the MSCHE Plan.


For an explanation of how the Commission on Higher Education relates to the Middle States Association and how it governs itself, see the FAQ "About the Middle States Association and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education."