Middle States Commission on Higher Education


The MSCHE Defined


The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is a voluntary, non-governmental, regional membership association currently serving higher education institutions in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and other geographic areas in which the Commission conducts accrediting activities.




The Middle States Commission on Higher Education assures students and the public of the educational quality of higher education. The Commission's accreditation process ensures institutional accountability, self-appraisal, improvement, and innovation through peer review and the rigorous application of standards within the context of institutional mission.


The Commission operates with four fundamental principles.

1.  The Commission maintains its historic commitment to quality assurance in institutions of higher education.

2.  The Commission maintains U.S. Department of Education recognition and continues to meet federal regulatory requirements.

3.  The Commission provides service and support to member institutions as they implement accreditation standards and engage in continuous improvement initiatives.

4.  The Commission maintains a sustainable business model.


Strategic Goals and Objectives

Strategic Goal 1: Provide relevant and reliable assurance of educational quality through an effective and efficient accreditation model that promotes innovation.


  • By 2016*, the Commission will provide the guidelines and support to implement the 2014 accreditation standards and requirements of affiliation for all member institutions.
  • By 2017, the Commission will review and may revise accreditation processes to facilitate consistent interpretation and application of the 2014 standards for accreditation and requirements of affiliation, allowing the Commission to make judgments about quality at member institutions, in an efficient, effective, and meaningful manner that is respectful of the resources and efforts expended by our institutions.
  • By 2017, the Commission will explore further opportunities to accommodate innovation within member institutions and the higher education community.


Strategic Goal 2: Develop a healthy, forward looking, and adaptive organization.


  • By 2015, the Commission will establish a sustainable and adaptable information and technology strategy for the future.
  • By 2016, the Commission will enhance its comprehensive volunteer management system, addressing recruitment training, and recognition.
  • By 2017, the Commission will implement the necessary technology to support institutional quality assessment, institutional compliance, and Commission future operations.


Strategic Goal 3: Broaden public understanding of the value of accreditation through advocacy and education.


  • By 2016, the Commission will strengthen interaction with member presidents to ensure that accreditation serves institutional interests.
  • By 2016, the Commission will review and may revise the scope, content, and process for appropriate disclosure of accreditation information.
  • By 2017, the Commission will establish a strategy to increase public awareness and understanding of accreditation.
  • By 2018, the Commission will define and operationalize the desired Commission brand and messaging.


*Dates are considered to be end of calendar year but do not preclude action or completion earlier in the year.



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."