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Public Disclosure Statement

University of the Potomac

June 26, 2014

By the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

This statement has been developed for use in responding to public inquiries, consistent with the Commission’s policies on Public Communication in the Accrediting Process, Range of Commission Actions on Accreditation, and Standardized Language for Commission Actions on Accreditation. It should be read in conjunction with the Statement of Accreditation Status for University of the Potomac, a copy of which is attached. The policies listed above explain what information the Commission makes public regarding its member institutions and what information remains confidential, describe the various accreditation actions the Commission can take, and define the terms used in the Commission’s actions.

University of the Potomac, a private, for-profit institution, is located in Washington, DC. It has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education since 2006. University of the Potomac offers Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees as well as post-secondary certificates. A summary of the most recent Commission actions relative to the institution’s accreditation follows.

Current Accreditation Status

 

On June 26, 2014, the Commission acted to place the institution on probation because of a lack of evidence that it is currently in compliance with Standard 2 (Planning, Resource Allocation, and Institutional Renewal), Standard 3 (Institutional Resources), Standard 7 (Institutional Assessment) and Standard 14 (Assessment of Student Learning). The full text of the Commission’s action is provided below. The Commission’s accreditation standards are available online at http://www.msche.org/publications/CHX-2011-WEB.pdf.

 

University of the Potomac remains accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education while on probation.

 

Probation indicates that an institution has been determined by the Commission not to meet one or more standards for accreditation and is an indication of a serious concern on the part of the Commission regarding the level and/or scope of non-compliance issues related to the standards. A follow-up report, called a monitoring report, is required to demonstrate that the institution has made appropriate improvements to bring itself into compliance. A small team visit also is conducted to verify institutional status and progress. 

 

 

Summary of Recent Commission Actions

 

At least every ten years, all accredited institutions engage in an 18-24 month period of self-study intended to demonstrate institutional compliance with accreditation standards and to promote institutional improvement. University of the Potomac completed its self-study process and hosted an evaluation team visit during the 2013-14 academic year. Following the on-site visit, the evaluation team submitted its report to University of the Potomac and the institution prepared its institutional response. The institutional response is an opportunity for the institution to provide a thoughtful written response to the team report including disagreements with and/or interpretations of evaluation team findings. These prepared materials were considered by the Committee on Evaluation Reports and by the Commission at their June 2014 meetings.

 

On June 26, 2014, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education acted as follows:

 

To place the institution on probation because of insufficient evidence that it is currently in compliance with Standard 2 (Planning, Resource Allocation, and Institutional Renewal), Standard 3 (Institutional Resources), Standard 7 (Institutional Assessment), and Standard 14 (Assessment of Student Learning). To note that the institution remains accredited while on probation. To request a monitoring report, due March 1, 2015, documenting that the institution has achieved and can sustain compliance with Standards 2, 3, 7 and 14, including but not limited to evidence that the institution (1) conducts ongoing planning and resource allocation based on its mission and goals, develops objectives to achieve them, and utilizes the results of its assessment activities for institutional renewal  (Standard 2); (2) has achieved short- and long-term financial viability and sustainability (Standard 3); and (3) documents and implements an organized, systematic and sustained assessment process to improve institutional effectiveness and student learning, with evidence that assessment information is used in budgeting, planning, and resource allocation (Standards 7 and 14). In addition, to request that the monitoring report document further steps taken to strengthen basic skills (Standard 13). To also request a progress report, due August 1, 2014, documenting audited financial statements and management letter for FY2014 (Standard 3). A small team visit will follow submission of the monitoring report. To direct a prompt Commission liaison guidance visit to discuss the Commission's expectations. The Periodic Review Report due date will be set when accreditation is reaffirmed.

 

Current Status and Expected Activities   

 

University of the Potomac remains accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education while on probation.   

 

Following submission of a monitoring report on March 1, 2015, the Commission will conduct a small team visit to assess the institution’s compliance with the Commission’s standards. Following the on-site visit, a report by the visiting team will be completed. The monitoring report, the small team report and the institutional response to the small team report will be considered by the Committee on Follow-Up Activities, and then by the Commission.

 

Following review by the Committee on Follow-up Activities, the Commission will take further action, in accordance with the Commission’s policy, Range of Commission Actions on Accreditation (available at http://www.msche.org/documents/RangeofCommissionActions62614.pdf.  If, based on the monitoring report and small team report, the Commission determines that University of the Potomac has made appropriate progress in addressing the cited concerns, the Commission may act to remove the probation and reaffirm accreditation.  If the Commission determines that progress sufficient to demonstrate compliance with its accreditation standards has not been made, the Commission may take further action as allowed under the Range of Commission Actions on Accreditation

 

For More Information

 

The following resources provide additional information that may be helpful in understanding the Commission’s actions and University of the Potomac’s accreditation status:

 

Statement of Accreditation Status for University of the Potomac (http://www.msche.org/institutions_directory.asp) provides factual information about University of the Potomac and the full text of the Commission’s recent actions regarding the institution.

Media Backgrounder (http://www.msche.org/documents/MediaBackgrounder2014.pdf ) answers questions about accreditation such as “What is accreditation?” and “What is the Middle States Commission on Higher Education?”

Informing the Public about Accreditation (www.chea.org/public_info/index.asp), published by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, provides additional information on the nature and value of accreditation.