Middle States Commission on Higher Education Announces the Results of Three Show Cause Appearances

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has announced the actions pertaining to the show cause appearances held on Nov. 15, 2018, in Philadelphia for The Art Institute of Philadelphia, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. When an accredited institution is out of compliance, the Commission may require it to show cause or to continue show cause at any time in order to demonstrate why its accreditation should not be withdrawn.

“The actions of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education represent a thorough evaluation of each of the institutions placed on show cause and appearing before the Commission,” said Commission Chair-Elect Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin.

“Since the Commission relies upon a three-tiered peer review process conducted by evaluators from peer institutions, committees of the Commission, and a comprehensive Commission review, we can be assured of equitable, fair, and consistent results,” said Current Commission Chair Dr. Gary L. Wirt.

McMenamin on The Art Institute of Philadelphia

“In the case of The Art Institute of Philadelphia, the Commission became aware of the institution’s intention to close by the end of the year. By allowing The Art Institute of Philadelphia to close on Dec. 28, 2018, while on show cause and have its accreditation cease on Dec. 29, 2018, the action reflects the Commission’s interest in ensuring that currently enrolled students will be able to transfer or graduate this fall from an accredited institution. The Commission has also approved the teach-out plan and teach-out agreements.”

McMenamin on The Art Institute of Pittsburgh

“For The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, the Commission is requiring the institution to continue to show cause by March 1, 2019, as to why its accreditation should not be withdrawn. The Commission action indicates that clarity is still needed around relationships between the Dream Center Foundation, the Dream Center Education Holdings, and The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. In addition, the Commission needs additional information relating to institutional governance matters. While the institution remains out of compliance, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh demonstrated compliance with some standards and requirements from the previous Commission action. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh will be invited to appear before the Commission when it meets on June 2019, to consider the institution’s next show cause report.”

Wirt on Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

“Representatives from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania provided a thorough report at its show cause appearance regarding updates on a number of ongoing initiatives at the University. As a result, the Commission granted Cheyney University a second extension for good cause. As the action reflects, the Commission found the institution has demonstrated significant progress towards the resolution of its non-compliance issues and is making a good faith effort to remedy existing deficiencies. Another team of Commission representatives will visit Cheyney in early fall 2019 and the institution will again appear before the Commission for a final show cause appearance at its meeting on Nov. 21, 2019.”

Additional information for Commission policies and procedures, as well as links to the Commission actions for each institution can be found at:

Policies and Procedures







Institutional Non-Compliance Actions

https://www.msche.org/non-compliance-and-adverse-actions/ (and choose the institution to download the letter sent to the U.S. Department of Education)