MSCHE Staff Score with C-RAC Retreat

A contingent of staff from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) made their way to Atlanta for the biennial Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC) retreat from August 26-28, 2019.

A contingent of staff from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) made their way to Atlanta for the biennial Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC) retreat from August 26-28, 2019. Left to right: Ms. Victoria Clark, Director for Conferences and Educational Programs; Mr. Christian Slater, Director for Technology Support Services; Ms. Christina D’Argenio, Executive Assistant to the President and Manager of Commission Relations; Dr. Elizabeth Sibolski, President; Ms. Carmen Scott, Senior Accreditation Services Coordinator; Ms. Diana Bonner, Executive Assistant to the Senior Vice President for Accreditation Relations and Manager of Institutional Support Services; Ms. Carmella Smith, Director for Substantive Change Accreditation Services, and Dr. Heather Perfetti, President-Elect.

A contingent of staff from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) made their way to Atlanta for the biennial Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC) retreat from August 26-28, 2019. Hosted by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC), the retreat was an opportunity for staff from the seven regional accreditors to connect and learn from each other.

C-RAC is a collective of seven regional organizations responsible for the accreditation of roughly 3,000 of the nation’s colleges and universities.

With Atlanta just having hosted the Super Bowl, the retreat played off a football theme. It kicked off with a panel discussion from the presidents of each commission. Breakout sessions, led or co-presented by MSCHE staff, included topics such as the use of data, approaches to substantive change, working with international institutions, supporting peer evaluators, and implementing a common enterprise system which a majority of the regional accreditors have already adopted.

One highlight of the retreat was a keynote presentation by Diane Auer Jones, Principal Deputy Under Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), who discussed the proposed regulatory changes resulting from the recent negotiated rule making process and how they would impact accreditation. She also reflected upon how the USDE and accreditors worked together to navigate several recent high-profile closures. Ms. Jones will be a plenary speaker at the 2019 MSCHE Annual Conference in December 2019.

“The C-RAC retreat was a great opportunity for MSCHE staff to network with their counterparts and look for better ways to serve our member institutions,” said MSCHE President Dr. Elizabeth H. Sibolski. “While the commissions do similar work, the retreat provided a great opportunity for our staff to share our best practices with the other commissions while learning from them as well.”

The next C-RAC retreat in 2021 will be hosted by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.