Middle States Commission on Higher Education Announces Actions from Its November 2019 Meeting

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has made public the accreditation actions approved at its Nov. 21, 2019, meeting in Philadelphia. Included in those actions are results from the show cause appearances by Cheyney University of Pennsylvania and Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security. When an accredited institution is out of compliance, the Commission may require it to show cause at any time in order to demonstrate why its accreditation should not be withdrawn.

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

Following the show cause appearance by Cheyney University, the Commission acted “to reaffirm accreditation because the institution is now in compliance with Standard VI (Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement) and Requirement of Affiliation 11. To note that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Office of the Governor, has provided written assurance of the elimination of Cheyney University’s debt to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and the Office of the Chancellor.”

“The Middle States Commission on Higher Education continues to recognize the significant progress that Cheyney University has made in coming back into compliance with the Commission’s standards of accreditation and requirements of affiliation,” said Dr. James Sunser, vice chair of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. “As the non-compliance centered on the financial stability of the institution, the pledge by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf to eliminate the institution’s debt to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) and the Office of the Chancellor greatly improved the institution’s financial outlook.”

The Commission’s action requires two reports from Cheyney University in 2020.  The first is a supplemental information report, due March 1, 2020, providing evidence of the resolution of Cheyney University’s debt obligations to PASSHE and evidence of the payment plan negotiated with the United States Department of Education to satisfy the institution’s title IV repayment obligations. Cheyney University will also submit a monitoring report, due Sept. 1, 2020, demonstrating sustainability of the implemented financial plans.  Following submission of the September monitoring report, the institution will host a follow-up team visit. The institution will also host a Commission liaison guidance visit to discuss the Commission’s expectations.

Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security

Following the show cause appearance for Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security, the Commission acted to remove the institution from show cause because it is now in compliance with Standard VII and Requirements of Affiliation 12 and 14, but it warned the institution that its accreditation remains in jeopardy because of insufficient evidence it is currently in compliance with Standard II (Ethics and Integrity).

Daniel Morgan remains accredited while on warning and is required to submit a monitoring report, due March 1, 2020. There will also be a Commission liaison guidance and a follow-up team visit following submission of the monitoring report.

Davis College

In addition, the Commission continued the probation for Davis College because of insufficient evidence that the institution is currently in compliance with Standard III (Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience) and is also now not in compliance with Standard II (Ethics and Integrity) and Standard V (Educational Effectiveness Assessment). The Commission did note that Davis College was now in compliance with Standard VI (Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement) and Requirement of Affiliation 11.

Davis College remains accredited while on probation. The institution must submit a monitoring report due Jan. 6, 2020, demonstrating evidence that the institution has achieved and can sustain ongoing compliance with Standards II, III, and V. In addition to a Commission liaison guidance visit, Davis College will host a follow-up team visit following submission of the monitoring report.

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In accordance with current federal regulations, Daniel Morgan and Davis College can only be in a non-compliance status for a 24-month period. Following that time period, the Commission may grant a 12-month extension of the non-compliance period for good cause. After the first extension, the Commission has the option to grant a second 12-month extension for good cause.

“The Commission continues to rely upon a three-tiered peer review process conducted by evaluators from peer institutions, committees of the Commission, and a comprehensive Commission review in order to achieve results that are equitable, fair, and consistent,” said Dr. Sunser.

For information about MSCHE institutions, visit the institution directory at https://www.msche.org/institution/ to access a Statement of Accreditation Status (SAS), including accreditation history.

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

https://go.msche.org/Show-Cause-Appearance-Procedure

https://go.msche.org/Appeals-from-Adverse-Accrediting-Actions

https://go.msche.org/Accreditation-Actions

https://go.msche.org/Accreditation-Review-Cycle-and-Monitoring

https://go.msche.org/Standards-for-Accreditation

https://go.msche.org/Communication-In-The-Accreditation-Process

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)