MSCHE Policy, Procedures, and Bylaws Updates | November 2022
The following changes of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) are available in the Browse Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines and About Us sections of the MSCHE website and are summarized below.
Revised Substantive Change Procedures and Forms
As part of a regularly scheduled annual review of substantive change documents, the Commission made technical amendments to the Substantive Change Procedures, Complex Substantive Change Procedures, and Substantive Change Guidelines, effective August 1, 2022. The Commission also identified some clarifications that were necessary as related to federal regulations that govern accrediting agencies.
All Substantive Change Request Forms were reviewed and updated as necessary based on changes to the procedures or guidelines. The forms were effective September 1, 2022. The substantive change forms are available on the Commission’s website at https://www.msche.org/substantive-change.
The Commission provided several training sessions for institutions and peer evaluators in the fall. Links to the recorded training are available below:
Substantive Change Updates with Live Q&A (training for peer evaluators): https://youtu.be/Pz9fOU0zams
Submitting a Complex Substantive Change Request – Presentation and Live Q&A: https://youtu.be/DgUhdMP3_m0
Substantive Change Updates with Live Q&A (training for institutions): https://youtu.be/Qpq0H2P-Kqk
Revised Accreditation Actions Procedures
The Commission revised the Accreditation Actions Procedures, effective October 1, 2022. The purpose of the revisions was to align Accreditation Actions Procedures with recent changes made to other documents, including the Substantive Change Procedures and Complex Substantive Change Procedures, which were effective August 1, 2022. Institutions that participate in title IV financial aid programs will see specific language related to title IV participation in relevant accreditation actions. In addition, the Commission is currently revising the Application and Candidacy Review Cycle and Monitoring Procedures, which will be broken out into four separate procedural documents (anticipated effective date January 1, 2023). Finally, the Commission made clarifications to the types of procedural and administrative actions the Commission may take.
Technical Amendments to Procedures
The Commission made technical amendments to the following procedures, effective October 1, 2022, to clarify descriptions of process and insert federal regulatory language and citations.
- Accreditation Review Cycle and Monitoring Procedures
- Appeals from Adverse Accrediting Actions Procedures
- Arbitration of Disputes Concerning Final Adverse Actions Procedures
- Communication in the Accreditation Process Procedures
- Maintenance and Retention of Commission Records Procedures
Revised Dues and Fees Policy
The Commission revised the Dues and Fees Policy, effective September 1, 2022. The revision reflects explicit statements regarding separate and independent financial aspects as well as separate and independent budget development and determinations. The main policy statement has been revised as follows:
The Commission shall establish membership dues for member (candidate and accredited) institutions on an annual basis. Annual membership dues shall be based on the calculation described in the Dues and Fees Procedures. The Commission shall establish fees for accreditation activities on an annual basis as described in the Dues and Fees Procedures. The Commission shall develop and determine its budget and shall collect dues and fees as a separate and independent organization, with no review by or consultation with any other entity or organization, in accordance with federal regulation 34 CFR § 602.14(b)(4) and 34 CFR § 602.14(b)(5).
The Commission revised its bylaws, effective November 1, 2022, to align language of the standards, web communications, and corporate documents. The revision to Section 2.02 clarifies MSCHE’s role as a title IV gatekeeper and MSCHE’s purpose for ensuring institutions demonstrate compliance with applicable state and federal laws. The revision to Section 4.04 clarifies the institution’s responsibility to demonstrate compliance with applicable state and federal laws and all program requirements under title IV.
New Administrative Policies and Procedures
The Commission has developed two administrative policies and procedures that apply to its operation as a non-profit organization, effective October 1, 2022. The Reserves Policy and Procedures define and set goals for the Commission’s operating reserves fund, clearly describe authorization for the use of reserves, and outline requirements for reporting and monitoring.
The Gift Acceptance Policy and Procedures govern the Commission’s acceptance of gifts and provide guidance to prospective donors and their advisors when considering making gifts to the Commission. The procedures establish a uniform process for the acceptance of gifts or donations to the Commission.
Categories: Policy and Procedures