MSCHE’s USDE Recognition Determination

On May 31, 2023, the United States Department of Education (USDE) announced the acceptance of the staff recommendation with regard to the recognition of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). One expected area of non-compliance was noted, with a report due within 12 months. This decision follows the recommendation of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), members of which unanimously voted on March 1, 2023, to recommend the renewal of MSCHE recognition. MSCHE Commissioners and staff had appeared before NACIQI to make their formal presentation and answer questions from NACIQI members as well as hear public oral comments.

Representing the Commission before NACIQI were Commission Chair and President Emeritus of Pennsylvania College of Technology Davie J. Gilmour and Commission Vice-Chair and President of SUNY Buffalo State Katherine Conway-Turner.

“I am grateful for Davie and Kate’s participation in this process along with all of our staff who supported this process for the last several years. We all are immensely proud of the work we are doing and the rigor and integrity with which we approach our student-centered accreditation activities,” President Heather F. Perfetti said. “I want to thank our higher education partners, institutional representatives, peer evaluators, Commissioners, and the staff for all the ways we contribute together to quality assurance and how we drive transformation, change, and innovation across our higher education community.”

The criterion of non-compliance is noted as:

34 C.F.R. 602.26(f)(2)—MSCHE must demonstrate that it has a policy specific to 34 C.F.R. 602.26(f)(2) relating to the decision by an accredited or preaccredited institution or program to voluntarily withdrawal from accreditation or preaccreditation, or let its accreditation or preaccreditation lapse.

The Commission does not allow accreditation or preaccreditation to lapse. Therefore, it had no policy or procedure for such. In response to the staff analyst report noting this area of non-compliance, the Commission addressed it ahead of the NACIQI appearance with clarifying language in policy and procedures. Due to the timing, it had to remain an area of non-compliance, and the Commission is prepared to provide a formal report as required by the Senior Department Official’s determination letter.

For additional information about MSCHE’s appearance before NACIQI, visit MSCHE’s USDE Recognition page.