Middle States Commission on Higher Education


Frequently Asked Questions

What should students know about expectations for learning at an institution?

The Preamble to the Commission's Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation (adopted 2014) states, "An institution of higher education is a community dedicated to students, to the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge, to the study and clarification of values, and to the advancement of the society it serves. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, through accreditation, mandates that its member institutions meet rigorous and comprehensive standards, which are addressed in the context of the mission of each institution and within the culture of ethical practices and institutional integrity expected of accredited institutions. In meeting the quality standards of MSCHE accreditation, institutions earn accredited status, and this permits them to state with confidence, "Our students are well-served, socoety is well-served."

The Commission's Requirements of Affiliation requiire that an institution's student learning programs and opportunities are characterized by rigor, coherence, and appropriate assessment of student achievement  throughout the educational offerings, regardless of certificate or degree level or delivery and instructional modalty.

MSCHE Standard III (Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience) requires accredited institutions to offer a curriculum that is designed so that students acquire and demonstrate essential skills including at least oral and written communication, scientific and quanititative reasoning, critical analysis and reasoning, technological competency, and information literacy. Consistent with the institution's mission, the general education program must also include the study of values, ethics, and diverse perspectives.

MSCHE Standard IV (Support of the Student Experience) requires institutions to commit to student retention, persistence, completion, and success through a coherent and effective support system sustained by qualified professionals, which enhances the quality of the learning environment, contributes to the educational experience, and fosters student success.