Middle States Commission on Higher Education



December 6-8, 2017 • Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel



About the Conference

Join your colleagues in Philadelphia - our nation's birthplace - for the 2017 Annual Conference of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

The Commission is moving toward the full implementation of its new accreditation standards and its new accreditation processes and cycle, while experiencing a changing higher education regulatory landscape in Washington. This year's Annual Conference provides member institutions with an invaluable opportunity to learn how to confront the challenges they will face over the coming year.

The pre-conference workshops and the conference's concurrent sessions will examine issues that are key to the success of MSCHE members. Among the concurrent sessions will be presentations by institutions that were involved in the Commission's Collaborative Implementation Project, and recently had their accreditation reaffirmed based on self-studies prepared under the new standards. The Annual Conference will include four plenary sessions, including one on the implementation of the new standards and one that will focus on the new accreditation process.

See you in Philadelphia!

2017 Annual Conference Planning Committee

Program Committee/Reviewers
Margaret M. McMenamin, Program Chair; Vice Chair of the Commission; and President, Union County College
Bronte Burleigh-Jones, MSCHE Commissioner; and Vice President for Finance and Administration, Dickinson College

Barbara Samuel Loftus, Vice President of Planning, Misericordia University
Ellie A. Fogarty, MSCHE Vice President
Andrea A. Lex, MSCHE Senior Vice President for Operations
Heather F. Perfetti, MSCHE Vice President for Legal Affairs and Chief of Staff

KJ Fitzpatrick, MSCHE Director for
Conferences and Educational Programs
Victoria Clark, MSCHE Assistant Director for Conferences and Educational Programs
Richard J. Pokrass, MSCHE Director for Communications and Public Relations

Preliminary Program

Preliminary Program - Full Printed Version
Click HERE to download pdf version of the Preliminary Program.

Schedule at a Glance
Click HERE to download pdf version of the program chart.

Pre-conference Workshops
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 (Click HERE for information.)

Conference Program
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 (Click HERE for information.)
Thursday, December 7, 2017 (Click HERE for information.)
Friday, December 8, 2017 (Click HERE for information.)

Plenary Session Information

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 5:00pm-6:00pm
The 2014 Standards: Lessons Learned from the Collaborative Implementation Project (CIP)

The Collaborative Implementation Project (CIP), the Commission’s approach to implementing the 2014 Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation, concluded this year with the fifteen participating institutions hosting self-study evaluation visits and Commission action. This session will share lessons learned from the implementation of the 2014 Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation from the perspective of the Commission, teams, and institutional representatives who participated in the project.
Margaret M. McMenamin, President, Union County College - Moderator; Kathleen Hetherington, President, Howard Community College; Melinda Bunnell-Rhyne, Assistant Vice President for Student Engagement and University Development, Capitol Technology University; and Brian Fernandes, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Dominican College of Blauvelt

Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 9:00am-10:00am
Accountability in a Changing Environment
Generally higher education, regional accreditors, and state and federal governments agree in concept on accountability for higher education. Certainly, public higher education broadly believe that accountability in important for their students and public credibility.  We are in an era of less confidence in public institutions and that extends to higher education.  We regularly have accounts of the world-wide respect and leadership of the American research university but at the same time we have polling that shows sizable groups in society no longer being very supportive of higher education. The accountability impetrative has meant a shift from inputs to outputs. We will trace what this could and should mean in practice.

Dr. Peter McPherson, President, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 3:30pm-4:30pm
Renewing the Accreditation Model: Implementation Updates on the Cycle and Processes
Renewal of the Commission's accreditation model, begun in 2014 with the adoption of Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation, continued this year with the initial implementation of the eight-year accreditation cycle and the changes in accreditation processes approved by the membership in January. This session will provide updates on the progress made in moving to the streamlined cycle, introducing institutions to the revised self-study process, opening the Annual Institutional Update for all institutions, and preparing for the first Mid-Point Peer Reviews.
Robert K. Clark, Special Assistant to the President for Planning, Research, Institutional Effectiveness, and Grants, Cumberland County College; Ellie A. Fogarty, Vice President, Middle States Commission on Higher Education; W. Allen Richman, Senior Director for Research, Middle States Commission on Higher Education; Robert A. Schneider, Senior Vice President for Accreditation Relations, Middle States Commission on Higher Education; and Lisa Shibley, Assistant Vice President, Millersville University

Friday, December 8, 2017 - 9:00am-10:00am
Higher Education and the Trump Administration
This session will focus on opportunities and challenges for higher education in the coming year. The speaker will address key legislative issues, including “free” community college, and Pell for short-term workforce training programs. And, the session will discuss alignment of higher education priorities to those outlined by the Administration.

Dr. Walter G. Bumphus, President and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education encourages meaningful and constructive dialogue as well as respectful conduct among attendees at the MSCHE Annual Conference. The contents of all presentations are developed by the individual speakers. With the exception of Commission staff presenters, MSCHE neither implies its endorsement nor support of the comments of individual presenters. All conference functions are subject to change and/or cancellation due to circumstances beyond the control of the Commission. Individual recording (audio or visual) of conference presentations is strictly prohibited.

Conference Exhibit Hall

The Exhibit Hall is a popular place to explore the new products and services offered by participating companies, and to network with professional peers. In addition to exhibits, the hall will feature an opening reception on Wednesday (December 6), continental breakfast on Thursday and Friday (December 7 and 8), and a box lunch on Thursday (December 7) for all registered conference attendees.

Exhibit Schedule
Wednesday, December 6
Exhibit Hall Welcome Reception · 6:00 - 7:30 pm
Thursday, December 7
Exhibit Hall Open · 7:30 am - 4:30 pm 

Breakfast in the Exhibit Hall · 7:30 - 8:45 am 
Box Lunch with Exhibitors · 12:00 - 1:30 pm (box lunches available for pickup until 1:00 pm)

Friday, December 8
Exhibit Hall Open · 7:30 - 11:30 am
Breakfast in the Exhibit Hall
· 7:30 - 8:45 am

This year's MSCHE Booth will contain a selection of books on assessment, governance, and online teaching. In addition, there will be MSCHE publications available for purchase. Stop by, browse, and select your favorites. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express will be accepted for all purchases. Also available will be free brochures on Philadelphia cultural and historical attractions, transit information, and the newly updated MSCHE Philadelphia Restaurant and Transportation Guide.

Alphabetical List of Current Exhibitors with Links to Exhibitor Websites
(The Middle States Commission on Higher Education neither endorses nor recommends the products or services of any exhibitor.)

ETS (Bronze Level Exhibit Sponsor - Wednesday Night Welcome Reception)

Apperson, Inc
APL nextED

ASR Analytics, LLC
Aviso Retention
Campus Labs

Digital Measures

eLumen, Inc

eScience Labs
Equifax Graduate Outcomes
InsideTrack, Inc
Live Text, Inc



Strategic Planning Online
Taskstream - TK20
The Learning House, Inc
Vcamp 360


Conference Registration & Fees


Save $120 off the on-site registration fee!

Must register on or before
November 3, 2017.

On-Site Registration

After November 3, 2017
Only on-site Registration Available.


$675 $795





Unless otherwise noted, the registration fee includes all sessions, exhibits, welcome reception, continental breakfasts with exhibitors, Thursday's box lunch, and complimentary Wi-Fi on meeting room floors. (Pre-conference workshops require additional fees (see below), and are only available for registration during the "Early Registration" period. On-site registration for Pre-conference workshops will not be available.) All registrations must be completed online with a credit card (MasterCard, Visa, or American Express only). Checks and purchase orders are not accepted. Badges and conference materials will be held for attendees' arrival at the conference.

Pre-Conference Workshop Information & Fees

Six pre-conference workshops (two are repeated) are offered during this year's meeting. Each workshop has a maximum attendance, so early registration is encouraged. All workshops are separately ticketed events and require fees in addition to the full conference registration. Workshops are only available for registration during the "Early Discount" registration period. On-site registration for pre-conference workshops will not be available. Click HERE for descriptions of pre-conference workshops.

Full-day Workshops
W-1: Role and Responsibilities of the Accreditation Liaison Officer WORKSHOP FULL
$245 -- Fee includes lunch and refreshment breaks.
W-2: Commission Actions, Campus Crises, and Anxious Constituents: Keeping Everyone Calm and Informed
$245 -- Fee includes lunch and refreshment breaks.

Half-day Workshops
W-3 (morning): Building Capacity in Order to Integrate Accreditation Processes into College Functions
$135 -- Fee includes refreshment break. Note: Lunch NOT included.
W-4 (morning): Self-Study: Writing the Report and Preparing for the Team
$135 -- Fee includes refreshment break. Note: Lunch NOT included.

W-5 (afternoon): Building Capacity in Order to Integrate Accreditation Processes into College Functions WORKSHOP FULL
$135 -- Fee includes refreshment break. Note: Lunch NOT included.
W-6 (afternoon): Self-Study: Writing the Report and Preparing for the Team
$135 -- Fee includes refreshment break. Note: Lunch NOT included.

If you need to modify or cancel your registration, please click HERE. You will need your confirmation number and the e-mail address used when making the original registration.

To qualify for a refund, registrations must be canceled online by November 3, 2017. A cancellation fee of $145 will be assessed, regardless of reason for the cancellation. Annual Conference "no shows" are not entitled to a refund. To qualify for a pre-conference workshop refund, registrants must cancel online by November 3, 2017. A cancellation fee of $85 will be assessed for full-day workshops and $45 for half-day workshops, regardless of reason for the cancellation.

On-Site Registration
On-site registration will take place at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel (MSCHE Registration Desk) during the following hours: Wednesday, December 6, 7:30 am - 6:30 pm; Thursday, December 7, 7:00 am - 4:30 pm; and Friday, December 8, 7:00 am - 11:30 am.

Throughout the conference, MSCHE will be photographing various events and activities. These photos may be used in future Commission newsletters, promotional materials for other MSCHE-sponsored conferences and workshops, and other MSCHE publications, both in print and electronic. By registering, attending, or participating in the MSCHE Annual Conference, all attendees consent to be photographed and/or videotaped and to allow the Commission to use such images for promotional and informational purposes.


Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel

The 2017 MSCHE Annual Conference will be held at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel, 1201 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107. The hotel commands a towering presence in the heart of America's original capital city. Surrounded by rich revolutionary history and culture, guests at this Center City hotel enjoy close proximity to historic attractions. Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and the National Constitution Center are a short walk, cab, or bus ride away. Some of Philadelphia's finest restaurants are located within walking distance of the hotel. Also nearby are many of the city's top shopping and entertainment venues. The hotel is ideal for travelers, with its close proximity to various modes of transportation, including air, rail, bus, and automobile.

Conference Rate
$214 per night plus applicable taxes (single or double occupancy). All reservations must be accompanied by a first-night room deposit or guaranteed with a major credit card. Reservations must be canceled at least 72 hours prior to arrival to avoid a fee equal to one night's room and tax. Limited on-site valet parking is available for an additional fee.

Make Your Reservation
Online reservations click HERE.
Telephone reservations call 877-901-6632To receive the conference rate, you must indicate that you are attending the Middle States Commission on Higher Education Conference.

Reservations are made on a space and type-available basis. The hotel will hold the room block until November 3, 2017 or until the block is sold out - whichever comes first. After this date, any remaining unreserved rooms in the MSCHE room block will be released for general sale to the public on a space and rate-available basis. (Please do not make duplicate reservations in order to hold rooms. Doing so removes rooms from the group block and limits the availability of rooms for other attendees. Please finalize your reservation early and cancel any unneeded room nights as soon as possible. This will allow others the opportunity to stay at the conference hotel.)

Note that the Middle States Commission on Higher Education only contracts hotel services for the 2017 Annual Conference through the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel. No other company is authorized by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to provide hotel reservations for this meeting. MSCHE is not connected in any way with other companies claiming to represent or provide hotel services for the organization.

Hotel Photos: Courtesy of Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel.

Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-2680; Telephone: (267) 284-5000