MSCHE’s USDE Recognition

NACIQI Meeting Announcement

Updated January 27, 2023

The official announcement for the upcoming meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) from February 28 to March 2, 2023, was announced in the Federal Register.

MSCHE is tentatively scheduled to appear in the afternoon of February 28, 2023; however, this agenda remains subject to change. You can join the meeting virtually as well as register to provide public oral comment about as described in the Federal Register.

Attend the Meeting Virtually 

To observe the appearance of the Commission, you can register through the link provided in the Federal Register at https://2023NACIQIWINTER.eventbrite.com.

Make a Public Oral Comment 

The Commission has encouraged member institutions, their students, and the public to better understand the recognition process and consider providing public comments when opportunities to do so become available. The Commission’s appearance before NACIQI is another opportunity to engage in this process as you can register to make public oral comments during our appearance.

You can find the instructions to register to provide public comments in the Federal Register. Deadlines to do so are also indicated there.


MSCHE’s USDE Recognition

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) is an institutional accreditor that serves as a standard-bearer in higher education, establishing equitable standards of accreditation with member institutions that advance the impact of accreditation in the ever-changing landscape of higher education. MSCHE is proud of the role it serves in verifying the quality of higher education through peer review, assessment, and evaluation.

As an institutional accrediting agency, MSCHE is recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and must be reviewed by and demonstrate compliance with the Secretary of Education’s Criteria for Recognition. Only institutions and programs accredited by a federally recognized accreditor can provide students with access to federal student aid, including Pell Grants and student loans.

MSCHE is committed to maintaining rigorous and comprehensive standards for institutions, and we hold ourselves to equally exceptional standards. The Commission values the USDE process as an opportunity for self-reflection, growth, and meaningful change – one of the three pillars of our Mission, Vision, and Values.

MSCHE Recognition: The Process

The process for USDE federal recognition occurs every five years. MSCHE was last renewed in May 2018 for a period of five years, the maximum recognition period, and submitted its most recent petition for recognition in April 2021. After all information is reviewed, USDE will send its final staff recommendation to the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) for its recommendation relating to MSCHE’s renewal to the Department’s Senior Official. MSCHE will have an opportunity to appear virtually before NACIQI at a meeting scheduled between February 28 to March 2, 2023, to make a formal presentation and answer questions from NACIQI members before a recommendation is rendered. The Department’s Senior Official makes a decision following the NACIQI meeting within 90 days.

MSCHE Representatives at the NACIQI Meeting

On January 17, 2023, MSCHE announced the Commissioners and staff who will represent the Commission at the NACIQI meeting.

Name Title
Dr. Davie Gilmour Chair, Middle States Commission on Higher Education; President Emeritus, Pennsylvania College of Technology
Dr. Katherine Conway-Turner Vice-Chair, Middle States Commission on Higher Education; President, SUNY Buffalo State
Dr. Heather Perfetti President, Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Dr. Diana Barbu Senior Director for Research, Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Dr. Idna Corbett Senior Vice President for Accreditation Relations, Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Ms. Kathie Jeffries Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer, Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Dr. Amy Moseder Vice President for Policy and Regulatory Affairs, Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Dr. Stephen Pugliese Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff, Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Dr. Tracey Schneider Senior Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel, Middle States Commission on Higher Education

In addition, other staff supporting the process include Administrative Coordinator for the President’s Office Ms. Kasey Bennett, Director for Communications and Development Specialist Ms. Nicole Biever, Associate Policy Analyst and Records Officer Ms. Bridgette Boody, Director for Events Ms. Vicki Clark, Events Technology Assistant Ms. Rebecca DeHaven, Senior Director for Communications and Events Mr. Brian Kirschner, Director for Regulatory Affairs Ms. Beverly Rebar, and Senior Director for Technology Services Mr. Christian Slater. 

MSCHE Member Institution and Public Oral Comment

Member institutions and the public are encouraged to take part virtually in our USDE recognition process. We value the support and encourage input from member institutions, their students, and the public. Institutions are encouraged to speak to their experience with MSCHE. MSCHE representatives will have an opportunity to respond to comments at the appearance, and we invite feedback to help us improve.

Attend the Meeting Virtually 

To observe the appearance of the Commission, you can register through the link provided in the Federal Register at https://2023NACIQIWINTER.eventbrite.com.

Make a Public Oral Comment 

The Commission has encouraged member institutions, their students, and the public to better understand the recognition process and consider providing public comments when opportunities to do so become available. The Commission’s appearance before NACIQI is another opportunity to engage in this process as you can register to make public oral comments during our appearance.

You can find the instructions to register to provide public comments in the Federal Register. Deadlines to do so are also indicated there.

This will be the second time constituents have had the opportunity to take part in this recent recognition process. In January 2022, the USDE solicited written comments for Agencies Under Review and Evaluation, which included MSCHE. We had an opportunity to review those comments and would like to thank those who took the time to reflect on MSCHE and look forward to additional comments in February.

What is NACIQI?

The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI) was authorized and reconstituted by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. NACIQI provides recommendations regarding accrediting agencies that monitor the academic quality of postsecondary institutions and educational programs for federal purposes.

Since it reconvened in 2010, NACIQI has been advising the U.S. Secretary of Education on matters concerning accreditation, the Secretary’s recognition process for accrediting agencies, and institutional eligibility for federal student aid, through the Committee’s public meetings. (source https://sites.ed.gov/naciqi)

 

MSCHE Recognition Timeline
May 2018 USDE renews MSCHE’s federal recognition for five years.
April 1, 2021 United States Department of Education (USDE) Petition submitted.
April 29, 2022 Draft USDE staff report received by MSCHE along with third-party comments.
October 31, 2022 MSCHE’s official response to USDE staff analyst.
October 31, 2022 – November 2, 2022 USDE staff analyst observes a site visit in accordance with federal regulation 34 CFR 602.32(d)(ii)
December 2022/January 2023 USDE will review the MSCHE response and provide a final staff analysis no later than 30 days prior to the NACIQI appearance.
January 27, 2023 Call to Register for Public Oral Comments.
February 8, 2023 USDE sends final staff recommendations to NACIQI, MSCHE, and public.
February 28, 2023 MSCHE scheduled appearance before NACIQI.
Post NACIQI Appearance
MSCHE will receive the USDE Senior Department Official’s decision within 90 days post the Commission’s appearance at NACIQI.

Should MSCHE not concur with the Senior Department Official’s decision, MSCHE must adhere to the following procedures established by the USDE:

  • MSCHE must notify the USDE within 10 days of receiving the USDE Senior Department Official’s decision, should MSCHE wish to appeal.
  • MSCHE must submit its appeal to the United States Secretary of Education within 30 days of receiving the USDE Senior Department Official’s decision.

It should be noted that the Secretary has no deadline to render their final decision.

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