Self-Study Institute Provides Foundation for Self-Study Process

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education hosts a three-day intensive Self-Study Institute (SSI) to aid in the development of the self-study.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education hosts an annual, three-day intensive Self-Study Institute (SSI) to aid in the development of the self-study.

Whether an institution is seeking its first accreditation through the candidacy process or taking the steps to reaffirm its accreditation as part of the Accreditation Review Cycle, the self-study is the mandatory process to fulfill those goals.

In order to assist institutions, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education hosts a three-day intensive Self-Study Institute (SSI) to aid in the development of the self-study.

“This year, we welcomed over 200 individuals from 69 institutions,” said Dr. Idna Corbett, MSCHE Vice President and one of the members of the planning committee for this years’ Self-Study Institute held from Nov. 5-7 in Philadelphia. “We had institutions in attendance that represented the broad array of schools accredited by the Commission from the public, non-profit, and for-profit sectors.”

A self-study requires an institution to engage in an in-depth, comprehensive, and reflective assessment process to identify institutional priorities as well as opportunities for improvement and innovation. Through this process, the institution must provide evidence and document compliance with the Commission’s standards for accreditation, requirements of affiliation, policies and procedures, and federal compliance requirements.

Dr. Ellie A. Fogarty, MSCHE Vice President and Chair of the SSI planning committee, leads a breakout session.

Dr. Ellie A. Fogarty, MSCHE Vice President and Chair of the SSI planning committee, leads a breakout session.

“Participating in the Self-Study Institute gives institutions the opportunity to meet and interact with other colleges and universities in the same cohort so they can develop contacts and learn from each other during the Institute,” said Dr. Ellie A. Fogarty, MSCHE Vice President and Chair of the SSI planning committee. “In addition, we invite presenters and co-facilitators who are currently engaged in self-study or have recently completed the process to share their stories, effective practices, and helpful hints for success. We hope the participants leave the event feeling energized to begin self-study and confident that they are prepared to take the next steps, knowing that Commission staff and resources will be available to them throughout the process.”

Generally, the self-study process begins about two years before an institution submits its Self-Study Report. Colleges and universities at this year’s Institute will be reviewed in 2020-2021. The 2018 Self-Study Institute focused on the use of the 2014 Standards for Accreditation in the self-study process, the initial planning stages of the self-study, and preparing for the Self-Study Preparation Visit by the Commission’s staff liaison.

Senior Vice President for Accreditation Relations Dr. Robert Schneider presents an overview of the MSCHE accreditation process.

Senior Vice President for Accreditation Relations Dr. Robert Schneider presents an overview of the MSCHE accreditation process.

“The Self-Study Institute is a deep and broad education in the foundational components of MSCHE accreditation—the Self-Study Evaluation and On-Site Evaluation visit,” said Senior Vice President for Accreditation Relations Dr. Robert Schneider. “It is an encounter with the essence of peer review, and SSI offers immersion in the MSCHE perspective and engagement with the community of member institutions.”

To learn more about the self-study process and On-Site Evaluation Visit conducted by peer evaluators as part of the MSCHE’s eight-year cycle of review of accredited institutions, visit the Commission’s Accreditation Review Cycle and Monitoring Procedures. In addition, the Commission makes available an online Self-Study Guide to give an overview of the process.

Dr. Idna Corbet, MSCHE Vice President and one of the members of the planning committee, moderates a panel discussion about MSCHE standards.

Dr. Idna Corbett, MSCHE Vice President and one of the members of the planning committee, moderates a panel discussion about MSCHE standards.

Joining Dr. Fogarty and Dr. Corbett on the SSI planning committee were Director for Volunteer Training and Development Ms. Gabriela Davie, Managing Vice President Dr. Christy Faison, Senior Vice President for Operations Dr. Andrea Lex, Director for Communications and Public Relations Mr. Brian Kirschner, and Vice President Dr. Sean McKitrick.