The University has completed its decennial Middle States Self-Study and submitted it to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), our accrediting body. This Self-Study provided an opportunity to reflect on the growth and transformation that ahs taken place at the University, discuss the impact on students and student learning and generate ideas for institutional improvement.
The first question most people ask regarding the accreditation process is, “What is the primary purpose of the Self-Study process?” and “What outcomes constitute a ‘successful’ Self-Study process?” The purpose of the Self-Study is to ensure that the University’s work at all levels is focused on students and providing them with the best possible education both within and outside the classroom. This focus allows the identification of both strengths and challenges in serving students, and results in ongoing program and services revisions that continually enhance student growth and learning outcomes.
Montclair State University, like all MSCHE accredited institutions, is expected to present evidence that all instruction and support to students aligns with the Mission Statement and corresponding Strategic Plan to serve students. MSCHE recognizes that every institution serves its own unique community. The goal of the Self-Study report is to tell the story of the work of Montclair State’s faculty and staff to meet the needs of the growing student population. These efforts are as diverse as the University community. A “successful” Self-Study presents evidence of achieved and likely continued success in meeting all seven of the MSCHE accreditation standards in ways unique and specific to the growing and diverse Montclair campus community.
Faculty and staff may ask, “This is great for the University, but how does it help me?” The outcomes of the self-study provide guidance to faculty and staff across the campus with regard to the effectiveness of the assessment of student learning, program goals, and support services. As these assessments are faculty and staff driven and implemented, the data gathered will continue to inform academic program development and revisions. It also will provide guidance and insight into the effectiveness of student support services and the facilities in which learning takes place. In addition, the self-study addresses the issues of resource allocation to support the achievement of Montclair State’s Mission and Goals.
“What Happens During a Middle States Evaluation Team Visit?” The final written Self-Study report was submitted on February 17, 2017. The report has now been shared with both the campus community and the assigned MSCHE Evaluation Team. This team will conduct its on-campus visit and review April 2-5, 2017. The visit includes multiple meetings with faculty, staff, students, and administrators and the visit ends with a reporting session and finally a written report, including recommendations, for continued institutional improvement. The University will respond to these recommendations with plans for further review and program implementation that will facilitate meeting accreditors’ recommendations for continued progress in meeting the standards. These final steps provide opportunities for reflection and discussion within the campus community, fueling continued growth in Montclair State’s efforts to provide students with the best possible educational experience and outcomes.
You can access the Self-Study Report here.