Montclair State Reaccredited by Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Process sets course for creation of new strategic plan

Following the conclusion of a two-and-a-half-year process of self-study and peer evaluation, Montclair State University has been fully reaccredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as well as by the U.S. Department of Education, the prestigious accreditation reflects and confirms the educational quality of the University. The next MSCHE accreditation review is scheduled for 2025-26.

The review process involved gathering extensive, in-depth data on the University’s academic, administrative, student life, facilities and financial operations; writing a full self-study report; and hosting the MSCHE visiting team of educators.

Montclair State met all seven MSCHE standards, which cover mission and goals, ethics and integrity, educational effectiveness, assessment, governance, leadership and administration – and was commended by the Commission for “the quality of the self-study process and report.”

“The Commission has imposed no requirements or recommendations,” says Montclair State University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Willard Gingerich. “The non-mandatory suggestions made by the visiting committee cover things we’ve learned about ourselves during this process. They will be the subjects of new discussions as we work to close the circle of this ongoing self-examination.”

Provost-appointed Executive Leadership Team members Professor Joan Besing, Communications Sciences and Disorders, Associate Provost for Academic Programs and Assessment Joanne Cote-Bonanno and Acting Director Christine Lemesianou, School of Communication and Media, agree that the self-study process was a valuable learning experience for the University.

Cote-Bonanno, Besing and Lemesianou report that the self-study process revealed that the University has continued to grow its student body and its resources in remarkable ways while also responding to evolving needs with new programs and support services for students.

The University’s self-study process under the aegis of the Middle States review is also intended to identify areas in which the University could advance its academic impacts and operational efficiencies. Those suggestions range from connecting with alumni in a more systematic way and improving internal communication across the University to coordinating campus-wide student surveys and enhancing the research culture at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

“With these suggestions in hand and with the experience of self-study and its discoveries fresh in our minds,” says Gingerich, “we will turn in the fall to the future and the creation of a new strategic plan.”

The strategic planning process will prioritize the Commission’s suggestions as the foundation of the new strategic plan. Cote-Bonanno, Lemesianou and Besing note that the reaccreditation process set the precedent for strategic planning through its University-wide participation. Since much of the background work has been completed, they look forward to an efficient and fruitful strategic planning process.