Join Atlantic Cape Team to ‘Shore Up Middle States’

Augie Nigro, assistant professor of history & government, and Jean McAlister, dean, Resource Development & President/Board of Trustees Operations, are chairing the Middle States Self-Study Team in preparation for Atlantic Cape’s Middle States Accreditation Review in spring 2018. While 2018 seems so far away, there is much planning and writing that goes into the process in preparation for the accreditation visit.

The college’s goal is to be reaccredited by Middle States and has adopted the tagline “Shore Up Middle States.”

The self-study process will take place around the new seven Middle States Standards. Each standard will have two co-chairs, and five to six people per team. There will also be a separate committee for compliance.

The college needs volunteers from staff, administration and faculty to serve on the self-study teams.

What is the time commitment?

There will be monthly meetings to start, increasing to two meetings a month as the college moves forward with the process. Co-chairs of each committee will work with their team to set up a schedule. There will be tasks assigned in work-groups as we look for evidence of all the great work we are doing and where we need to improve.

Send an email to Jean McAlister for administration/staff mcaliste@atlantic.edu or Augie Nigro anigro@atlantic.edu for faculty (who have not yet responded) as soon as possible if you are interested in being a part of the team.

Below are the Middle States (MSCHE) Standards. If you see one you think you would like to work on, let us know. You do not have to choose one aligned to your current job responsibilities.

What is Middle States?

Middle States’ accreditation is an expression of confidence in an institution’s mission and goals, its performance and its resources. Based upon the results of institutional review by peers and colleagues assigned by the Commission, accreditation attests to the judgment of the Commission on Higher Education that an institution has met the following criteria:

  • that it has a mission appropriate to higher education;
  • that it is guided by well-defined and appropriate goals, including goals for student learning;
  • that it has established conditions and procedures under which its mission and goals can be realized;
  • that it assesses both institutional effectiveness and student learning outcomes, and uses the results for improvement;
  • that it is accomplishing its mission and goals substantially;
  • that it is organized, staffed and supported so that it can be expected to continue to accomplish its mission and goals; and
  • that it meets the Requirements of Affiliation and accreditation standards of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education

While continuous improvement is an ongoing process, Middle States Accreditation occurs every 10 years.

New MSCHE Standards

Standard 1

Mission and Goals

The institution’s mission defines its purpose within the context of higher education, the students it serves, and what it intends to accomplish. The institution’s stated goals are clearly linked to its mission and specify how the institution fulfills its mission.

Standard 2

Ethics and Integrity

Ethics and integrity are central, indispensable, and defining hallmarks of effective higher education institutions. In all activities, whether internal or external, an institution must be faithful to its mission, honor its contracts and commitments, adhere to its policies, and represent itself truthfully.

Standard 3

Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience

An institution provides students with learning experiences that are characterized by rigor and coherence at all program, certificate and degree levels, regardless of instructional modality. All learning experiences, regardless of modality, program pace/schedule, level and setting are consistent with higher education expectations.

Standard 4

Support of the Student Experience

Across all educational experiences, settings, levels and instructional modalities, the institution recruits and admits students whose interests, abilities, experiences and goals are congruent with its mission and educational offerings. The institution commits to student retention, persistence, completion and success through a coherent and effective support system sustained by qualified professionals, which enhances the quality of the learning environment, contributes to the educational experience, and fosters student success.

Standard 5

Educational Effectiveness Assessment

Assessment of student learning and achievement demonstrates that the institution’s students have accomplished educational goals consistent with their program of study, degree level, the institution’s mission, and appropriate expectations for institutions of higher education.

Standard 6

Planning, Resources and Institutional Improvement

The institution’s planning processes, resources and structures are aligned with each other and are sufficient to fulfill its mission and goals, to continuously assess and improve its programs and services, and to respond effectively to opportunities and challenges.

Standard 7

Governance, Leadership and Administration

The institution is governed and administered in a manner that allows it to realize its stated mission and goals in a way that effectively benefits the institution, its students and the other constituencies it serves. Even when supported by or affiliated with governmental, corporate, religious, educational system or other unaccredited organizations, the institution has education as its primary purpose, and it operates as an academic institution with appropriate autonomy.

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