About Middle States Accreditation

Waynesburg University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (267) 384-5000. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Waynesburg University first received accreditation in 1950, and completed its last decennial accreditation evaluation in 2004. The next review and site visit is scheduled for the Fall of 2014. The process requires that Waynesburg University use fourteen standards to assess and demonstrate its performance. The standards can be grouped into two main areas: Institutional Context and Educational Effectiveness.

Institutional Context

Standard 1: Mission and Goals

The institution's mission clearly defines its purpose within the context of higher education and indicates who the institution serves and what it intends to accomplish. The institution's stated goals, consistent with the aspirations and expectations of higher education, clearly specify how the institution will fulfill its mission. The mission and goals are developed and recognized by the institution with the participation of its members and its governing body and are used to develop and shape its programs and practices and to evaluate its effectiveness.

Standard 2: Planning, Resource Allocation, and Institutional Renewal

An institution conducts ongoing planning and resource allocation based on its mission and goals, develops objectives to achieve them, and utilizes the results of its assessment activities for institutional renewal. Implementation and subsequent evaluation of the success of the strategic plan and resource allocation support the development and change necessary to improve and to maintain institutional quality.

Standard 3: Institutional Resources

The human, financial, technical, facilities, and other resources necessary to achieve an institution's mission and goals are available and accessible. In the context of the institution's mission, the effective and efficient uses of the institution's resources are analyzed as part of ongoing outcomes assessment.

Standard 4: Leadership and Governance

The institution's system of governance clearly defines the roles of institutional constituencies in policy development and decision-making. The governance structure includes an active governing body with sufficient autonomy to assure institutional integrity and to fulfill its responsibilities of policy and resource development, consistent with the mission of the institution.

Standard 5: Administration

The institution's administrative structure and services facilitate learning and research/scholarship, foster quality improvement, and support the institution's organization and governance.

Standard 6: Integrity

In the conduct of its programs and activities involving the public and the constituencies it serves, the institution demonstrates adherence to ethical standards and its own stated policies, providing support for academic and intellectual freedom.

Standard 7: Institutional Assessment

The institution has developed and implemented an assessment process that evaluates its overall effectiveness in achieving its mission and goals and its compliance with accreditation standards.

Educational Effectiveness

Standard 8: Student Admissions and Retention

The institution seeks to admit students whose interests, goals, and abilities are congruent with its mission and seeks to retain them through the pursuit of the students' educational goals.

Standard 9: Student Support Services

The institution provides student support services reasonably necessary to enable each student to achieve the institution's goals for students.

Standard 10: Faculty

The institution's instructional, research, and service programs are devised, developed, monitored, and supported by qualified professionals.

Standard 11: Educational Offerings

The institution's educational offerings display academic content, rigor, and coherence appropriate to its higher education mission. The institution identifies student learning goals and objectives, including knowledge and skills, for its educational offerings.

Standard 12: General Education

The institution's curricula are designed so that students acquire and demonstrate college-level proficiency in general education and essential skills, including at least oral and written communication, scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical analysis and reasoning, and technological competency.

Standard 13: Related Educational Activities

The institution's programs or activities that are characterized by particular content, focus, location, mode of delivery, or sponsorship meet appropriate standards.

Standard 14: Assessment of Student Learning

Assessment of student learning demonstrates that, at graduation, or other appropriate points, the institution's students have knowledge, skills, and competencies consistent with institutional and appropriate higher education.

Timeline

November 2012

Provost Dr. Robert Graham and Interim Dean of Undergraduate Studies Dr. Robert Kefferstan attended the Self-study Institute and began to gather publications from MSCHE and plan the self-study process. President Thyreen appointed Provost Graham as Chair of the self-study team, who in turn appointed Dana Baer, then Assistant Provost for First Year Programs, as Co-Chair.

Spring 2013

Provost Graham solicited volunteers to participate in the self-study, then selected steering committee and research group members. The steering committee met to create the self-study design.

Summer 2013

Douglas Lee began his term as President of Waynesburg University. Dr. Jacquelyn Core was appointed as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. President Lee appointed Dr. Core as the Chair of the steering committee. The steering committee and research groups begin to meet.

Fall 2013

The steering committee and research groups met regularly. They worked to gather data about standards, and solicit participation of the university community.

Spring 2014

The steering committee and research groups prepare and submit draft reports on standards. Dr. Jamie Jacobs appointed as Dean for Institutional Effectiveness and Planning and member of steering committee. The draft of the self-study is written and shared with members of the university community.

Summer 2014

Waynesburg University hosts the preliminary site visit by Dr. David Turk, Chair of the site visit team, after submission of the self-study draft. Feedback from the preliminary visit and constituents of the university community will be incorporated into the final draft.

Fall 2014

The self-study will be submitted to the Board of Trustees for approval. The site visit of the full Middle States evaluation team is scheduled for early November.

Spring 2015

MSCHE meets to review accreditation.

Steering Committee and Working Groups

Steering Committee

Jacquelyn Core, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Jamie Jacobs, Dean for Institutional Effectiveness and Planning
Dana Baer, Faculty Member, Department of Criminal Justice Administration
Robert Randolph, Chair, Department of English and Foreign Languages/Writer in Residence
Lisa Williams Librarian II/Assistant Professor
Heidi Szuminsky, Director of Donor and Alumni Relations
Richard Krause, Chair, Department of Communication
Sara Clutter, Associate Professor of Nursing
Scott Tracy, Director of Graduate Programs in Counseling

Research Groups

Group 1: Mission and Integrity (Chair: Robert Randolph)

Standard 1: Mission and Goals

The institution's mission clearly defines its purpose within the context of higher education and indicates who the institution serves and what it intends to accomplish. The institution's stated goals, consistent with the aspirations and expectations of higher education, clearly specify how the institution will fulfill its mission. The mission and goals are developed and recognized by the institution with the participation of its members and its governing body and are used to develop and shape its programs and practices and to evaluate its effectiveness.

Standard 6: Integrity

In the conduct of its programs and activities involving the public and the constituencies it serves, the institution demonstrates adherence to ethical standards and its own stated policies, providing support for academic and intellectual freedom.

Group 2: Resources and Renewal (Chair: Lisa Williams)

Standard 2: Planning, Resource Allocation, and Institutional Renewal

An institution conducts ongoing planning and resource allocation based on its mission and goals, develops objectives to achieve them, and utilizes the results of its assessment activities for institutional renewal. Implementation and subsequent evaluation of the success of the strategic plan and resource allocation support the development and change necessary to improve and to maintain institutional quality.

Standard 3: Institutional Resources

The human, financial, technical, facilities, and other resources necessary to achieve an institution's mission and goals are available and accessible. In the context of the institution's mission, the effective and efficient uses of the institution's resources are analyzed as part of ongoing outcomes assessment.

Group 3: Faculty and Administration (Chair: Heidi Szuminsky)

Standard 4: Leadership and Governance

The institution's system of governance clearly defines the roles of institutional constituencies in policy development and decision-making. The governance structure includes an active governing body with sufficient autonomy to assure institutional integrity and to fulfill its responsibilities of policy and resource development, consistent with the mission of the institution.

Standard 5: Administration

The institution's administrative structure and services facilitate learning and research/scholarship, foster quality improvement, and support the institution's organization and governance.

Standard 10: Faculty

The institution's instructional, research, and service programs are devised, developed, monitored, and supported by qualified professionals.

Group 4: Admissions and Student Services (Chair: Richard Krause)

Standard 8: Student Admissions and Retention

The institution seeks to admit students whose interests, goals, and abilities are congruent with its mission and seeks to retain them through the pursuit of the students' educational goals.

Standard 9: Student Support Services

The institution provides student support services reasonably necessary to enable each student to achieve the institution's goals for students.

Group 5: Educational Offerings and Related Activities (Chair: Sara Clutter)

Standard 11: Educational Offerings

The institution's educational offerings display academic content, rigor, and coherence appropriate to its higher education mission. The institution identifies student learning goals and objectives, including knowledge and skills, for its educational offerings.

Standard 12: General Education

The institution's curricula are designed so that students acquire and demonstrate college-level proficiency in general education and essential skills, including at least oral and written communication, scientific and quantitative reasoning, critical analysis and reasoning, and technological competency.

Standard 13: Related Educational Activities

The institution's programs or activities that are characterized by particular content, focus, location, mode of delivery, or sponsorship meet appropriate standards.

Group 6: Assessment (Chair: Scott Tracy)

Standard 7: Institutional Assessment

The institution has developed and implemented an assessment process that evaluates its overall effectiveness in achieving its mission and goals and its compliance with accreditation standards.

Standard 14: Assessment of Student Learning

Assessment of student learning demonstrates that, at graduation, or other appropriate points, the institution's students have knowledge, skills, and competencies consistent with institutional and appropriate higher education goals.