Overview of the Periodic Review Report Process
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is a voluntary, non-governmental, membership association that is the unit of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools that accredits degree-granting colleges and universities in the Middle States region, which includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and several locations internationally. The Commission includes 524 institutional members and 10 institutional candidates for membership and focuses on defining, maintaining, and promoting educational excellence across institutions with diverse missions, student populations, and resources.
The Commission is one of six regional accrediting associations in the United States recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The six regional accrediting associations include:
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
- New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE)
- North Central Association of Colleges and Schools The Higher Learning Commission (NCA-HLC)
- Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS)
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (WASC-ACCJC)
- Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (WASC-ACSCU)
The Commission’s fourteen (14) standards of accreditation are published in Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education: Eligibility Requirements and Standards for Accreditation. The key to the accreditation process is the institutional self-study, followed by review from a visiting team of institutional peers, and a final decision by Commissioners. The Commission on Higher Education consists of 26 members who are elected by the colleges and universities that are accredited by the Commission. The members of the Commission are all volunteers, and they are responsible for making decisions on the accreditation of institutions and for formulating Commission policies.
One of the principles of voluntary accreditation is that no institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education will be permitted to go longer than five years without a substantive report to the Commission or longer than 10 years without an evaluation visit. The Periodic Review Report (PRR), due five years after the decennial self-study and reaffirmation of accreditation, is a retrospective, current, and prospective analysis of the institution. As an essential phase of the accreditation cycle, the PRR should demonstrate that the institution meets the standards by which the Commission reaffirms or denies accredited status.
The PRR provides significant institutional progress and planning information to the Commission on Higher Education and assists the Commission in determining whether the institution remains in and can sustain compliance with accreditation standards. The preparation of a PRR, like that of a self-study document, provides opportunities for constructive discussion among the institution’s several constituencies, bringing various points of view to the consideration of recent institutional developments and current institutional issues. At its best, the periodic review of accredited institutions is a creative means of assisting in the continuous assessment of the institutions’ educational mission, goals, and objectives.
Morgan State University submitted its last decennial Self-Study Report to the Commission in February 2008. The Commission’s team of institutional peers visited the University from April 6 – 9, 2008. Based on its 10 Year Accreditation Review of Morgan State University including the team’s examination of the self study, interviews with University personnel, the institution’s self certification and other institutional documents, the Visiting Team affirmed that Morgan continues to meet the eligibility requirements in the Characteristics of Excellence. The Visiting Team did, however, make several recommendations that will be addressed in Morgan’s PRR. The Visiting Team’s recommendations and the standards to which the recommendations refer are:
Standard 1: Mission, Goals, and Objectives
The Mission Statement should be widely distributed and published on the website, in the catalogue and in all public documents.
Standard 7: Institutional Assessment
The Team recommends that the institution re-examine and rewrite the Comprehensive Assessment Plan to include mission-based assessment goals for student learning, academic programs, services and administrative processes.
The Team recommends that the institution implement the revised CAP in timely fashion.
Standard 11: Educational Offerings
The institution should implement its periodic review of graduate and undergraduate programs using the policies and procedures developed by the Ad Hoc Task Force on the Periodic Review of Programs.
Morgan’s Self-Study report also identified a number of recommendations. A list of the recommendations from the Self-Study Report including the recommendations of the Visiting Team may be found on this PRR web site.
The Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost has appointed a Steering Committee of representatives from across the University to assist in the development of the PRR. The Steering Committee has been working for more than a year collecting and analyzing information and data for the PRR which is due to the Commission by June 1, 2013. You may find a calendar of events and communications planned for the University community on the PRR web site. The Steering Committee invites comments and recommendations on the documents that appear on the web site. The Steering Committee is particularly interested in comments and recommendations on drafts of the PRR that are posted on the web site. You are invited to send comments and recommendations to:
Maurice C. Taylor, Chair
PRR Steering Committee and
Vice President for Academic
Outreach and Engagement
Morgan State University
Room 402 Truth Hall
1700 E. Cold Spring Lane
Baltimore, MD 21251