Currently, Wilson College is in the process of gearing up for a reaffirmation of accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). The accreditation process occurs in an 8 year cycle.
Institutions of higher education can apply for accreditation either with a national accreditation association or a regional accreditation agency. Regional accreditation bodies like the MSCHE are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to accredit degree granting institutions.
This accreditation is very important to our institution. As stated in MSCHE’s Standards for Accreditation and Requirements for Affiliation, “The extent to which each educational institution accepts and fulfills the responsibilities inherent in the process of accreditation is a measure of its commitment to striving for and achieving excellence in its endeavors”.
In this accreditation, our institution agrees to abide by all the standards of MSCHE. These seven standards an institution must abide by. Standard I- Mission and Goals, Standard II- Ethics and Integrity, Standard III- Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience, Standard IV- Support of the Student Experience, Standard V- Educational Effectiveness Assessment, Standard VI- Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement,
By abiding by these standards, we are granted accreditation and help to raise a main goal of MSCHE, “Our students are well-served, society is well served.”
For reaccreditation, Wilson is in the process of a self-study. For this self-study everything is accessed, athletics, services of campus, financials, academic opportunities and more. From the self-study a 100-page document is created that assesses the college through the seven standards. After going through the self-study, the document is written and critiqued and then sent to MSCHE. There will also be an onsite visit as part of the accreditation process but will not take place until the spring of 2020.
“The self-study process is about the community coming together with honesty and integrity to look at where we are,” Joshua Legg, Professor and Co-Chair of the MSCHE Steering Committee commented.
There are 29 people in the Wilson community who make up the executive committee, the steering committee, and groups which are focused on the standards. However, the entire campus community will have the opportunity to be a part of this process even students.
Students are an imperative part of the self-study process as well. One way that students can be active in this self-study is course evaluations. As an institution students need to participate in course evaluations. If there are only a few responses, there isn’t a lot of paperwork to go through and assess. Faculty also want feedback because it goes back into our self-assessment and as a college Wilson values the inputs of their students.
“The student perspective is critical. This is a campus where we look with a student first lens. Participation in any component of this process is important. If a student has a question, the can email me. I’m happy to dialogue with them,” Legg remarked.
For anyone who would like to learn more about the Middle States Accreditation, the last open forum of the semester will occur on Friday, Jan. 25 from 4:30-5:30 pm in the Science Center Auditorium.