Middle States Review

Courtney Garloff, Editor-in-Chief

Faculty and staff are breathing easier – and celebrating –  after receiving word in June that the university had passed Middle States reaccreditation with flying colors.

The university accurately represented all of the 14 standards of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University staffers say  the process was about self-reflection.

“When you go through a process of accreditation, what you are really trying to find out is are you doing all that you say you would do, and how do you know that, and are you finding ways that you can get better at it,” said university President Dr. Thomas Botzman who has served as a reviewer for Middle States in the past.

“I feel that going on these site visits has helped me not only to see what the commission is looking for, but to also see what different institutions are doing,” said Botzman.

While the Middle States process consists of a site visit, it also requires the institution perform a self-study in which members look at their strengths and weaknesses.

“A lot of this for us is what do we mean, what does it mean to be Misericordia University?” said Botzman, who has

Schools are judged on 14  standards that involve either educational or planning activities of the school. Standards include goals, resource allocation and leadership.

“We get to see what we are doing right and what things we need to work on, because there is always room for improvement,” said Botzman.

The university’s self-assessment revealed that improvements are needed to the science building and the university’s information technology systems, important information for use in planning. The  reaccreditation also directly benefits students: It is needed to receive federal funding.

“In the 1960’s the Middle States Commission decided to start tying accreditation to funding,” said Barbra Loftus vice president of planning, assessment and research.

As long as an institution passes accreditation, the flow of funding continues. If the institution ignores the commission’s advice and requirements, students will not receive federal financial aid.

About 800 students on campus have received assistance as a part of the funding tied to the Middle States accreditation.

While Misericordia was in compliance in all 14 of the accreditation standards, both King’s College and the University of Scranton received warnings from the commission.

The process now requires them to respond.

“They will have no problems and will get back on track,” said Loftus.

The university will begin the reaccreditation process again in 2019.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education  covers institutions in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

“Middle States is made up of about 530 colleges and universities,” said Loftus.

[email protected]