Harcum College has embarked on its decennial accreditation process with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), a voluntary, non-governmental, membership association that defines, maintains, and promotes educational excellence across institutions with diverse missions, student populations, and resources. It examines each institution as a whole, rather than specific programs within institutions.
For more information on the Middle States Commission on Higher Education go to:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
3624 Market Street, 2nd Floor West, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Telephone: (267) 284–5000(267) 284–5000
What exactly is accreditation?
Accreditation is a means of self-regulation and peer review by the educational community. The Middle States Commission reviews each institution in its entirety, rather than limiting itself to evaluating individual programs.
Why is accreditation important?
Accreditation means that expected standards of quality and excellence have been met by an institution, including but not limited to quality faculty and academic programs, sound fiscal planning and processes, and the assessment of educational processes, especially learning and integrity. Simply put, the accreditation process helps assure that an institution continues to be the strongest possible institution it can be toward the aim of ensuring student success.
How are institutions evaluated?
The Commission utilizes 14 Standards of Accreditation and 10 Requirements of Affiliation, described in detail in the Commission publication, Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education. View publication>>
Harcum's accreditation process
Donna Broderick (pictured at left), Program Director for Laboratory Science and Allied Health Programs and Director of Online Learning and Development, was appointed Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO) in September of 2013.
Working Groups were established in December 2013, composed of faculty, staff, and trustees to address the needs of the Self-Study report. These groups will meet regularly until the Self-Study Report is submitted in the Fall of 2015.
Goals of the Self-Study Report
In addition to demonstrating compliance with the MSCHE Standards of Excellence and Verification of Compliance with Accreditation Relevant Federal Regulations, the primary purpose of this self-study is to align college policies and procedures with the revised College Mission Statement (March 2014) and to create a culture of assessment throughout the College, which will be evident in each academic and non-academic department. The self-study process offers an opportunity for Harcum to establish where we are currently and where we want to go in order to best serve our students faculty, administration, staff and Board of Trustees.
Documents submitted to the Middle States Commission
June 30, 2014
The Self-Study Design Report was submitted to the Commission, and was approved:
Review the Self-Study Design Report>>
December 1, 2014
A Progress Report was submitted to the Commission:
Review the Progress Report>>
MSCHE Campus Visit
A team comprised of representatives from other MSCHE institutions will visit Harcum College in Spring Semester of 2016.
Information on the Accreditation Process
Informative videos about Harcum's accreditation process are available below:
Jan 2014 Faculty Start-up Video:
An overview of the Middle States Accreditation Process and Standards presented to the Harcum College Community.
Feb 4, 2014 MSCHE Working Groups Presentation Video:
Introductory presentation to the Middle States Working Groups in preparation for the self-study report.
Feb 18, 2014 MSCHE Working Groups Presentation Video:
This presentation will guide the working groups in starting the process of writing the questions for the Middle States Self-Study Report.
March 4, 2014 MSCHE Working Groups Presentation Video:
The purpose of this presentation is to answer questions from the MSCHE working group members at the Feb 18, 2014 meeting and to discuss how the working group questions submitted for the self-study design report correlate to the Fundamental Elements of each standard as presented in the Middle States Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education guide.
April 15, 2015 MSCHE Working Groups presentation Video:
This presentation will look at the accomplishments of the Working Groups to date and review the Self-Study Design Report submitted to Middle States April 10, 2014 in preparation for the site visit by Harcum's MSCHE staff Liaison: Dr. Robert Schneider.
May 6, 2105 MSCHE Steering Committee presentation video:
This presentation highlights the revisions needed to the Self-Study Design Report following the visit by Dr. Robert Schneider, Middle States Staff Liaison, on April 25, 2014.
July 15, 2014 MSCHE Working Groups Presentation
This presentation addresses the acceptance of the Self-Study Design Report by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, submitted to Dr. Robert Schneider on June 30, 2014 and the next step in moving forward with the Self-Study Report.
September 16, 2014 MSCHE Working Groups Presentation Video
This presentation guides the working groups in the next phase of the
Self-Study report as we move from the planning into the research phase.
Included is an overview of accomplishments to date, and information on
the new office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research (SPIR).
TIMETABLE FOR THE SELF-STUDY REPORT
December - January 2013
Organized MSCHE Steering Committee and Working Groups
January 8 & 9, 2014
Announced the start of the Self-Study process at all-college meeting and faculty start-up activities.
February 4 & 18, 2014
Working Groups began formal meetings to develop questions and data sources for the self-study design report.
March 4 & 18, 2014
Working Groups continue process of developing questions and submit to ALO.
April 1, 2014
Draft of self-study design report reviewed by President, Steering Committee, and Working Groups.
April 7, 2014
Self-study design report submitted to Dr. Robert Schneider.
April 25, 2014
Dr. Schneider visits Harcum College.
Steering Committee and Working Groups complete plans for their work during the summer.
May - August 2014
Additional data and other resources required are identified. Bi-weekly reports submitted to ALO.
Review of research to date with the College community.
September - December 2014
Working Groups continue research and assessment. Bi-weekly reports submitted to ALO.
December 1, 2014
Progress Report Due
December 2, 2014
Working Groups submit preliminary findings to ALO.
December 15, 2014
ALO reviews preliminary findings with President and VP.
Report preliminary findings to the College community at all-college spring start-up meeting. Solicit feedback from the College community.
Preliminary reports containing assessment results and recommendations completed by Working Groups.
Review with each department the preliminary findings and solicit feedback.
May - July 2015
Draft of the self-study report is written by Steering Committee, compiled by ALO.
Draft of the self-study report is completed.
Update College community on status of the self-study report at fall start-up all-college meeting. Solicit last call for college-wide recommendations.
September - early October 2015
Finishing touches on self-study report completed.
Review of self-study report by President and Board of Trustees.
Initial visit by MSCHE
November (post visit) 2015 thru early January 2016
Review recommendations of the Team Chair. Make revisions to the self-study report.
Report to the College community at January start-up activities on implementing the recommendations that resulted from the self-study report.
January - February 2016
Self-study report finalized and published.
Self-study report sent to MSCHE in advance of site visit.
MSCHE Team Site Visit