The university is preparing for its 2017 decennial accreditation review by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). MSCHE is one of six regional accrediting bodies nationally who operate under the authority of the U.S. Department of Education to affirm that an institution complies with federal regulations and operates with transparency and integrity. As noted on MSCHE’s web site, if a college or university wants its students to obtain loans and grants from the federal government through the Student Assistance Programs in Title IV of the Higher Education Act, as amended (HEA), the institution must have regional or national accreditation. Because of our prior record of strong performance on our accreditation reviews, UMD was invited to participate in a “collaborative implementation project” in which 15 institutions are the first cohort to use a new set of standards established in 2014.
Beginning in spring 2015, seven working groups involving a total of over 70 people across the campus drafted working group reports that led to the draft Self-Study Report now posted for campus-wide review and comment. Each section of the report provides documentary evidence of the university’s ability to meet the criteria within the standard, and identifies recommended areas for improvement.