Self Study Design
Preparation for our 2017 Middle States accreditation began in 2014 when we were invited to be one of 15 institutions to work together with the Middle States Commission to implement the new standards as part of a “Collaborative Implementation Project”. We thus agreed to follow the “comprehensive” model for our Self-Study Report, for which there is a chapter for each of the seven standards. This is a significant departure from our 2007 Self-Study, in which a “Special Topics” model was used, organized around the two broad themes of “Institutional Assessment, Planning and Resource Allocation” (Topic A) and “Educational Offerings and Effectiveness” (Topic B). The remaining standards were addressed through documentary evidence.
Although this time we are using the more traditional comprehensive model, the structure of the new Standards allows us to continue to focus on these same two areas and thus to build upon the work invested in 2007. The design of our 2014 Self-Study Report is built around two themes: our entry into the Big Ten and its corresponding academic alliance, and the Flagship 2020 Initiative. These two recent activities provide the context through which the Working Groups have researched the university’s goals, policies, and procedures and how they evaluated our performance against the new Middle States Standards.