Requirements for Affiliation
To be eligible for, to achieve, and to maintain Middle States Commission on Higher Education accreditation, an institution must demonstrate that it fully meets the following Requirements of Affiliation.
Compliance is expected to be continuous and will be validated periodically, typically at the time of institutional self-study and during any other evaluation of the institution’s compliance. Once eligibility is established, an institution then must demonstrate on an ongoing basis that it meets the Standards for Accreditation.
- institution is authorized or licensed to operate as a post-secondary educational institution and to award post-secondary degrees; it provides written documentation demonstrating both. Authorization or licensure is from an appropriate governmental organization or agency within the Middle States region (Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), as well as by other agencies as required by each of the jurisdictions, regions, or countries in which the institution operates. Institutions that offer only post-secondary certificates, diplomas, or licenses are not eligible for accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
- The institution is operational, with students actively enrolled in its degree
- For institutions pursuing Candidacy or Initial Accreditation, the institution will graduate at least one class before the evaluation team visit for initial accreditation takes place, unless the institution can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission that the lack of graduates does not compromise its ability to demonstrate that students have achieved appropriate learning
- The institution’s representatives communicate with the Commission in English, both orally and in
- The institution complies with all applicable government (usually Federal and state) laws and
- The institution complies with applicable Commission, inter-regional, and inter- institutional policies. These policies can be viewed on the Commission website, msche.org.
- The institution has a mission statement and related goals, approved by its governing board that defines its purposes within the context of higher education.
- The institution systematically evaluates its educational and other programs and makes public how well and in what ways it is accomplishing its purposes.
- The institution’s student learning programs and opportunities are characterized by rigor, coherence, and appropriate assessment of student achievement throughout the educational oﬀerings, regardless of certificate or degree level or delivery and instructional
- Institutional planning integrates goals for academic and institutional eﬀectiveness and improvement, student achievement of educational goals, student learning, and the results of academic and institutional
- The institution has documented financial resources, funding base, and plans for financial development, including those from any related entities (including without limitation systems, religious sponsorship, and corporate ownership) adequate to support its educational purposes and programs and to ensure financial stability. The institution demonstrates a record of responsible fiscal management, has a prepared budget for the current year, and undergoes an external financial audit on an annual basis.
- The institution fully discloses its legally constituted governance structure(s) including any related entities (including without limitation systems, religious sponsorship, and corporate ownership). The institution’s governing body is responsible for the quality and integrity of the institution and for ensuring that the institution’s mission is being accomplished.
- A majority of the institution’s governing body’s members have no employment, family, ownership, or other personal financial interest in the institution. The governing body adheres to a conflict of interest policy that assures that those interests are disclosed and that they do not interfere with the impartiality of governing body members or outweigh the greater duty to secure and ensure the academic and fiscal integrity of the institution. The institution’s district/system or other chief executive oﬃcer shall not serve as the chair of the governing body.
- The institution and its governing body/bodies make freely available to the Commission accurate, fair, and complete information on all aspects of the institution and its operations. The governing body/bodies ensure that the institution describes itself in comparable and consistent terms to all of its accrediting and regulatory agencies, communicates any changes in accredited status, and agrees to disclose information (including levels of governing body compensation, if any) required by the Commission to carry out its accrediting.
- The institution has a core of faculty (full-time or part-time) and/or other appropriate professionals with suﬃcient responsibility to the institution to assure the continuity and coherence of the institution’s educational programs.