MSCHE Fact Sheet

Photo of Flowers on the grounds of NJCU with buildings in the background.

Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) Fact Sheet

What is Accreditation? What does it mean to be accredited?

Being accredited means that a university maintains certain standards related to mission, integrity, faculty, programs, student support, assessment, resources, leadership, and administration.

Why would an institution want to be accredited?

The benefits of accreditation include:

  • Keeping the institution focused on practices that are in the best interest of its students, faculty, and staff.
  • Signifying that the institution involves faculty, staff, and students in major processes.
  • Signifying to the public that the institution meets a certain level of quality.
  • Allowing the institution’s students to receive federal financial aid. (Students can only receive aid when they attend accredited institutions.)

Is NJCU accredited?

Yes, NJCU has been accredited since 1959. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) is the association that accredits institutions in New Jersey.

What do we need to do to maintain accreditation?

To maintain accreditation, every eight years we need to provide the MSCHE with evidence of our compliance with the standards, analysis of our strengths and areas of opportunity related to the standards and to our priorities, and description of our plans and timelines for improvement. Our self-study is due 2019-2020.

MSCHE Standards at a Glance

Standard I: Mission and Goals

The institution’s mission defines its purpose within the context of higher education, the students it serves, and what it intends to accomplish. The institution’s stated goals are clearly linked to its mission and specify how the institution fulfills its mission.

Standard II: Ethics and Integrity

Ethics and integrity are central, indispensable, and defining hallmarks of effective higher education institutions. In all activities, whether internal or external, an institution must be faithful to its mission, honor its contracts and commitments, adhere to its policies, and represent itself truthfully.

Standard III: Design and Delivery of the Student Learning Experience

Assessment of student learning and achievement demonstrates that the institution’s students have accomplished educational goals consistent with their program of study, degree level, the institution’s mission, and appropriate expectations for institutions of higher education.

Standard IV: Support of the Student Experience

Across all educational experiences, settings, levels, and instructional modalities, the institution recruits and admits students whose interests, abilities, experiences, and goals are congruent with its mission and educational offerings. The institution commits to student retention, persistence, completion, and success through a coherent and effective support system sustained by qualified professionals, which enables the quality of the learning environment, contributes to the educational experience, and fosters student success.

Standard V: Educational Effectiveness Assessment

Assessment of student learning and achievement demonstrates that the institution’s students have accomplished educational goals consistent with their program of study, degree level, the institution’s mission, and appropriate expectations for institutions of higher education.

Standard VI: Planning, Resources, and Institutional Improvement

The institution’s planning processes, resources, and structures are aligned with each other and are sufficient to fulfill its mission and goals, to continuously assess and improve its programs and services, and to respond effectively to opportunities and challenges. 

Standard VII: Governance, Leadership, and Administration

The institution is governed and administered in a manner that allows it to realize its stated mission and goals in a way that effectively benefits the institution, its students, and the other constituencies it serves. Even when supported by or affiliated with governmental, corporate, religious, educational system, or other unaccredited organizations, the institution has education as its primary propose, and it operates as an academic institution with appropriate autonomy.

How are we going to complete the Self-Study?

Work on accreditation is an inclusive process, involving the entire NJCU community. Working Group volunteers are responsible for gathering information that demonstrates we are in compliance with the Standards, organizing and analyzing the information; writing summaries of the analyses; and keeping the University community informed and seeking input.

Steering Committee

Each Working Group is co-chaired by a faculty member and an administrator. The co-chairs will guide the efforts of their Working Group. The co-chairs are also members of the Steering Committee, which will meet periodically to ensure there is cross-group collaboration.

Team Coordinators

Three Team Coordinators are responsible for managing and leading the entire process. The Coordinators will, for instance, call meetings of the Steering Committee, monitor progress and assist in addressing obstacles, ensure cohesiveness and clarity in the final document, communicate with MSCHE, and the like.

University and Community Stakeholders

University and community stakeholders will be updated regularly and have the opportunity to provide input throughout the process.

Your Role in the MSCHE Review Process

As a member of the NJCU community, you play an important role in the MSCHE accreditation process. The committee will be seeking input from many of you regarding programs and processes. If you are selected by the committee to take part in their on-site discussions, you will be notified in advance.

The MSCHE Review Team and Upcoming Dates

NJCU’s MSCHE accreditation team chair is William Fritz, President of CUNY Staten Island

President Fritz will conduct his preliminary visit to campus on October 18, 2019.

NJCU is working to schedule a mock visit (with colleagues from other institutions serving as the “visiting team” in November or December 2019)

The full evaluation team will be on campus March 29, 2020 – April 1, 2020

The Commission takes action at its June 2020 meeting