On Campus

Middle State information sessions to start on Tuesday, soliciting feedback on SU’s accreditation effort

Kiran Ramsey | Senior Design Editor

The sessions will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and later from 4 to 6 p.m. inside Goldstein Auditorium at the Schine Student Center

Syracuse University on Tuesday will seek feedback on its work to gain reaccreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education through a pair of information sessions.

The Middle States Reaccreditation Steering Committee will host the sessions, which will also provide preliminary recommendations related to the reaccreditation process.

During the sessions, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and later from 4 to 6 p.m. inside Goldstein Auditorium at the Schine Student Center, SU community members will have a chance to learn about the committee’s work to obtain reaccreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The feedback sessions mark the official launch of self-study feedback phase, according to an SU News release.

The university is obligated to carry out a self-study of its academic and co-curricular programs and relevant operations every eight years to hold Middle States accreditation, according to SU’s Middle States website. SU started the reaccreditation process in fall 2015.

The accreditation indicates educational quality and institutional accountability, providing a benchmark to peer institutions and stakeholders of how well SU is performing in terms of its mission and vision. Additionally, accreditation is mandated for SU students to be eligible for federal aid, per a separate release. The committee previously held information sessions in October last year.

In Tuesday’s sessions, SU leaders are expected to speak before one of the steering committee chairs explains the reaccreditation procedure, according to the news release. The chairs are Rochelle Ford, professor and chair of the public relations department in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and Libby Barlow, assistant vice president in the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment. Jeff Stanton, associate provost for academic affairs and professor in the School of Information Studies, is in charge of accreditation liaison.

Afterward, representatives from each working group will give an overview on findings and present preliminary recommendations. Those working groups are mission and goals; ethics and integrity; design and delivery of the student learning experience; support of the student experience; educational effectiveness; planning, resources and institutional improvement; governance, leadership, and administration; and compliance, according to the university’s website.

Middle States institutions have to comply with 15 requirements pertaining to affiliation and eight accreditation-relevant federal regulations, according to the SU News release.

Subsequently, participants at the Tuesday information sessions can visit numerous stations to learn further information about the findings, see the preliminary reports and give feedback on standards, according to an SU News release.

The report also will be made available online for collecting feedback in late April and be kept until September for viewing, according to the release.

During the University Senate meeting on March 29, Chancellor Kent Syverud underscored the accreditation process as “serious and important work.”

“It is a necessary condition, for us to succeed as a national research university, that we be accredited,” Syverud said during the meeting. “Similarly, it is a necessary condition that we are in compliance with federal and state laws bearing on higher education.”

The steering committee needs to submit its final version of the report by Dec. 22 for a review by Middle States peer institutions in spring 2018.

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