York Expected to Be Off the Warning List Following Middle States Visit

Photo Credit: Middle States Commission of Higher Education

By Angel Adegbesan

York College may be getting off the Middle States Commission of Higher Education (MSCHE) warning list after representatives from the organization visited the campus in March.

The MSCHE will have their annual meeting in June to make a final decision on whether the college will keep its accreditation based on the visiting team’s report.

“The visiting team came and spent the whole day with us on Tuesday and on Wednesday morning, they gave us their exit report which was identical to the report they submitted to the Middle States,” Provost Panayiotis Meleties said. “We did not have any reason to make comments or ask them to change their report because it was a very good report.”

Last June, York was found to have only met six out of the seven accreditation standards established by the MSCHE. The school also failed to meet the eighth and tenth affiliation requirements. The college was placed on a warning list in June 2018 and was also given two years to meet the standards and affiliation requirements to get off the warning list.

After the MSCHE decision in June, the York community formed three committees to meet the fifth standard assessment and the requirements of the eighth and tenth affiliations. Each committee generated a report that was submitted to the Monitoring Report Committee and became part of a monitoring report that was submitted to MSCHE by March 1, 2019.

The Middle States visiting team came to the college for two days in March. Their exit report indicated that York appears to be in compliance with the necessary requirements.

“The faculty, staff and administration are making significant strides in developing a culture of assessment and college wide systematic processes that indicate compliance with the requirements of affiliation 8 and 10 and Standard V,” the exit report stated. “It is important that these efforts continue and are sustainable for the future.”

The report also had eight commendations, three recommendations and two suggestions for the college.

“Remember when I said we wanted to get an A-plus, We got an A with eight “plusses” not just one,” Meleties said proudly. “That’s why everybody is very relaxed and the president is smiling everywhere she goes because we received eight commendations.”

The commendations and summary of institutional strengths included effective communications about the ongoing assessment activities, an inclusive process that engages faculty staff and administrators in the ongoing assessment activities. Other commendations included a shout out to the president, provost and student body for their support and clear commitment to the success of the college.

“We are pleased with the visiting team’s exit report, in which the college received numerous commendations on the actions taken since last year to address the concerns around Requirements of Affiliation 8 and 10 and Standard V,” President Marcia Keizs said in a statement. “The observation from the visiting team is that the college  appears to meet the Standards to remain accredited and we are optimistic that the action from the Commission in July will affirm that.”

The Federal Government requires that all colleges receiving federal funding be accredited. The United States Department of Education delegates accreditation authority to seven regional higher education accreditation commissions. MSCHE is one of them.

According to the MSCHE website this accreditation process, through the monitoring of MSCHE, aims to continuously assess the college’s operations for continuous improvement of student learning outcomes and success.

“As a college community, we are delighted that the large amount of work that was done in the last year was recognized by the commission and resulted in this very good result,” Meleties said. “We believe that we’re going to have a very good decision by the commission of higher education.”

Responses, decisions and reports are public records and are available on York’s website. More information can also be obtained on the MSCHE website.

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