Middle States Reaccreditation Process Moves Forward

Visiting team that assessed a GW self-study and talked with members of the university community said GW appears to be in compliance with Middle States standards.

April 2, 2018

GW gate

A visiting team of academics and administrators from peer institutions orally briefed the George Washington University community Wednesday on its findings regarding the university’s reaccreditation process and its compliance with the standards of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

The team’s briefing followed a four-day visit from the entire team, an earlier visit from the chair of the visiting team, an extensive review of both data and documents, and a reading of the university’s accreditation self-study.

During the onsite visits, team members met with several hundred members of the GW community, including faculty, staff, students and members of the Board of Trustees. During the briefing, the team members reflected on what they saw happening at GW in terms of assessment, governance, support for our students, the delivery of our curriculum, the financial health of the institution and the university’s support for its mission. 

Although the team’s oral briefing was positive, the final reaccreditation decision is made by the Middle States Commission after reviewing the team report and hearing from the visiting team chair.

“The seven visiting team members were very complimentary about the state of the university, the self-study report and their meetings with the GW community,” said Cheryl Beil, GW’s associate provost for academic planning and assessment, who along with Professor Paul Duff led a university steering committee that prepared a self-study for the reaccreditation process and coordinated the team’s visits.

 GW President Thomas LeBlanc, who chaired the Middle States visiting team 10 years ago, called the briefing “an important statement about the incredible effort that our staff, faculty and board put into ensuring that the university is fulfilling its educational and research missions, its dedication to improvement and innovation, and the university’s commitment to the Middle States standards.”

The site visit by the team from peer institutions represented the beginning of the last phase of reaccreditation. Accreditation from Middle States ensures that GW meets standards for colleges and universities set by MSCHE and the federal government.

Dr. Beil said that the next step in the process is for the visiting team to write its final report, which will include detailed information about whether GW met each of the seven standards set by MSCHE.

The final draft of the visiting team report is sent to GW for review and correction of any factual errors. The report will be submitted to Middle States. And in mid-June, the MSCHE will meet with the visiting team chair, Wake Forest University Provost Rogan Kersh, to review and discuss the report and decide whether GW is in compliance with the standards.

“Assuming all goes well, GW will be expected to complete and submit a new self-study in 2026,” Dr. Beil said.

Dr. Duff said he wanted to thank the members of the GW community who were involved in writing the GW self-study report and in meeting with the visiting team.  “The successful outcome would not have been possible without their help,” Dr. Duff said. 

Provost Forrest Maltzman said that because the Middle States standards “touch upon every school and virtually every aspect of the university, it really does take a village. Having said this, Cheryl, Paul, and the members of the steering committee deserve a special shout out for their efforts over the past two years.”