The Middle States Commission on Higher Education [MSCHE] is a voluntary, non-governmental, membership association that is dedicated to quality assurance and improvement through accreditation via peer evaluation. Middle States accreditation instills public confidence in institutional mission, goals, performance, and resources through its rigorous accreditation standards and their enforcement. (MSCHE Mission Statement).
- The reaffirmation of accreditation signifies that a university meets all MSCHE standards for educational and institutional quality required of the nation's colleges and universities. Every ten years, Gallaudet University conducts a full Self-Study as part of its MSCHE reaccreditation process. The purpose of the self-study process is twofold: 1) to assure the public that we meet standards of higher education (as described in MSCHE's Characteristics of Excellence); 2) to provide a structure for analysis and improvement. For the recent Self-Study, Gallaudet used a Selected Topics model, with a focus on the the Gallaudet Strategic Plan (GSP). By doing so, we were able to demonstrate our compliance with all MSCHE standards, while providing valuable insights for upcoming strategic planning cycles.
Over the past five years, since our Periodic Review Report to MSCHE, Gallaudet has developed innovative new initiatives to meet the needs of students and ensure a high-caliber academic program. These initiatives include the development of a new mission statement and strategic plan; a revision of the general studies curriculum for undergraduate students based on an integrated, problem-focused approach with distinct student learning outcomes; and the establishment of a comprehensive assessment plan focused on student achievement. At the same time, the university has adopted more stringent admissions standards and renewed efforts to ensure respect for the diversity of people and ideas found on its campus. All of this, and more, was reflected in our MSCHE Self-Study Report.
In their Evaluation Report following their March, 2013 visit, the MSCHE team commended us for our self-reflective passion for fulfilling our mission.
They commended us for creating and sustaining a culture of assessment that is evident at all levels of the organization and governance structures.
They said that the General Studies Requirements has taken bold and brave steps to make GSR meaningful and more likely to prepare students to be "successful citizens of the 21st century."
In all, they commended Gallaudet for nine characteristics of Gallaudet related to their standards. They also made two recommendations for follow-up. For full details, see the Evaluation Report below, as well as Gallaudet's Self Study.
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