Ithaca College Earns Accreditation Accolades

By Dave Maley, July 2, 2018
Middle States Commission affirms IC’s accreditation through 2026
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The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has given its formal stamp of approval to Ithaca College’s reaccreditation, marking the end of a nearly three-year process. The decision confirms the report made by a peer review team that visited the college in February, finding that IC meets all seven of the standards for accreditation.

“The visiting team affirmed a number of elements of our self-study and recognized many of our institution’s strengths, including our commitment to affordability, diversity, and sustainability; our commitment to free expression; our approach to facilities planning; and our inclusive board structure,” said Ithaca College President Shirley M. Collado.

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is responsible for accreditation of over 500 colleges and universities in the mid-Atlantic states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Its purpose is to define, maintain, and promote educational excellence across institutions with diverse missions, student populations, and resources.

In its report, the review team noted that it was impressed with the level of preparation that had taken place at the college to ensure that it meets the standards. It also singled out several areas for special commendation.

“Ithaca College is an impressive institution, characterized by faculty, students, administrators, and trustees who care deeply about its mission and its success, not only in terms of academic achievement, but also as an institution with a social and ethical mission,” the report stated. “Its affordability, green campus, and diversity efforts — and its resolute commitment to freedom of expression and assertive, but respectful dialog — document this special character to the college.”

The report also made six recommendations for consideration prior to the next reaccreditation review, relating to the Integrative Core Curriculum, campus-wide student learning outcomes assessment, and strategic planning.

“We are looking forward to incorporating insights from the self-study and the team visit in our next phase of long-term planning as we develop our next strategic plan over the coming academic year,” said Collado.

The Middle States Reaccreditation Self-Study Process was co-chaired by Dana Professor of Physics and Astronomy Luke Keller and Dean of Students Bonnie Prunty.

“This was truly a campus-wide effort.”

Bonnie Prunty, Dean of Students

“Our own self-study and the visiting team report provided substantive suggestions and recommendations for both continuing what the IC community does well and addressing areas where we can change and improve,” said Keller. “The team was clear in their preliminary report that Ithaca College meets all of the standards, so it is not surprising that the commission has reaffirmed our accreditation. But it’s gratifying to have the final decision in hand and officially end the self-study and review phase.”

“The Middle States reaccreditation process was successful as a result of the involvement of so many students, staff, and faculty who served on the working groups, provided evidence for the document repository, edited the draft reports, and met with our review team to answer their questions,” said Prunty. “This was truly a campus-wide effort.”

IC has received reaccreditation after every review since joining the commission in 1953. The Middle States Commission had previously maintained a 10-year cycle of review but recently switched to an 8-year cycle, so Ithaca College is next up for reaccreditation in 2026.

For more information, including the final report from the Middle States Commission and highlights from self-study report, visit www.ithaca.edu/middlestates.