Ithaca College meets all seven standards for accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. That was the message delivered by a Middle States review team at the conclusion of their visit to campus on February 28.
Reaccreditation committee co-chair Luke Keller said he expects that the Middles States Commission will re-affirm its accreditation of the college when it issues its final decision in June. IC has received reaccreditation after every review since joining the commission in 1953.
Over the past two and a half years Ithaca College has engaged in a comprehensive self-study as part of a periodic review by Middles States, a regional association that performs peer evaluation and accreditation of public and private universities and colleges in selected regions of the United States. As part of the final stages of the reaccreditation process, a Middle States peer review team composed of professors and administrators from several other colleges and universities carefully reviewed the college’s self-study report and visited campus February 26-28 to conduct meetings with students, staff, faculty and administrators.
Based on those meetings and report, the review team made several suggestions and recommendations to the college, as commendations for a job well done. The recommendations, which the college must address by its next reaccreditation review in 2026, and many of which overlapped with our own recommendations resulting from the comprehensive self-study, include:
• A highly visible and comprehensive review of the Integrative Core Curriculum that involves students and faculty (currently planned for the 2018-2019 academic year);
• Central management of an on-going assessment of all academic programs and divisions of the college, so that the results are more easily communicated and shared; and
• The initiation of a new strategic plan (planning for which is scheduled for the 2018-2019 academic year).
Suggestions from the review team, which, unlike recommendations, are not binding, include:
• Making all assessments and changes based on assessment more clearly and directly tied to the college’s mission and goals;
• Improvements to the communication of policy updates to the campus community;
• Implementation of the recommendations of the campus climate survey and the student success and retention plan; and
• Ensuring that student learning assessments occur in substantive ways in all departments.
Commendations for a job well done included:
• Broad campus community participation in the college’s comprehensive self-study;
• The college’s approach to new construction, deferred maintenance and sustainability; and
• The detailed and comprehensive work of the student success and strategic retention committee and its resulting proposals.
The review team will send its final report to President Shirley M. Collado in early April and the college will have an opportunity to respond if any factual inconsistencies or needs for clarification are identified. The college will submit its response in mid-April and the Middle States Commission will meet in June to decide on reaccreditation.
For more information, including the full reaccreditation self-study report, visit www.ithaca.edu/middlestates.