Spring on the York College campus

Middle States

York College of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSCHE). MSCHE is a non-governmental group that enlists knowledgeable peers to evaluate the current quality of their institution’s education, identify areas for improvement, and create a plan of action.

MSCHE accreditation demonstrates to the public that we are meeting rigorous standards in the context of our own mission, vision, and goals. This method is clearly preferable to a governmental procedure that demands all colleges and universities to meet universal criteria. 

There are several models for this self-study, which York College performs every 10 years. When the process officially began one and a half years ago, and in consultation with the College President and the Dean of Academic Affairs, we adopted the Comprehensive Self-Study Model with a special emphasis on the student experience and academic excellence

With this in mind, the goals of our self-study are

  1. To determine if we are in compliance with MSCHE’s 14 standards;
  2. To evaluate how the college fulfills its commitment to its mission and goals;
  3. To consider how we can improve that commitment to better the educational experience of all students.

This self-study and its accompanying report will also inform our next long range planning cycle, which begins immediately following the self-study. It is important to understand that this report is designed to point out the positive attributes and practices at YCP as well as areas that need improvement.  To serve the college, it must be truly reflective and honest.

Currently, we have 100+ students, faculty, staff and alumni involved in the self-study. Over the next several months, individual committees will be collecting and examining information to help us answer the important questions that are central to the York College of Pennsylvania experience. 

Note: A final version of the report prepared by an evaluation team with Middle States is available for internal review - See the button below to access the document. Must be logged in to My YCP to view.

Myths, Timeline and More about Middle States

  • MYTH 1: This report is developed by the administration.

    Reality: The vast majority of the information in this report will be compiled, written, and edited by faculty, staff, and students.  Of course, senior administrators will serve as sources of information in order to help us gather the appropriate documents to share with Middle States.  However, the bulk of the work and the tone of the document are the responsibility of this team of faculty, staff, and students.

  • MYTH 2: This report is only designed to present positive information to Middle States.

    Reality: The report is designed to point out the good things that we do here at YCP as well as the areas that need improvement.  YCP is not Lake Wobegon, and there are no plans in place to present it as such. Given that this report process will be completed immediately before our next strategic long range planning cycle, one significant goal of this process is to provide some recommendations for that process. That said, the document is not for uncovering long-held grudges or bashing the administration. This process is designed to help us identify areas of weakness and to find solutions for those areas. Unless it is truly reflective and honest, it will not serve the college.

  • MYTH 3: The MSCHE process is a waste of time and only a formality that we will ignore until the next MSCHE event (a Periodic Review Report 5 years after the completion of this report).

    Reality: The MSCHE process is a friendly peer-review process where knowledgeable colleagues from like institutions examine YCP with the goal of making us a better institution. This peer-review process is certainly preferable to a procedure where the government demands that each college/university meets certain criteria. To this end, one goal of this review process is to find ways to help us build important standards into the overall structure of the college. This will prevent us from having to re-create the process from scratch every time we are faced with a MSCHE event. One important way to keep this process from being a formality is to consider for our next Long-range planning cycle how the Middle States Standards can be more clearly implemented in our Academic senate structure so we can constantly keep the standards in the forefront of what we do

  • Proposed Timeline for Middle States Process

    Fall 2014

    Main activities: Questions being answered, Answers being edited by Standard Chairs

    • Information is collected on campus and the questions are answered by task-force members of the individual standards.
    • The answers are posted to the shared drive (in each individual standard area).
    • Standard Chairs provide feedback to the task-force members to give them guidance about the details of their answers (Standard Chairs should consult with their Standard Leaders and/or the MSCHE Chair when necessary).
    • All answers are completed by November 3, 2014.
    • Standard Chairs meet with their Standard Leader (and the MSCHE Chair when necessary) to discuss report details:
      • Ordering of the answers to the questions
      • Whether the themes of academic excellence and the student experience are addressed
      • Any additional themes that are emerging from the standard
      • Potential recommendations
    • Standard Chairs reports due to Standard Leaders by January 2, 2015

    Spring 2015

    Main activities: Forums and revisions

    • Sharing the drafts of the chapters with the college community
      • Give Deans an advanced copy for their feedback
    • Spring Forums in March:
      • Standard Chairs and Standard Leaders collaborate on a brief (5 minutes maximum) presentation on each standard.
      • Each Standard will be presented along with its companion standards (e.g., Standards 1 & 6; Standards 11 & 14)
      • Each of the 6 task force reports should be presented twice
      • Q&A following presentations for each task force to collect feedback
    • Collect additional comments.
    • Task force standard leaders revise reports in light of forum feedback.
    • Steering committee performs peer review.
    • Drafts of the task force reports due in late May.

    Summer 2015

    Main activities: Writing/compiling the final report

    • Steering Committee Chair compiles a draft for the college community.
    • Final documents are collected and placed in a single location.

    Fall 2015

    Main activities: Sharing draft and responding to feedback

    • Draft of the entire report is shared with the college community (September).
    • Revise and finalize details for the draft that is shared with Evaluation Team Chair.
    • Red Team reads draft of the report for the Evaluation Team Chair (October).
    • Steering Committee Chair makes edits based on Red Team comments.
    • Final forum to collect feedback on the entire document.
    • Send draft to Evaluation Team Chair.

    Spring 2016

    Main activities: Final draft shared with MSCHE; MSCHE visit takes place

    • Final report is sent to the MSCHE six weeks prior to the visit.
    • Team visits.
    • We receive feedback and prepare the response.

    Summer 2016

    Main activities: Wait for action and prepare response

    • MSCHE issues action.
  • YCP Middle States Roles

    A brief description of the various roles YCP members will have as part of the Middle States process.

    Steering Committee: The Steering Committee is comprised of 6 standard leaders, the Chair of the MSCHESS, and the Dean of Academic Affairs. 

    Standard Leaders: The 6 standard leaders are each responsible for directing 2 or 3 individual standards. Their role in this process is to help empanel the individual standard leaders and task force members.  They will work very closely with the standard leaders and the Chair to help create the research questions for the SSDD. They will also help collect the necessary data. Their writing contribution will be to tie together the reports from their individual standard leaders.

    Standard Chairs:  Along with the Standard leaders, the 14 Standard Chairs will help empanel the people who will perform the research for the individual standards. Their role is to select the faculty, staff, and students who will help create the questions, find the relevant data, and complete a written report describing the findings. Once Standard Chairs have completed these tasks, they will share the information with their Standard leaders.

    Task Force members: The task forces will consist of full and part-time faculty, staff members, students, and alumni. The specific tasks of each member (research, writing, data collection, etc.) as well as the task deadlines will be determined by each Standard Chair.  

Contact Us
Middle States Committee
Joshua Landau
Appell Life Sciences, Room 318
Phone: 717.815.1712
Hours Contact for appt.