Spring on the York College campus

Middle States Self Study

Middle States Commission on Higher Education Accreditation Process

York College of Pennsylvania is fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an institutional accreditor recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) that serves as an independent voice in higher education. MSCHE establishes equitable standards for accreditation with member institutions that promote educational excellence through innovation across diverse institutions. 

Every eight years, an internal reaccreditation team examines York College of Pennsylvania to evaluate how it meets MSCHE standards of excellence, and writes a comprehensive report that demonstrates the institution’s compliance with seven standards for accreditation and fifteen requirements of affiliation. In fall 2022, York College of Pennsylvania began the process of self-review and evaluation, laying the groundwork for the college’s self study and accreditation review by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) in 2024-25.

A student walks down a sidewalk in front of Wolf Hall, colorful leaves falling from the trees around them.

Overview of the MSCHE Self Study Process

To begin the self study process, York College formed a Steering Committee to develop a Self-Study Design to guide institutional research and reporting. This document functions as an outline for the larger self-study and includes working group team members, a clear timeline, and institutional priorities and intended outcomes for the self study process.
  • Self Study Priorities

    Self Study Priorities

    Each self-study must have priorities that focus on institutional improvement, relate to the institution’s mission, and align with at least one of the MSCHE standards of affiliation. York College of Pennsylvania has identified the following institutional priorities that will be evaluated through the self study process. These priorities are based on the five goals of the College’s Strategic Plan 2.0.

    1. Promote academic excellence through innovation and experiential learning
    2. Recruit and retain a robust and diverse student body
    3. Develop the infrastructure and programs to support a diverse student body
    4. Develop students as career-ready professionals
    5. Create a fiscally responsible and sustainable future true to the College's mission

    Self Study Outcomes

    In addition to priorities, York College has identified several intended outcomes for what the College plans to achieve through the self study process. The first three outcomes are determined by Middle States; the remaining outcomes were chosen to help the College benefit from the resources invested in the self study process. The outcomes of the YCP self study process are as follows:

    Outcomes Required by Middle States
    1. To be re-accredited by the MSCHE by demonstrating that York College meets the Commission’s Standards for Accreditation and Requirements of Affiliation 
    2. To demonstrate our commitment to continuous improvement in the attainment of YCP’s Mission, goals, and institutional priorities
    3. To engage the YCP community in an inclusive and transparent self-appraisal that includes members from all areas of the institutional community, and which is characterized by consistent communication and opportunities for input and feedback
    Outcomes Identified by York College
    1. To examine opportunities for expanding and supporting the college’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion across all areas of the college
    2. To provide the institution with a resource for informing the development of the next college Strategic Long Range Plan and other planning processes, and for making data-informed decisions
    3. To further embed the culture of assessment in the college, including improved assessment at the School, department, academic program, and administrative unit level; and improved data collection, management, and analysis
  • Steering Committee

    Steering Committee

    A Steering Committee will oversee the self study process for York College and will coordinate the efforts of the Working Groups during the two-year review and evaluation of the College’s programs, practices, and policies relevant to their Middle States Standard. Data collection and analysis will be facilitated by the co-chairs and the data manager. The co-chairs will serve as the primary editors of the self study design and self study final report. The following members constitute the Steering Committee:

    • Co-Chair, Middle States Accreditation
      Kay McAdams - Director of General Education, Associate Professor of History
    • Co-Chair, Middle States Accreditation
      Holly M. Sypniewski - Director of Faculty Development and Global Initiatives
    • MSCHE Accreditation Liaison Officer
      Patrice DiQuinzio - Interim Provost
    • Data Manager
      Steve Jacob - Professor of Behavioral Sciences and Sociology
    • Chair, Working Group for Standard I
      Sung Wook Paik - Associate Professor of Political Science
    • Chair, Working Group for Standard II
      David Singleton - Associate Professor of Biology
    • Chair, Working Group for Standard III
      William Steel - Associate Professor of Chemistry
    • Chair, Working Group for Standard IV
      Stephanie Perago - Coordinator, Undeclared Student Advising
    • Chair, Working Group for Standard V
      Gabriel Cutrufello - Associate Professor and Chair, Dept. of Communication and Writing
    • Chair, Working Group for Standard VI
      Fred Becker - Associate Professor of Hospitality Management
    • Chair, Working Group for Standard VII
      Rory Kraft - Assistant Professor of Philosophy
  • Self Study Timeline

    Self Study Timeline

    York College of Pennsylvania has developed a timeline for the Middle State Self Study Accreditation process. All major deadlines and milestones are included in this timeline.

    Fall Semester 2022

    • Select Self Study Co-Chairs
    • Participation in MSCHE Self Study Institute
    • Co-chairs assemble Steering Committee and develop Working Group Chair and teams charges, self study timeline, and draft priorities and outcomes
    • Inform campus constituents about self study process and goals
    • Co-chairs develop communication plan and timeline

    Spring Semester 2023

    January - February
    • Steering committee selects working group members and finalizes self study priorities and outcomes with broad campus input
    • Co-chairs and data manager develop evidence inventory guidelines and structure and set up evidence storage site
    • Co-chairs and Accreditation Liaison Officer meet remotely with MSCHE staff liaison
    • Steering Committee develops lines of inquiry for each Working Group
    March - April
    • Data manager and Working Group chairs begin to populate evidence inventory
    • Co-chairs draft Self Study Design and share with campus constituents for feedback
    • Launch YCP’s website for the MSCHE Self Study process
    • Submit complete draft Self Study Design to MSCHE

    Fall Semester 2023

    • Host MSCHE liaison Self Study Prep Visit to campus
    September - November
    • Submit revised Self Study Design to MSCHE
    • Working groups gather and analyze data to draft reports
    • Working groups submit draft reports to Steering Committee

    Spring Semester 2024

    • Self-Study Evaluation Team Chair chosen by MSCHE and receives the self study design plan
    January - February
    • Working group revise and finalize reports
    • MSCHE chooses Evaluation Team Visit
    February - April
    • Steering Committee drafts Self Study report
    April - May
    • Share Self Study draft report with campus community
    May - September
    • Review Self Study draft and review with campus community

    Fall Semester 2024

    September - November
    • Submit revised Self Study report to MSCHE Evaluation Team Chair
    • Host MSCHE Evaluation Team Chair visit

    Spring Semester 2025

    • Submit final documents to MSCHE portal including:
      Final Self Study Report, Verification of Compliance, and Evidence Inventory
    February - March
    • Host Self Study Evaluation Team Visit to Campus
    • Review Self Study Evaluation Team Report
    March - April
    • Write Institutional Response to Evaluation Team Report

    Summer or Fall Semester 2025

    • MSCHE meets to determine action on college accreditation status
  • Self Study Design

    Self Study Design

    The Self Study Design is a document developed by York College that guides the self study process. It serves many purposes, including the following:

    • Provides a blueprint for the self study process, including the approach, analysis, priorities and outcomes of the final Self Study Report.
    • Enables the Steering Committee and Working Groups to conceptualize and organize their work appropriately so that they may draft thorough reports for each standard of accreditation of the self study.
    • Ensures that the institution is providing accurate and relevant data about the institution for accreditation purposes.