The Bryn Mawr community is being urged to review and comment on the draft of the Middle States Self Study now posted on the Provost Office’s Web site. A user name and password for accessing the report was sent to all community members in an e-mail from the Provost’s Office and can be obtained by e-mailing Morgan Wallhagen, assistant to the provost for the Middle States review.
Two hard copies of the report are available in Canaday Library for those not able to view it electronically.
The Self Study is created as part of Bryn Mawr’s accreditation review by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (commonly referred to as “Middle States”).
In the e-mail to the Bryn Mawr community announcing the availability of the draft, Provost Kim Cassidy stressed, “It is very important that all members of the community read this document (or parts of it) and provide feedback to the steering committee. We want this document to be a reflection of the whole Bryn Mawr community as much as possible.”
Middle States accredits most institutions of higher education in the Mid-Atlantic Region (Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York). Accreditation is important for colleges because it is a sign of attainment of high quality in such institutional factors as education, financial stability, proper structure, and administrative competence. It is also a prerequisite for qualifying for government funds to support student financial aid. The first review occurs five years after the initial accreditation and additional reviews occur every 10 years. Bryn Mawr College is currently undergoing its 8th decennial accreditation.
The creation of the Self Study is a key part of the accreditation process and involves a comprehensive examination and assessment of many major aspects and operations at the institution—including its mission and goals, administrative structure, governance system, financial stability, educational programs, student services, admissions and retention, faculty, and procedures for self-assessment (at the institutional level and of student learning).
The final version of the report will be sent to the Middle States evaluation team (persons selected by Middle States from peer institutions) at the end of February. The evaluators will read it and then visit the College for several days in mid-April. While on campus, the evaluators will have meetings with various campus constituencies, research the institution, gather data, etc. It is on the basis of this visit and the self-study report that the team makes their recommendation regarding accreditation.
The College expects to hear Middle States’ decision in the summer of 2010.
The College invites the Bryn Mawr community to offer any feedback on the contents of the Self Study either electronically or in person to Wallhagen or Cassidy, by no later than Feb. 1, 2010.
Members of the steering committee will also be attending meetings of various campus constituencies to discuss the report and receive feedback.
In addition to Wallhagen, Cassidy and Co-Chair Ignacio Gallup-Diaz, the steering committee is made up of President Jane McAuliffe, Stephen Salkever, Mary Osirim, Jerry Berenson, Mark Freeman, Karen Tidmarsh, Elizabeth McCormack, and Florence Goff.
To access the Self Study, go to the Provost’s Web page and click on the link titled “Middle States Accreditation Self-Study.”